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Adani's solar power plant taking land away from farmers, Rajasthan, India

Adani's ultra mega solar power plant encroaches on Nedan village and threatens the local sacred lands and traditional agricutural and grazing commons.


In 2015, at the Paris COP21, Prime Minister Modi presented the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with a pledge to develop 100 GW in solar projects by 2022. In 2018, Macron and Modi launched ISA in India and inaugurated a solar park participated by Engie in Uttar Pradesh [1]. In 2021, TotalEnergies, the French oil and gas giant acquired a 20% stake and a seat on the board of directors of Adani Green Energy and bowed to deepen its alliance with the Adani Group [2]. As of 2022, however, India has installed 48,5 GW of solar power, but has recently set an objective of 500 GW of renewables by 2030, including 280 GW of solar [3][4]. The Government, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), is prioritizing the development of solar power in the form of large solar parks and ultra mega solar power plants over 500 MW to lower the cost per energy unit and transmission losses. According to the MNRE, Solar Parks also speed up development by simplifying land acquisition and land use change permissions. In 2016, MNRE identified “large chunks of land” available to develop up to 34 Solar Parks with 20 GW of capacity before 2020, many of them in Rajasthan [5].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Adani's solar power plant taking land away from farmers, Rajasthan, India
State or province:Rajasthan
Location of conflict:Nedan
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
Large-scale solar plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Adani Green Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Rajasthan to develop 10 GW of photovoltaic power in the state [18]. As phase one of the development, two parks were built, the largest has 1500 MW capacity and is located near Nedan village, in Jaisalmer district [7]. he power will be sold at the rate of $0.036kWh for a period of 25 years [19]. In 2020, an order for 215 SG 2.2-122 wind turbines (473 MW) was placed to Siemens Gamesa to make it a hybrid power plant to balance the intermitance of the power sources [20].

Project area:990
Level of Investment for the conflictive project293,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,500 families
Start of the conflict:01/01/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Rajasthan’s Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RREL) from India - Owns 50% of the joint venture developing the project
Adani Group from India
TotalEnergies (TE) from France
Adani Green Energy (AGEL) from India
Relevant government actors:- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- Rajasthan Government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Adani Watch
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Refusal of compensation
Protest Yatra: a long march through the country passing through villages to denounce a grievance
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Fires
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases
Potential: Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Proposal and development of alternatives:There are no visible demonstrations calling for compensation or remediation. The protesters demanded their land rights be respected to sustain their traditional livelihoods and the orans be saved.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Solar Park has been built and no apparent alternative livelihood or relocation has been provided for the local inhabitants.
Sources & Materials

[1] Hyams, R. 11/03/2018. Macron, Modi seek finance at International Solar Alliance launch. In Radio France Internationale.
[click to view]

[2] TotalEnergies Press Release. 18/01/2021. Total to acquire from Adani a 20% interest in the largest solar developer in the world
[click to view]

[3] Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. 09/09/2022. Renewable Energy in India.
[click to view]

[4] Mongabay. 12/07/2022. What does India need to meet its 2030 renewable energy targets?
[click to view]

[5] Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. 01/02/2016. Guidelines For Development of Solar Parks
[click to view]

[6] Government of Rajasthan. 09/02/2015. 4.17 MOU of 10000 MW with Adani Enterprises Limited
[click to view]

[7] Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd website. Visited on 16/01/2023
[click to view]

[8] Adani Watch. 03/09/2021. Adani’s solar plans endanger livelihoods and wildlife in Rajasthan.
[click to view]

[9] Pardikar, R. 16/08/2021. A dharna here, a court victory there: How Rajasthan villages try to keep their land from solar firms. In Down to Earth.
[click to view]

[10] Law, G. 24/08/2021. Protests occur in India as Adani solar-power installations encroach on farmland. In Adani Watch
[click to view]

[11] Chari, M. and Shaikh, S. 21/09/2020. How solar farms fuel land conflicts. In Mint.
[click to view]

[12] Bhatia, V. 25/06/2015. Adani to set up solar project in Jaisalmer. In Times of India.
[click to view]

[13] Business Standard. 08/09/2020. Raj HC temporarily stays Adani's 1500 MW solar power project near Pokhran.
[click to view]

[14] Saur News Bureau. 09/09/2020. 1500 MW Adani Project in Rajasthan Under HC Lens on land Allotment Issues.
[click to view]

[15] Saur News Bureau. 06/04/2022. Rajasthan HC dismisses PIL against land allotment to solar companies
[click to view]

[16] Pardikar, R. 12/01/2023. ‘Orans’ of Rajasthan in danger of being taken over by green energy projects. In The Hindu.
[click to view]

[17] Take a Look USA. 25/12/2022. Oran Bachao Yatra
[click to view]

[18] Adani Green Energy website. Solar Parks. Visited on 16/01/2023
[click to view]

[19] Power Technology. 03/12/2021. Rajasthan Fatehgarh Solar PV Park, India.
[click to view]

[20] Siemens Gamesa Press Release. 17/08/2020. Siemens Gamesa strengthens its partnership with Adani Green Energy with the supply of a 473 MW wind power project in India
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJAtlas Team. MLP
Last update16/01/2023
Conflict ID:6256
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