Forest lovers see red over green power

Biodiversity conservationists say that solar, wind and hydel power projects sound the death knell for many animal species

Of India’s more than two lakh megawatt power capacity, only 12.2 percent is generated from renewable sources. If you add hydro power to this, the ratio goes up to 30.81 percent, according to the ministry of power.

After the launch of the National Solar Mission in 2010, solar energy’s share in renewables went up from zero to 18 percent in under two years. Even though energy generated from renewable sources is increasing, many complain that capacity addition is not happening fast enough in the country. In 2012, while China invested almost $65 billion in clean energy, India invested only a tenth of that at $6.9 billion.

While environmentalists are egging on the government to invest more in clean energy, advocates of biodiversity conservation are taking up cudgels against them. They argue that the energy may be clean but it comes at the cost of eroding biodiversity. There are two areas where this clash is intensifying: wastelands and forests.

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