Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, has laid out the foundation of the world's largest renewable energy megapark that will be as big as Singapore. That is set to produce 30 gigawatts of electricity.
The megapark will be located in the Kutch region of western Gujarat state that will span 72,600 hectares (180,000 acres), the size of the island city-state Singapore. ScienceAlert reported that the megapark would compose solar panels, solar energy storage units, and windmills.
PM Modi said during the megapark and the adjacent desalination plant's inauguration, the hybrid renewable energy megapark will be the largest in the world, which would add energy security to the country this 21st century. Also talking about the desalination plant, he said that today's two major projects are the first step towards achieving the two.
The Hybrid Renewable Energy Megapark in India
Indian PM Modi virtually lay the foundation of the world's largest hybrid energy park at Khavda and Mandvi's desalination plant with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani present. According to the press release, the 30,000-gigawatt hybrid renewable energy megapark will be the largest as it comprises both windmills and solar panels to generate energy.
"Energy security and water security are vital in the 21st century," PM Modi said. "The two major projects of the renewable energy park and the desalination plant inaugurated today in Kutch are steps towards achieving the two."
This megapark in Modi's hometown represents a chunk of India's ambitious target to generate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022 and 450 gigawatts by 2030.
Moreover, the prime minister said that the project would help the second most populous country worldwide reduce its carbon footprints by up to 50 million tons per year. More so, the desalination plant will desalinize up to 100 million liters of water daily for 800,000 people who live within the region.
Aside from the hybrid renewable energy park and desalination plants, PM Modi is also set to perform an online groundbreaking ceremony for a 2-lakh liter milk chilling plant between Anjar and Bhachau in the district by the Kutch District Cooperative Milk Producers Union.
Issues Surrounding the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park
The construction of the world's largest hybrid renewable energy park will seal India's leadership in the green economy, which will produce several jobs. But it seems that it is not without issues.
The land where the project will be constructed was declared a wasteland of India, but it was an important area for the local people. Mahendra Bhanani, who works with an environmental non-government organization called Sahjeevan, said that Kutch is a unique desert ecosystem that needs to be protected.
He emphasized that the 72,600-hectare land in Kutch is not a wasteland and needs proper land and environmental assessment. "We need to be careful with such mega projects," Bhanani said.
His concerns were echoed by Devesh Gadhvi, the deputy director of the Kutch Ecological Research Center. He said that the region is home to hundreds of birds, and building the project, even if it is for renewable energy, might cause birds' deaths that could collide with power lines.
Like Bhanani, Gadhvi said that renewable energy projects environmental impacts that are needed to be considered when pursuing this kind of project.
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