Ahead of the upcoming elections in Bihar, Greenpeace, Bihar Times and Civil Society Groups highlight Energy need of the state

People’s Manifesto presented to political parties

Press release - August 24, 2010
In one of the first interventions of its kind in Bihar, Greenpeace, Bihar Times and Civil Society Groups of the state today asked political leadership to end the energy crisis by committing to a policy change for adoption of Decentralized Renewable Energy.

 There is tremendous scope for Decentralized Renewable Energy in Bihar with some success stories having already made the headlines both nationally and globally.

In the presence of the top representatives from all major parties of the state including JD(U),RJD, Congress, BJP, CPI and others, Greenpeace and the Civil Society agreed to keep a close eye on the upcoming elections in Bihar and evaluate them by their commitment towards clean energy and policies towards overall development of the state.

Greenpeace and local Civil Society Groups, having come together as Bihar Renewable Energy Development and Support Network, handed over the people's demands to all major political parties in a meeting organized here.

“Bihar is looking for strong leadership who can bring the structural reforms and revamp the energy policy and embrace the strong Decentralised Renewable Energy Policy, especially at a time when the state is globally perceived to be on the move,” said Ramapati Kumar of
Greenpeace India.

Addressing the audience, Bihar Times Editor Ajay Kumar said “there are numerous problems afflicting the state and Bihar has to make progress in all sectors including Education, Health and Infrastructure. But this cannot happen without strong political will that is the real need of the

Bihar is reeling under the power crisis and there is huge electricity deficit which is prevailing all over state. Bihar has got one of the lowest power consumption in country – an average per capita consumption of around 100 units, compared to the national average of around 700-units[1].

“People of Bihar are expecting politicians to demonstrate the leadership and showcase the solution in the form of Decentralised Renewable Energy. The new system will not only bring massive investment but would also create jobs for local people. While a lot of progress has been made in Bihar over the last few years, the lack of energy remains a crucial issue. It is surely the politician who can deliver ‘energy now’ that will hold sway with voters in the coming elections,” Kumar said.

There is huge divide between urban and rural areas and 50% households in Bihar are still living in darkness. People of Bihar are frustrated with erratic power supply and scheduled and unscheduled load shedding. It is clear that mega power projects based on fossil-fuel have failed the state miserably and will fail in future as well. This is because, Bihar doesn’t have any coal reserve and other resources to become self sustainable in energy and besides this is dirty energy which will impact Bihar’s growth in a negative manner.

Ramapati Kumar reminded the political parties that a resurgent Bihar can chart an alternative development pathway via decentralized energy infrastructure to provide for the energy needs of the rural population in an equitable and sustainable manner. Bihar needs an energy revolution
now and decentralized renewable energy can fuel that change.

Greenpeace Demand from Political parties

1. Re-evaluate the current energy policy and do away with the fossil-fuel based direction and instead frame the policy which takes care of the energy need of people when they need it most.
2. Develop a State based regulatory framework to encourage utilization of renewable energy through a Renewable Energy Law. The new law should be drafted with proper and wide consultations to ensure robustness of the policy.
3. Promote Decentralised Renewable Energy to deliver quick, quality and breadth of access of energy to communities which will help inclusive growth and development of the people of Bihar.

Notes to Editor

1. http://planning.bih.nic.in/Ppts/power%20sector.pdf
Vision, video, photos, report information

Ramapati Kumar, Greenpeace India, +91 98455 35414, Rahul Kashyap, Greenpeace India, +91 99990 04971, Ajay Kumar, Bihar Times, +91 93347 42670, Arpana Udupa, Greenpeace India, +91 95351 52000, Shashwat Raj, Greenpeace India, +91 96868 61974,