CEED and BEA jointly organise regional workshop on New Bihar RE Policy

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CEED organized workshop to highlight features of the Bihar Renewable Energy Policy 2017

On 13th September 2017, CEED, along with the Bihar Entrepreneurs Association (BEA) organised a regional workshop at Bhagalpur. The objective behind the workshop was to disseminate the salient features of the recently approved renewable energy policy of Bihar and to create awareness on the corresponding entrepreneurial growth in the state. The workshop witnessed participation from key stakeholders, including solar entrepreneurs, government officials, manufacturers, farmers and dealers. The event also highlighted  the ways in which the new policy shall help make Bihar an energy efficient state, through generating 3433 MW by 2022 from renewable energy sources. This will also prove to be a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs since the potential market for Bihar’s renewable energy industry has been estimated to be Rs. 20,000 crore in the next 5 years, and projected to grow even further.

Another aspect of the workshop was to help design training programmes in the state to train electricians and mechanics on solar. As per the policy, various skill development programmes will be designed by BREDA and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE); and subsequently training shall be imparted across the state, and across segments like installation, operation and maintenance of solar projects, testing of solar products, solar resource assessment, refurbishment, DPR preparations, etc.

Pooja Kumari, Programme Officer at CEED present at the workshop, said, “Considering the rapidly changing energy scenario, the new Bihar RE Policy 2017 was formulated to accelerate the much needed renewable energy development in Bihar. Being a smart city, Bhagalpur can contribute to Bihar’s 1000 MW solar rooftop target, as laid down in the policy, and thus attain energy security. The new renewable energy policy adopted in Bihar is unique with lots of consumer-friendly provisions. The policy heavily focuses on decentralised renewable energy applications such as solar irrigation pumps, solar rooftop projects and solar home lighting systems. This will help in addressing Bhagalpur’s energy crisis in a decisive manner. The policy offers space for developing skill for renewable energy projects, which in turn, will help create new jobs and enterprising opportunities.”

Ajeet Kumar, Director, BEA, said, “There is not enough trained manpower when it comes to the renewable energy sector in Bihar. Solar entrepreneurs lack awareness about the use of advanced technology and installation of new products in the market. Conducting training programmes, particularly for such small-scale solar entrepreneurs is the need of the hour. Through the policy, BREDA will help explore programmes like Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project—JEEVIKA, to reach out to local youth, especially women, and support entrepreneurship at the grass-root level to improve socio-economic conditions of the underprivileged.”

Since the policy aims to attract investment from the private sector, a number of subsidies, comprising exemption of electricity duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), distribution charges and cross-subsidy surcharges, shall be provided to the entrepreneurs willing to set up renewable energy projects in Bihar. It is noteworthy that CEED has planned to conduct similar consultations in key focus areas in 3 strategic regions of Bihar, starting with Bhagalpur.