BENGALURU: India is treading the low carbon pathway along with other nations, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to increase renewable energy capacity and reduce carbon footprint. This may be a boost to the greens, but researchers contacted by The New Indian Express emphasised on the need for multiple stakeholders to be involved in implementing such a policy.
Based on Turkey’s experience with shifting to hydel power to meet their electricity needs, Oclay Unver, vice chair of UN Water, said there is a large potential for hydel power in mountaineous areas. “This would require an increase in the number of reservoirs, which will impact the ecosystem and social life, including resettlement,” he said. The more the reservoirs, the more people will be resettled, he said. One has to minimise the resettlement and environmental impact, he stressed, pointing to social scientists and social workers being included to implement such a policy.
As for Germany, which has made vast progress in choosing solar and wind power as a source of electricity over oil, Claudia Pahl Wostl, director of Institute for Environmental Systems Research, Osnabruck University, Germany, said it takes a lot of involvement (from across stratas) for this.
“Germany depends extensively on wind farms. The problem is now to get energy from where you have to where you need it. The northern part of Germany is powered by wind mills while infrastructure is being laid to transmit that energy to the south,” she said. However, certain forms of energy were subsidised and it became affordable for locals, she said.
India, on the other hand is heavily reliant on coal and has a long way to go to for complete transition to take place. Dr Sharachchandra Lele from the Centre for Environment and Development, ATREE, said coal thermal will continue to grow. “Only stringent laws against new coal miners will ensure that the generation of the coal-based power will not increase,” he said.