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Bihar lacks fossil fuel resources to generate power for future: Greenpeace

PATNA: Bihar's energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav has said the agriculture sector urgently requires renewable energy.

The minister said this while releasing
Greenpeace India report, "Legal, Policy and Regulatory Framework for AcceleratedRenewable Energy Development in Bihar" here on Tuesday. The report, prepared by the World institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE)-Pune, contains recommendations on the renewable energy policy framework for Bihar.

The minister asked the Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency director to look into the framework submitted by the Greenpeace and take it forward. "Ideas and policies are good, but what is no less important is the implementation. For proper implementation, all the stakeholders have to come together," the minister said and also added the state government was going to allocate a massive budget for the development of energy sector in Bihar.

Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission chairman UN Panjiar underlined the importance of Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO) in Bihar and said the state government should work towards achieving the RPO targets. "Because of large T&D losses, the centralized system is failing to deliver electricity in rural areas and therefore the focus should be on a decentralized system for rural electrification," Panjiar said.

According to the 55-page report, Bihar does not have enough 
fossil fuel resources to generate electricity for its future needs. The centralized model of energy has also failed to deliver. Therefore, the solution lies in accelerated development of renewable energy-based power projects, both grid-connected and off-grid, to meet the future energy demand and to ensure long-term energy security for the state.

"After studying the power sector in Bihar and from the broad consensus that state government policies by themselves may not be enough to adequately address the critical issues and to accelerate the development of renewables in Bihar, it was felt necessary for Bihar to have a legal, policy, and regulatory framework backed by a strong and progressive renewable energy act, said Mrinmoy Chattaraj, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

"This framework will facilitate time-bound access to energy for Bihar's rural population and create the market and environment for accelerated and equitable socio-economic development in the state besides ensuring long-term energy security through environment-friendly sources of energy," said WISE's founder director general G M Pillai.

Greenpeace along with the 
Centre for Environment and Energy Development and BASIX recently launched its work for setting up a micro-grid in Jehanbad's Dharnai village to showcase the efficacy of decentralized renewable energy.

Times of India (25-09-2013)