A recent report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) alleges that most of the forthcoming wind energy projects are planned in forest areas and they would adversely affect local ecology.
Till 2017, many wind power projects are lined up to double the installed generation capacity in the sector. In the last seven years, the demand for forest land by the wind power industry has increased rapidly, the CSE report shows.
Projects sites on forest land and hilly areas have greater impact on ecology and water resources, compared to projects in plains.
Therefore, the report calls for stringent environment norms for future wind energy projects including mandatory environment impact assessment (EIA).
In many parts of the country including Maharashtra, wind power projects are already having impact on the environment, the report shows. Suggestions have been invited and a final report will be submitted to the Union government.
Of the 3,454 hectare forest land diverted for wind projects, 31 percent is in Maharashtra. Till 2006, only 478 hectare forest land was diverted for wind projects.
The report warns of significant health impacts if wind project is set up close to human settlements.
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