India's renewable energy dreams have been big since the country shifted gears post-Paris climate summit in 2015. The country is now working towards achieving 500 GW of installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. However, every choice has a cost. Rapid renewable energy installation and the transition have left several aspects overlooked. And they have given rise to new issues.
Issues related to land availability and acquisition for mega-renewable projects, impact on biodiversity, lack of involvement of local communities and gender-based plans, lack of financing solutions, absence of waste management and recycling policies, etc.
Considering its impact on society, experts fear that the clean energy sector will follow in the footsteps of the fossil-fuel industry.
The shift from fossil fuels to renewables is needed eventually, but it poses loud questions: What will happen to the states that'll stop producing coal? What'll happen to the millions working in coal and related industries? Are they skilled enough to switch to the renewable sector? Also, is renewable energy coming up in coal-dependent regions in the first place, or is it happening elsewhere? How will the state departments and economy cope with this shift?
In this episode, we will try to understand the challenges that this sector's rapid but probably unplanned growth has thrown. We will examine if there are solutions and what needs urgent attention.
Listen to GigaWhat and explore some of the biggest questions, challenges, and opportunities in India's transition from fossil fuel to clean energy sources. Mongabay-India is an online publication dedicated to bringing you stories on science and the environment in India.
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Bhargavi Rao, Senior Fellow and Trustee at Environment Support Group
Balasubramanian Viswanathan, Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Selna Saji, Research Analyst, Council on Energy, Environment and Water
Host: Mayank Aggarwal
Writer and producer: Kartik Chandramouli
Audio editor: Tejas Dayananda Sagar
Copy editor: Priyanka Shankar
Podcast production assistant: Sapna Verma
Episode cover art: Pooja Gupta