Geospatial Tool Launched to Aid in Faster Deployment of RE Projects

The India chapter of non-profit Nature Conservancy has launched a geospatial tool for helping make better choices in selecting land for siting RE projects

The India chapter of science-based non-profit Nature Conservancy has launched a geospatial tool for helping decision-makers, investors, and financiers to make better choices in selecting land for siting renewable energy (RE) projects like solar and wind farms.

Developed by Nature Conservancy India, the Centre for Science, Technology and Policy, the Foundation for Ecological Security, and the Vasudha Foundation. SiteRight was launched on September 22, 2020, at the New York Climate Week 2020 being held from September 21 to 27.

The free and publicly accessible geospatial decision-support tool called SiteRight can support the siting of new renewable energy projects in places with viable resource potential but away from land areas rich in biodiversity and on which local communities depend.

“Our scientific analysis shows that India has the potential to develop 10 times its 2022 target of 175 gigawatts if we take steps today to guide the expansion of renewable energy to lower impact areas,” said Seema Paul, Managing Director of Nature Conservancy India.

“Developing guidelines for project siting, identifying renewable energy zones, improving planning and procurement processes, and strengthening environmental and social performance standards of renewable energy financing, are some such steps,” she added.

The rapid expansion of renewable energy is critical to meeting India’s energy needs and addressing climate change. However, new solar and onshore wind energy projects cannot be poorly sited, for there could be unintended impacts on ecosystems and local communities. Such consequences can come in the way of further growth of renewable energy in the country, said Nature Conservancy India.

In 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had issued an order with compliance to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes (MOEF&CC) to retrofit transmission lines and wind turbines to avoid bird collision in Great Indian Bustard (GIB) habitats of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The MOEF&CC had previously reported that electrocution with the transmission lines and collision with wind turbines of Wind Energy Farms are major causes of death of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) birds in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

It is believed that with the new tool, such instance/ issues will be looked at before land is allotted for a project.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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