Suzlon Energy windfarms in Kutch District, India

Large-scale wind power farm of Suzlon company is being deployed on the coast and wetland of Kutch, Gujarat, displacing people and threatening wildlife.


Description

India kicked off its energy diversification into wind energy in the 1980s when the Government of India setup the Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE). India has a potential of harnessing 48,500 MW at 50 meter height and 102,788 MW at 80 meter height of energy from wind projects.

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Basic Data
NameSuzlon Energy windfarms in Kutch District, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceGujarat
SiteLittle Rann of Kutch
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Windmills
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Suzlon wind farm in Kutch is planned as 2000 MW farm. By 2014 the company already completed the installation of 1100 MW of hybrid windmills at this park. Once this farm is finished, it will become the world’s largest wind farm at a singular location or belt.

It is claimed that each MW of wind power setup in Kutch has created about 20 direct and indirect jobs.

The company has mobilised inflow of Rs 1500 crore of investments (300,000,000 USD).

Apart from the Wild Ass Sanctuary, the landscape includes forest lands, government wasteland and 108 villages (about 50,000 people).
Level of Investment (in USD) 300,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population50,000
Start Date12/01/2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesSuzlon Energy from India
Relevant government actorsIndian Government

Chief minister of Gujarat

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCentre for Science and Environment (Delhi)

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Pastoralists
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Development of AlternativesOrganisations like the Centre for Science and Environment are lobbying the Indian Government to bring wind power projects under the mandate of environmental impact assessment
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is ongoing. No environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been made. It has been requested.

Though this is an area of wilderness conservation notified decades ago, this is not respected. Rights of people in the region are not respected, either.
Sources and Materials
References

Bat mortality due to collision with wind turbines in Kutch District, Gujarat, India, by Rameshkumar Selvaraj AND Abdul Hameed Mohamed Samsoor Ali

Abdul Hameed Mohamed Samsoor Ali
[click to view]

S R Kumar · A M Samsoor · P R Arun, Impact of wind turbines on birds: a case study from Gujarat, India
[click to view]

Links

Steffen Boehm

Blog: Political Economies & Ecologies
[click to view]

Changing Mode of the Pastoralist Economy and Globalisation of Kutch

By Sonal Mehta
[click to view]

Wind power: Clean energy, dirty business?

By Erik Vance, JANUARY 26, 2012
[click to view]

The Indian Express article. November 2014

Suzlon to complete Kutch wind farm in next four years, says CMD Tanti
[click to view]

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Environmental Change. Government of India.

Executive Summary

Environment and Social Assessment and Indigenous Development Plan
[click to view]

EIA Guidelines for Wind Power. Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.2013
[click to view]

Other Documents

[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJoan Martinez Alier and Sofía Ávila
Last update16/09/2015
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