Solar energy can make Jharkhand an energy-surplus state, claims CEED’s report

IMG_9437

Ranchi and Jamshedpur have a solar rooftop potential of more than 1 GW, along with additional job and investment opportunities

CEED, in partnership with Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) and Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ), organized a national conference on solar energy at Hotel Chanakya BNR, Ranchi, today. The conference was marked by Dr. N. M. Kulkarni, Principal Secretary (Energy), Government of Jharkhand, releasing a report prepared by CEED, titled ‘RE-Powering Jharkhand: Assessment of the Solar Rooftop Potential of Ranchi and Jamshedpur’. The report estimated the solar rooftop potential of the two most prominent cities of Jharkhand to be over 1 GW. It also suggested the creation of a significant number of jobs and enormous investment opportunities. The solar rooftop potential of these two cities gives a glimpse into the amount of untapped solar energy that exists in the state’s urban landscape, which can also make Jharkhand an energy-surplus state without relying on fossil fuels.

While talking about the report, Mr. Ramapati Kumar, CEO, CEED, said, “Taking into account the existing peak power deficit, energy security and rising air pollution levels in urban areas, solar rooftop projects can ensure a sustainable energy transition in the urban regions of Jharkhand. This, in turn, will help achieve Jharkhand’s solar rooftop target of 500 MW in the next two years. The state needs guidelines to harness this massive potential so that the energy demand of not just these two cities but that of the entire state can be realized in a clean and sustainable manner.”

The findings of the report indicate that a massive investment of INR 52 billion can be channeled into Ranchi and Jamshedpur to realize their full solar rooftop potential, along with the creation of 24,000 jobs in these two cities alone. The solar rooftop potential of other cities, assessed and added, can definitely make Jharkhand the next solar destination of India. Jharkhand can easily meet its energy demand and become an energy-surplus state by merely tapping its solar potential.

Dr. N.M. Kulkarni, Principal Secretary, Energy Department, Government of Jharkhand while commenting on the findings of the report, said, “I welcome the comprehensive study carried out by CEED in the domain of solar energy of the state. The report is expected to help the government in creating a solar roadmap for Jharkhand. The state government is coming out with a Solar rooftop policy for the state to facilitate the development of solar rooftop power projects in Jharkhand cities. This will enable the energy department in not only meeting the solar energy target for the state but also realizing our ambition of providing 24×7 quality electricity to its people.” “I congratulate the excellent work done by JREDA in the field of solar energy in the state and I wish a similar level of assessment should be done for the entire state so that the solar energy power projects can be developed across the whole state.”, Dr. Kulkarni further added.

The Solar Energy Policy of Jharkhand 2015, after a revision in 2017, aims to add a total capacity of 2,650 MW, inclusive of both large-scale and rooftop solar plants, by 2020. The report highlights the need for the government to put effective guidelines in place for the timely achievement of its ambitious targets. It also emphasizes the role of the government in ensuring a much-needed transition to solar energy in urban Jharkhand and addresses the barriers to such a transition by suggesting pragmatic solutions.

Talking about the outcome of the successful conference, Shri Niranjan Kumar, Director of JREDA, said, “JREDA has been supporting various initiatives that can assist in the promotion of solar energy in the state. The state’s solar rooftop policy, after its notification, will certainly help in setting up solar power projects to achieve the solar rooftop potential of Ranchi and Jamshedpur as assessed by CEED, and the state’s solar rooftop target of 500 MW by 2022. JREDA will provide the required support in setting up solar rooftop projects in any part of the state.” He further added, “We are also working to develop a solar roadmap for Jharkhand so that we can achieve the target and objectives set under Jharkhand Solar Policy 2015. We are taking CEED’s active help in framing the roadmap.”

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. N.M. Kulkarni. Notable speakers present during the conference were Shri Niranjan Kumar, Shri Rabindra Narayan Singh, Member (Technical), Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC), Dr. S.K. Samdarshi, Dean (School for Engineering & Technology), CUJ, Mr. Ramesh Thakur, Engineer-in-Chief, Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd. (JBVNL), Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Zonal Manager, Energy Efficiency Service Ltd. (EESL), Mr. Rakesh Jha, Director, Meghraj Capital, Ms. Disha Agarwal, Senior Programme Associate, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, and Mr. Neeraj Kuldeep, Programme Associate, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). The conference also witnessed the participation of representatives from key government departments and agencies, industries, policy think-tanks, research institutions, academicians, civil societies, and banks.