India is embarking on an audacious project to establish a colossal renewable energy park that could potentially power an estimated 18 million homes. This move comes at a time when the world is progressively transitioning towards renewable energy to combat climate change and diminish dependence on fossil fuels. Despite the clear environmental advantages, some experts express apprehension over the project's potential adverse impact on the local environment, with the extensive land use and possible wildlife displacement among the key issues raised.
Embracing Renewable Energy
Under the Solar Parks Scheme initiated in 2014, the Government has approved a total of 50 Solar Parks with an aggregate capacity of 37,490 MW across 12 States. Among these parks, solar projects with an aggregate capacity of 10,237 MW have been established. India is steadily on track to achieve 50% of its installed power generation capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030, with the current non-fossil source capacity standing at 186.46 gigawatt (GW), accounting for 43.82% of the total installed capacity.
Policy Measures to Promote Renewable Energy
The government has introduced several measures to promote renewable energy in the country. These include permitting foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 100% under the automatic route, waiver of inter-state transmission system (ISTS) charges for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by June 30, 2025, and the implementation of ultra mega renewable energy parks to provide land and transmission to renewable energy developers for large-scale installations.
The Balancing Act: Clean Energy Vs Environmental Preservation
While the world is undeniably in need of clean energy, the scale of such projects and their potential impact on local ecosystems present a complex challenge. The dilemma lies in balancing the need for renewable energy, crucial for sustainability, against potential ecological concerns. This is a challenge not unique to India, but one that every nation must grapple with as we collectively strive towards a sustainable future.