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West Bengal to get green energy policy

‘Decarbonisation’ refers to reduction or elimination of carbon dioxide from energy sources using technology, life cycle assessment

Anasuya Basu | Published 21.03.23, 06:57 AM
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The West Bengal government is working on formulating a decarbonisation policy, the state power secretary said at a programme on Monday.

“Decarbonisation” refers to the reduction or elimination of carbon dioxide from energy sources using technology, life cycle assessment, and mandatory and voluntary measures to lower carbon dioxide emission.


While addressing a seminar on “Net Zero Pathways for States and Businesses in East and North East”, S. Suresh Kumar said: “We need to formulate a policy that will help us achieve the energy transition. We are working on it.”

Since West Bengal is a coal-rich state, the path to decarbonisation needs to start with the coal sector. “The energy mix now comprises 50 per cent from coal, 6 per cent from natural gas, 29 per cent from oil and 12 per cent from non-fossil sources,” said Kumar.

The decarbonisation process must include setting up of large-scale energy storage capacity, use of biomass-based fuels and nuclear energy and construction of more  hydro projects. 

“We need about 200 to 300 billion dollars to push forward the transition, but we don’t have that kind of money. So we need to enlist everyone in this effort. The government can guide and make enabling policies,” he said.

Listing renewable energy options, he said there was resistance to hydro projects. The planned 1,000MW Turga Pumped Storage Project on Ayodhya Hills in Purulia ran into opposition from residents. 

“However, the project will be coming up soon. It has all the clearances from the forest and environment department of the central government,” Kumar said.

Another important renewable energy source is rooftop solar energy. “There is minimal utilisation of rooftop solar energy here because it is a threat to some agencies and barriers are being created to its utilisation. In fact, rooftop solar energy could stabilise the daytime grid,” Kumar said at the programme organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the British deputy high commission.

He lay emphasis on offshore wind plants, and geothermal and tidal energy sources.

Grid management is important while transitioning to renewable energy. When a large number of electric vehicles (EVs) draw power, it could affect the grid. Grid stability could also be affected if there is no adequate offtake when power is pumped into the grid by renewable energy sources.

“We set up power generation facilities to meet peak power, but our objective should be to flatten the peak and match generation to demand,” said Kumar.

He said yellow taxis will have to go the CNG or EV way.

Last updated on 21.03.23, 06:57 AM

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