Renewable energy policy moves towards ensuring Energy for All in Bihar

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New policy to open up investment opportunities of Rs. 20,000 Cr in the state

On 15 June, 2017, CEED organised a national conference on renewable energy, “RE-Powering Bihar: Energising Access and Opportunities” in the city to highlight the key elements of the recently notified Bihar Policy for Promotion of Bihar New and Renewable Energy Sources 2017. The conference was inaugurated by the Honourable Finance minister of Bihar, Shri Abdul Bari Siddiqui in the gracious presence of the Principal Secretary (Energy) Shri Pratyaya Amrit, Director BREDA Shri R. Lakshmanan and Member-Secretary ADRI Dr. Shaibal Gupta.

While talking at the conference, Mr. Ramapati Kumar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CEED said, “The new Bihar Renewable Energy Policy, 2017 paves the way for investment in clean energy and lays a foundation for lasting prosperity.” He further elaborated that Bihar cannot afford to miss the new energy revolution in the 21st century, powered by renewable fuels. “All of us must work towards making Bihar self sufficient in energy. The new policy is set to transform the energy landscape of Bihar by bringing investment in the range of Rs. 20,000 crores, and adding new jobs and development opportunities”, Mr. Kumar concluded.

Experts on renewable energy attended the conferenced and lauded the government’s efforts in framing a first-of-its-kind policy which is truly inclusive and technoneutral; focussing on each RE technology to harness 3433 MW of clean energy in the next five years. With a well-defined target, fixed timeline, emphasis on solar-roof top, Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) systems and set plans in order to transform the agriculture sector through clean energy; the new policy is expected to revolutionise the energy landscape of Bihar by 2022.

Bihar’s Energy Minister, Shri Bijendra Prasad Yadav said, “In today’s times, we are rapidly moving towards ‘de-carbonization’. We still rely on conventional sources of energy, mostly coal, to meet our energy demands. But, the adverse effects of carbon emissions from these sources can be seen in the form of accelerated climate change and increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters.” Talking about the new policy, Shri Yadav added, “The old policy has been amended and kept in line with the new Industrial Policy. The recently notified policy is not just meaningful but also very effective. It is the time for investors to come to Bihar and invest in order to accelerate the development of the state.”

It is expected that the new renewable energy policy will help in creating investment in tune of Rs. 20,000 crores in the state in the next five years. Much of these investments are expected to flow into setting-up new manufacturing capacity in the state for solar panels and other renewable energy equipments, skill developments, and research and development for sustainable clean energy. The policy is also expected to open up massive new avenues for jobs and livelihood opportunities in the state; especially in supply chain, operation, and maintenance for grid-connected and off-grid/ decentralized renewable energy projects, particularly in solar rooftop sector.

The day long conference had two technical sessions; the first session entailed on exploring investment opportunities through the new RE policy in the state. Notable speakers of the session were CEO of Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society-JEEVIKA, Shri Balamurugan D.; Director General of WISE, Mr. G.M. Pillai; President of Bihar Industries Association, Mr. Ram Lal Khetan, Vice President of ReNew Power, Mr. Prabhat Mishra and Senior Journalist, Mr. Nalin Verma. The second technical session focused on discussions related to energising access through mini-grids to explore key opportunities available for minigrids in energy access space. Notable speakers of the session were Member of Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC), Mr. Rajeev Amit; Mr. Deepak Gupta from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Jaideep Mukherjee from Smart Power India and Manoj Sinha from Husk.

While congratulating the state government for an innovative RE policy, Dr. Shaibal Gupta, Member-Secretary, ADRI said, “Renewables are the need of the hour; and will prove to be a game-changer for Bihar, since the target set by the Government is ambitious and in accordance to the needs of the state. I really hope that this policy will ensure electricity to every home without compromising our social and environmental commitment.”