Supreme Court Ruling Balances Renewable Energy with Great Indian Bustard Conservation in Landmark Decision

Court Reduces Restricted Area for Power Lines, Establishes Committee for Safeguard Measures

The Sustainable Projects Developers Association (SPDA), a leading industry body advocating for clean energy transition in India, applauded the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB).

The GIB, primarily found in Rajasthan and Gujarat, faces significant threats due to collisions with overhead power transmission lines. The Court’s earlier restrictions on such lines in a vast 80,000 sq km area significantly impacted renewable energy projects. This region, favored by developers for its exceptional solar radiation and wind speeds, saw a massive capacity reduction.

In a welcome development, the Supreme Court modified its previous order, acknowledging the crucial role of renewable energy in achieving India’s clean energy commitments. The restricted area for transmission line construction has been significantly reduced from 80,000 sq km to a more focused 13,000 sq km priority zone.

Furthermore, the Court established a new seven-member committee with two special invitees. This committee will identify and recommend safeguards for overhead transmission lines to minimize GIB fatalities. Their report is due by July 31, 2024.

SPDA Chairman, Mr. Shekhar Dutt, hailed the decision as a “win-win solution” that recognizes both GIB conservation needs and the critical role of renewable energy projects. “The judgment beautifully balances these objectives, and it’s truly heartwarming,” Mr. Dutt remarked.

This landmark judgment paves the way for a balanced approach to India’s energy future, ensuring both environmental protection and clean energy development.

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