India to build solar, wind farms along Pakistan border

Published October 22, 2019
India plans to build a string of renewable energy projects along its sun-baked, wind-whipped western border, officials said on Monday, as New Delhi continues an ambitious programme to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. — APP/File
India plans to build a string of renewable energy projects along its sun-baked, wind-whipped western border, officials said on Monday, as New Delhi continues an ambitious programme to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. — APP/File

MUMBAI: India plans to build a string of renewable energy projects along its sun-baked, wind-whipped western border, officials said on Monday, as New Delhi continues an ambitious programme to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Mired in an economic slowdown, the government has tripled spending over the last three years as part of its push to cut down the use of oil and coal.

“We are studying land feasibility and have identified projects worth 30 gigawatt capacity for Gujarat and 25 gigawatt capacity for Rajasthan,” said Anand Kumar, new and renewable energy secretary.

The government had zeroed in on barren desert areas in a bid to avoid using agricultural land, he said, adding the sunny and windy region was ideally suited to renewable energy facilities.

Work on the projects would begin roughly 18 months after approval from the defence ministry and following land feasibility studies, he said. “These projects will help reduce India’s carbon footprint and adhere to promises made at the 2015 Paris agreement,” Kumar said.

India currently harnesses 23pc of its total power from renewable sources, including solar and wind.

R.K. Singh, minister for power and renewable energy, told parliament in July that India’s capacity had crossed 80 gigawatts and was on track to reach 175 gigawatts in three years’ time, as pledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, private investment in the renewable sector remains low, and the government has found securing land for projects difficult.

Renewable energy projects are not feasible in agricultural or forest lands, said Amit Bhandari of Mumbai-based think tank Gateway House.

“Since most of these western border areas are wastelands or semi-desert, they are perfect for setting up these projects,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.