The Indian wing of US non-profit The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has released a geospatial tool called ‘SiteRight’ to identify potential sites for onshore solar and wind projects. Along with TNC, the tool has been developed by the Centre for Science, Technology and Policy (C-STEP), the Foundation for Ecological Security and Vasudha Foundation. The online tool is free to access and chooses potential sites by maximising resource availability and minimising socio-ecological conflict. In this way, projects will be set up away from biodiversity rich lands or lands which local communities are dependent on. Moreover, choosing the appropriate site can also avoid project delays, additional costs and its associated risks.
According to TNC, socio-ecological conflicts have impacted Rs 1,300 billion worth of infrastructure investments. The report also goes on to claim that these conflicts would only increase owing to the challenge of land acquisition in the renewables sector as well as land disputes due to reverse migration. According to TNC, by setting up renewable projects in low impact areas, India could potentially meet 10 times its 2022 target of 175GW from renewables.