Rapid deployment of renewable energy (RE) is critical for India to meet its rising energy demand while mitigating climate change. Without careful planning, RE’s relatively larger footprint – typically three to 12 times that of coal powered energy generation – can adversely impact people and biodiversity, creating land conflicts that will jeopardise investments and slow RE expansion.
A study conducted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) shows that India can meet its renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 by more than 10 times by placing RE infrastructure on lower impact lands. However, if maximizing energy production is the singular aim for RE projects, more than 11,900 km2 of forest and 55,700 km2 of agricultural land could be impacted.
RE projects need to be sited responsibly and smartly to avoid land conflicts, associated project delays, higher risks and costs. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Vasudha Foundation (VF), Center for Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), and Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) have collaborated to create a tool—SiteRight—to support decision makers make better siting choices.
The SiteRight tool identifies areas where solar and wind development is less likely to encounter socio-ecological conflicts, thereby helping to reduce project delays and cost overruns.
SiteRight uses the best available information to support early screening and inform siting decisions. It should be one of the sources of information to be considered when taking siting decisions. The tool is NOT intended to replace the need for a site-level assessment of impacts or consult relevant agencies before making siting decisions.
News and Updates
SiteRight featured in IUCN Report
Mitigating biodiversity impacts associated with solar and wind energy development. Read the Report
SiteRight featured in World Economic Forum Report
New Nature Economy Report II: The Future of Nature and Business. Read article.
Article in Journal Sustainability
Renewable Energy and Land Use in India: A Vision to Facilitate Sustainable Development. Read article.
Article on SiteRight in Bastion
Dialogues: Dhaval Negandhi on Siting Renewable Energy Projects Sustainably. Read article.
We thank The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for the financial support to carry out this work.
This tool and all associated data, information, maps, analysis and results are meant for illustrative purposes only. The Nature Conservancy, Center for Science, Technology and Policy, Foundation for Ecological Security and Vasudha Foundation assume no responsibility and/or liability whatsoever for any interpretation of data, any investment decisions, or actions resulting from the represented information or analysis. We do not make any claims about the authenticity and/or veracity of the datasets used, and strongly recommend that the results are verified and cross-checked at ground-level before any decisions are made.