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Karnataka plans land use policy for wind energy

As readers of Panchabuta are aware, in a rather surprising verdict, Bangalore High Court in April this year, directed various hydel projects that have obtained permission from the state government(Karnataka) to function in Western Ghats, not to go ahead with the execution of the projects until further orders.

According to reports, the Karnataka government would soon bring out an exclusive land policy for allotment of land for wind energy projects. The policy will be modelled on Gujarat’s policy and will be announced in the next two to three months, a top government official said.

“There are several wind energy developers waiting for the allotment of land in the state. Many projects in the Western Ghats area are waiting to be completed. The government is taking some strict measures to retain only the serious players in the business of installing wind power projects,” N S Prasanna Kumar, managing director, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd said.

Making a presentation on Renewable Energy – Opportunities in Karnataka at a conference on power, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Thursday, he said out of the 400 wind power developers in the state, only 80 were active and the government would take measures to cancel the licenses given to non-serious players. As regards the mini hydel energy developers, he said the government has already cancelled licenses of some projects totaling 1,500 Mw due to the delays in commissioning them. The KREDL is also giving a thrust to upgrade the old projects. The agency has received proposals for a combined capacity of 500 Mw.

A survey is presently going on to assess the need for upgrading wind energy projects. The turbines need to be replaced with the latest technology, he said.

Kumar said, the government has identified 3,500 acres for allotment to biomass projects. A study has been initiated in association with TERI for assessment of biomass availability in the state, he said.

Speaking of solar energy projects, he said, the KREDL would soon issue letters of intent to project developers for a combined capacity of 80 Mw under wind and solar bundled projects. The state is aiming to have more grid connected solar PV projects with a capacity to produce 200 Mw by 2016, he said.

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