Government waives off lease rent of Rs. 30,000/- per MW for Wind Power projects
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change has decided to relax the mandatory charging of lease rent of Rs. 30,000/- per MW for wind power projects.

In a review meeting Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar took a conscious decision to relax the condition of charging the lease rent of Rs. 30,000/- per MW for wind power projects. Shri Javadekar said that it is expected that this step will boost the investment in wind power projects and will help in providing wind power at cheaper rate.

The Union Environment minister said “The government envisages to meet maximum energy requirement by tapping renewal energy resources and, to achieve the target of clean energy in a time bound manner, various policies and regulations are being constantly updated.”

The present procedures to establish wind power project over forest land requires payment of mandatory charges for compensatory afforestation and Net Present value (NPV). In addition to mandatory charges, the wind power companies had to pay additional lease rent of 30,000 per MW. This additional cost is not mandatory for other renewal energy projects such as solar power and hydel electric projects. Additional cost for generation of clean energy through wind power, in turn escalate the per unit cost of power at consumer level.

Unfortunately, equating wind power projects which require vast area and are often in forest land shouldn’t be compared with Solar power projects. Though branded as clean energy, there is a huge environmental downside to the wind power projects. The areas where these massive windmills are present, one can find lot of bird mortalities. It is true throughout the world. Researchers in Kutch and Karnataka have proven that there are huge number of bird mortalities due to wind mill.

The other difference is that solar can come up in any land which gets sunshine and India is blessed with abundant sunshine. However, windmills have to come up in areas where the wind is abundant and the blades rotate by the wind so that power can be generated. Most of these come up in non-human habitations ie. in forest lands and in other ecologically fragile lands.

The cost of Solar is getting cheaper by the day. There has been new developments in solar technology like thin solar films which can be pasted even in windows. So providing concessions to Wind mill sector which has a huge environmental cost is not a good move at all from this Government.