Pune, July 3: The conference hall in YASHDA witnessed a half day conference on ‘ green norms for wind energy development ‘ organised by CSE , New Delhi and Shakti sustainable energy research foundation.The conference had participants from various disciplines including research organisations, journalists, wild life experts, forest officials, wind energy industry representatives and activists.
Chandra Bushan , deputy director of CSE gave a brief presentation on the present scenario of wind energy development in India and emphasized on the ‘ linear fragmentation ‘ effects caused by these projects which are often neglected and sidelined due to the lack of a proper mandate of EIA (environmental impact assesment) for wind projects in India. The presentation also included the experiences of best practices from around the world in pertinent to wind energy.
The fact that 3454 hec of forest land was diverted for Wind power during 2006-2013 ,pointed towards the urgent need for developing an EIA mechanism in place with the consultation from all the stake holders. The experience in Timbaktu collective ,Andhra pradesh served as a concrete example which revealed the wide scale devastation caused by lack of planning and accountability in project approvals and misuse by large wind energy developers(it was an Enercon project of 53 Mw).
The wild life experts and activists pointed out the need to develop plans to mitigate the adverse affects by considering the issues of noise pollution , shadow flicker and bird deaths in greater details by conducting studies in this regard. Organisations like Bombay Natural History Society emphasized the need for adequate government support in order to carry out such studies.The lack of a state level coordinating agency was also highlighted as a government failure when many of the companies could circumvent the clearance systems within 10 – 15 days even without having any mitigating measures in place and using forest lands. it was also observed that many projects have failed to adhere to the MOEF guidelines and still have obtained necessary permissions even with in the no go areas like wildlife sanctuaries and national parks including Eco sensitive zones of western ghats.
Mr Chintan Shah , Suzlon industries spoke on behalf of the wind industry regarding various challenges and mitigating measures undertaken by the industry.The need for proper government mechanisms in place was suggested by the panel regarding any further development in this sector. The use of satellite imagery and other advanced ICT’s were also discussed in order to minimize the adverse impacts of wind turbines.