Mar 3, 2023 01:14 AM
Image source, Getty Images
The deserts of western Rajasthan are an unforgiving place
“Bhadla is almost unliveable,” says TS Keshav Prasad, the chief executive of energy company IF&FS.
“巴德拉几乎无人居住，” IF&FS 能源公司的总裁 TS Keshav Prasad 说到。
He is talking about part of the Thar desert located in Rajasthan in the northwest of India.
Temperatures there typically range between 46C and 48C and frequent sandstorms add to the inhospitable conditions.
沙漠的温度一般位于 46C 到 48C 之间，经常发生的沙尘暴，使得那里更难居住。
But what makes Bhadla an unforgiving place to live, also makes it an ideal place to generate solar power.
Thanks to the abundant sunshine, Bhadla is home to the world’s biggest solar power farm, in part built and operated by Mr Prasad’s IF&FS.
得益于巴德拉充沛的阳光，Prasad 先生的 IF&FS 公司在那里建造和运营着世界上最大的太阳能发电场。
Soaking up the sunshine are 10 million solar panels with the capacity to generate 2245MW, enough to power four and a half million households.
吸收阳光的 1 千万个太阳能板足以产生 2245MW 的电能，这些电力足够四百五十万户家庭使用。
While keeping the solar panels clean in such a sandy and dusty environment is a challenge, Mr Prasad says running such a vast solar plant is still much simpler than operating almost any other kind of power station.
在多沙多尘的环境下保持太阳能板的清洁是一个难题，但 Prasad 先生仍认为运营这样一个广阔的太阳能发电站比其他种类发电站更简单。
“There is not much equipment involved. Solar panels, cables, inverters and transformers are almost all that are needed to run a plant,” he says.
Image source, Mukhtiyar Ali
Bhadla Solar plant has bought new opprotunities says Mukhtiyar Ali
“巴德拉的太阳能发电场带来了机遇。”Mukhtiyar Ali 说到。
The plant, which was completed in 2018, has bought investment and opportunities to one of India’s most remote regions.
“Most of boys in my village did not study much. They were not ambitious, as our life was limited to the village, and our parents are farmers or into breeding cattle. But since the construction of the park, I realised the world is much bigger than my village,” says 18-year-old Mukhtiyar Ali.
“在我所在的村庄里，大部分男孩都没有受到太多的教育。他们的生活被限制在村落中，父母也大多是农民或者是养牛的牧民，因此缺乏抱负。但是在电站园区开工后，我才意识到世界远比我的村庄更为辽阔。” Mukhiyar Ali说到，他此时正值18岁。
"Because of Bhadla Park many engineers, officers and educated people visit our villages, which has changed my perspective towards life.
“工程师、职员，许多受过教育的人在 Bhadla 太阳能发电场建成后造访了我的村庄，他们的来访改变了我对生活的态度。
“I want to be an officer [in the solar park] who has authority, respect, someone who can to bring change in other people’s lives,” he says.
But not everyone is thrilled about the giant solar park that has been built on their doorstep.
Most of the 14,000 acres used for the park were owned by the state, but it was also where local farmers grazed their cattle.
电站园区占用的 14000 英亩的土地归国家所有，但它们同时也是当地农民放牧的地方。
Image source, Sadar Khan
Sadar Khan, the head of Bhadla village, says locals have not seen the benefit of the massive solar farm on their doorstep
巴德拉村的村长， Sadar Khan 指出：“当地人并没有从建造在他们家门口的发电站身上获得好处。”
“Most of our livelihood was cattle rearing,” says Sadar Khan, the head of Bhadla village.
“村庄的生计依赖放牧，”Sadar Khan 说到。
“Because all the government lands have been taken back, we don’t have enough land for cattle grazing. We are left with few animals,” he says.
He accepts that jobs have been created by the park, but says many of those jobs do not pay enough to survive on.
“There are not many solar jobs for locals except labourers, as most of us are uneducated.”
Mr Khan also complains that many locals still have no electricity connection.
“We produce electricity, but still a number of villages in the nearby area are without electricity. So it’s good we are the largest solar park - but it should bring changes in our life.”
Anil Dhaka, the managing director of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation, disputes Mr Khan’s complaints. His state-owned organisation oversees renewable energy projects in Rajasthan.
拉贾斯坦可再生能源公司的总经理 Anil Dhaka 反驳了 Khan 的抱怨。他的国有机构负责监督拉贾斯坦的可再生能源项目。
Image source, RRECL
Anil Dhaka says big projects like Bhadla are briging down the cost of renewable energy
Anil Dhaka 说类似于巴德拉太阳能发电场的项目们降低了可再生能源的成本。
“As far as Bhadla Park is concerned we have not received any official grievance or complaints regarding land compensation. The land used in Bhadla park was government land,” he says.
Mr Dhaka adds that investments in solar projects in western Rajasthan have caused land prices and rents to rise, so many smallholders have benefitted.
He also explains that the issue of electricity connections is not a simple one. The electricity generated by the Bhadla solar plant is at a high voltage, so cannot be directly supplied to local villages.
But he points out that plants like Bhadla are significantly lowering the cost of electricity from renewable sources.
Around 75% of India’s electricity is generated by burning coal, but by 2030 the government wants 40% of electricity to come from renewable sources like solar.
That is going to require a lot of land.
If India was to put in place a target to be net-zero emissions by the middle of this century, then it would have to cover between 1.7% and 2.5% of the country’s total landmass with solar panels, according to a study last year by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
如果印度想要在本世纪中达成零排放（碳中和？）目标，那么根据 IEEFA 在去年所做的一项研究，印度需要铺设相当于国土面积1.7%到2.5%的太阳能板。
Currently 34 big solar projects are at various stages of development, so more conflict over their location is likely, experts say.
“A massive shift to renewable energy requires enormous resources, and land is a crucial one,” says Bhargavi S Rao, a senior fellow at the Environmental Support Group.
环境支持集团的高级会员 Bhargavi S Rao 说：“向可再生能源的大规模转变需要集中巨大的资源，而土地是关键之一，”
“Rain-fed and irrigated lands are being identified as dry land, drought prone wasteland, non-productive land and so on, all to ensure such lands can be made available for the land guzzling utility scale renewable energy projects, especially solar and wind,” says Mr Rao.
“The prevailing model of promoting mega-energy projects that are land intensive is creating an anomalous situation wherein farmers, in certain regions of interest to energy developers, are being surrounded by powerful real estate developers, and also state-led instruments, to compel them to lease and even sell their land,” he adds.
Image source, ILFS
Mr Rao says, so far, the problem is “sporadic” as the shift to renewal energy is at an early stage. But given the scale of planned developments the situation is going to get worse.
“By 2030 farmers will be under severe pressure to part with their lands. This is going to be especially problematic for small and marginal farmers, who form a majority of the farming community.”
When contacted by the BBC, the government did not want to respond to Mr Rao’s claims.
当 BBC 联系政府时，政府拒绝对 Rao 的称述作出回应。
But back in Bhadla, Mr Prasad, the man in charge of Rajasthan’s renewable energy projects insists the giant solar plant there has been good for the local community.
但在巴德拉，负责拉贾斯坦邦的 Prasad 先生坚持认为，那里的大型太阳能发电项目对当地社区有好处。
"There are around 60 villages around the solar park that have benefited - jobs have been created, schools have been constructed.
“There were no medical facilities but now mobile medical vans visit villages, so this is not all about green energy - it’s also the progress of the people.”
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