July 17, 2016

New Renewable Energy Policy Likely to be Ready by Month-End in Bihar, East India

Bihar is eyeing an ambitious capacity target of 3,500 MW renewable energy (RE) by 2021-22 and a new comprehensive policy for promotion of unconventional energy sources to achieve the objective is likely to be ready by the end of the month.

On Monday, Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) organised a consultation workshop of all stakeholders to discuss the draft RE policy, which has already been prepared by the power company.

"We came up with the draft after one-on-one meetings with parties concerned. Many issues were covered in Monday's meeting and the stakeholders have been asked to give their suggestions in writing within one week so that the policy is ready to be put up before the state government by month-end," BREDA director R Lakshmanan told TOI.

Some of the key aspects of the new RE policy include energy security, energy access, climate change and mitigation and economic development. "The policy aims for overall economic development with focus on job creation," he said.

The proposed RE policy will supersede Bihar Policy for Promotion of New and Renewable Energy Sources 2011 and will cover all RE technologies with specific deployment mechanisms. "Besides some modalities and framework for mini grid and micro grid policy, the issue of enhancement in the 60% subsidy and option of gross metering were also discussed at the meeting," Lakshmanan said.

With new technology and fall in prices of renewable energy, RE has emerged as a viable option for overall development, he said, adding, "The policy is also unique and innovative because of inclusion of some of the new technology, such as floating photovoltaics considering shortage of land for large-scale solar projects in Bihar. The policy also has provisions to de-risk private sector investment in mini-grid projects." Solar parks, canal top/bank, biomass, solar rooftop are some of the other highlights of the policy.

North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited managing director Sandeep K R P, ADRI member-secretary Shaibal Gupta and representatives of the Bihar Industries Association, Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jeevika, BUIDCO, state building construction department, CEED and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation were present at the meeting.

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