| Solar boost |
Bihar has outpaced the national capital region (NCR) and states like Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Punjab in generation and supply of renewable energy.
According to the Greenpeace report released on Tuesday of the 29 states surveyed by the organisation, Bihar ranked 19th position on their compliance of renewable energy targets.
According to provisions of the Central Electricity Act and state electricity regulatory commission, each state was given the target of power generation through renewable energy source in order to meet the energy shortage faced by the states especially due to delay in allocation of coal block or linkage for setting up generation plants.
Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission has set a target of generation and supply of 358 million units in 2012 out of which, it could generate only 144 million units. Bihar’s renewable energy comprises bio-mass, solar, hydel projects and others.
Out of the total demand of power of 14,311 million units in 2012, the regulatory commission set a target of 358 million units for Bihar. The state faced an energy deficit of about 2,940 million units in 2012.
“Bihar’s growth story has been phenomenal in the renewable energy generation. In order to promote the renewable energy sources as alternative to the traditional thermal power, chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced that his official residence would be illuminated with solar energy,” Asbhishek Pratap, senior energy campaigner of Greenpeace, told The Telegraph.
Despite having a good solar potential, the national capital fared worst among all the states by achieving not even one per cent of the target, Pratap said. He also added that regulators failed to penalise or implement the directives of renewable purchase obligation (RPO), according to which every state utility has to purchase and supply a particular quantity of renewable energy to its power consumers.
However, seven states — Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand — have taken the lead in not only meeting 100 per cent RPO targets but also generating power above the targets. Pratap said: “There is a perception that renewable energy is costly and not viable and hence it cannot power India’s ambitions. India needs to reform its energy sector and prioritise renewable energy.”