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India Looks Westward to Find a Solution to its Renewable Energy Land Problems

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One of the perennial problems facing the renewable energy sector in India is the paucity of land to develop solar and wind projects. With the worlds’ second-highest population getting unencumbered, land is a difficult proposition for both its infrastructure and industrial sectors. One of the biggest reasons for the delay in the development of solar projects is the availability of land.

solar in desert

Solar parks are a unique concept to India where the land and associated infrastructure is developed in a large park where solar developers can set up their plants. However, given India’s ambition to reach 40% of its overall capacity from the power source to come from RE by 2030, hundreds of gigawatts of wind and solar projects will have to be built over the next decade. Finding land will become tougher and costlier. While all the components of solar projects in recent times have been falling, the cost of land has been increasing as landowners have opportunistically increased the prices of prize land where solar insolation is high and which is near transmission substations.

To solve this land problem, the Indian government is looking at the vast tracts of land near its border with Pakistan to develop massive solar projects. Gujarat and Rajasthan which are the two states bordering Pakistan have thousands of acres of useless land which not only receive high solar insolation but also high winds. This makes them ideal for developing utility-scale solar and wind projects in these areas. The government of India plans to develop almost 30 GW of RE capacity in Gujarat and 20 GW in Rajasthan. Note massive solar power plants and parks are already being developed in the desert state of Rajasthan because of the availability of huge land banks of non-agricultural land in the state which is also blessed with high radiation throughout the year.

Note the government is also moving ahead with developing massive solar power plants in the northern part of the country in the barren areas of Ladakh which recently became a union territory. Besides developing RE capacity, the government also wants to develop these border regions economically which would help meet its strategic objective of weening away the people in these areas from the nefarious designs of its neighbors who may want to foment trouble amongst the locals using the lack of economic opportunities.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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