The High Court of Karnataka has said that it is high time the State government and the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) pondered over and took appropriate measures to see that huge projects in the renewable energy sector were not imperilled by avoidable litigation in larger public interest.
Justice Krishna S. Dixit made this suggestion while disposing a litigation among three private companies over the allotment of an area of land to set up their respective wind energy projects.
The court said its suggestion had to be read in the light of “renewable energy infrastructure at present and the daunting climate change and energy crises faced by the world”.
“Renewable energy currently has a share of 26.53% in the total installed generation capacity in the country; the installed capacity having been increased 286% in the last 7.5 years,” it said quoting data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s annual report 2020-21 and India Energy Policy Review-2020.
While relying on the report of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-2022, the court said, “At present, development and transition to renewable modes of energy are categorically imperative and thus, all efforts must be made to aid the process of this transition, especially in light of crippling climate crises being faced nationally and internationally.”
Two companies — SRK Energy Pvt. Ltd. and SJP Builders and Developers Pvt. Ltd., in their petitions, contended that the authorities had allotted an area, in which allotments were made for their wind energy projects, in favour of Ayana Renewable Power Six Pvt. Ltd. for a larger capacity wind energy project.
While refusing to interfere with the government’s decision saying that it was a ‘policy decision’ involving technical expertise and there was no illegality in it, the court said the total area allotted to Ayana was only 544 acres within a large area of 6,500 acres and demarcation of areas, 10 acres and 50 acres approved for the petitioner-companies within this 6,500 acres, was yet to be done.
The court also said that the need to avoid unnecessary litigation was more appropriate when the government and its authorities had been exploring the tapping potential of non-conventional/renewable energy resources such as wind power, more particularly by engaging private agencies who are in a position to avail of the latest science and technology to fructify the same.