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Southern States to Use Wastelands for Green Energy Corridor Project

The southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are seeking to increase the contribution of renewable energy to meet their power requirements in the 12th Plan period (2012-17). They plan to set up wind farms on wastelands and form a green energy corridor for increasing transmission of renewable power.The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is working with these states to prepare a map marking out wastelands with high potential to generate wind power.

“The advantage of (mapping) these areas is that instead of telling wind energy providers to look for potential sites, we can just point them to these zones,” said Alok Srivastava, joint secretary in the ministry, adding that “such zones will provide common facilities to all power generators; environmental clearances and transmission of power will also be taken care of.”

A report released by the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) on Wednesday said Karnataka had the potential to generate at least 50,000MW by harnessing the wind in wastelands. Andhra Pradesh wastelands have the potential to generate 88,000MW. Wind power generation from scrub forest lands in Karnataka could be around 31,500MW, the report said.

According to the CSTEP report, a renewable energy management centre is proposed to look at forecasting wind and solar energy generation.A senior official in the Karnataka energy department said on condition of anonymity that the government had already held talks with the Tamil Nadu government and the Planning Commission to set up the corridors. One such corridor is expected to stretch from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to Chitradurga in Karnataka.

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