CEED and Vikalp Foundation jointly organise regional workshop on New Bihar RE Policy

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Surplus land in Gaya can set-up solar projects, and help create jobs in the region

On 11th October 2017, CEED along with the Vikalp Foundation organised a regional workshop at Gaya with an objective to disseminate the key components of the new renewable energy policy of Bihar. The workshop was well attended by key stakeholders, including solar entrepreneurs, government officials, manufacturers, farmers and dealers. It highlighted the efficacies of the new policy and ways in which it will help Bihar reach energy sufficiency by adding 3433 MW of power from renewable energy sources into its generation capacity in the next 5 years.

The workshop also intended to help design training programmes in the state to train electricians and mechanics on solar technology. 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, solar products testing, solar resource assessment, refurbishment, DPR preparations, etc.

Pooja Kumari, Programme Officer at CEED said, “In order to accelerate the renewable energy development in the state, the government introduced a first of its kind, all-inclusive policy. It is expected to generate employment opportunities amounting to Rs. 20,000 crores by 2022, and is projected to grow even further. Besides it aims to provide support for decentralised renewable energy for agriculture, industry, commercial and household sector, particularly in rural areas, thereby addressing the energy crisis existent in Gaya.”

While addressing the participants at the workshop, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Secretary, Vikalp Foundation said, “Gaya has massive potential for setting up solar energy projects in and around the region, due to the availability of large plots of land. This will not just help generate clean, sustainable and climate-friendly electricity, but will also help boost the local economy by creating jobs at local level in the area. Besides, keeping in mind that the renewable energy policy of Bihar earmarks solar pumps as one of the thrust areas, there must be special emphasis on the installation of solar water pumps in the region. This will help solve problems related to acute water scarcity due to the alarming water table decline in Gaya and will also help promote horticulture, agriculture and aquaculture in the region.”

The policy intends to support research and development in the area of renewable energy to meet the state’s growing energy demand as well as promote local manufacturing to contribute to the economic growth of the state. In order 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. CEED had organised a similar consultation in Bhagalpur recently.