Greenpeace unveils the WISE report and submits it to Bijendra Prasad Yadav. © Manish Sinha
Greenpeace released its report "Legal, Policy and Regulatory Framework for Accelerated Renewable Energy Development in Bihar", and submitted the report formally to the energy minister of Bihar, Bijendra Prasad Yadav. He urged entrepreneurs to invest in the renewable energy sector as a long term sustainable business model.
Bihar's relationship with renewable energy sourcing has just begun. WISE (World Institute for Sustainable Energy) gave its recommendations on the renewable energy policy framework for Bihar.
Greenpeace along with Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) and BASIX has recently announced setting up a micro-grid in the village Dharnai, Jahanabad district to showcase the efficacy of decentralised renewable energy.
Who will benefit?
Greenpeace has conducted interviews and taken feedback from the farmers, commercial shop owners and households in Dharnai, Bihar. Dharnai has not seen electrification in over 40 years. Their primary need is uninterrupted access to electricity, which will in turn be the guiding solution to all the different problems stemming from it.
Education, health, farming, commerce, stunted growth in Dharnai can all be reveived with electricity. The farming and cottage industries are the main victims of poor energy access. For example, farmers spend most of their time and money in running diesel operated water pumps to irrigate the fields. Rising diesel prices combined with the time spent on irrigating farms have made it very hard for agriculture to be profitable.
What does this mean for the state?
According to the report, Bihar does not have enough fossil fuels to meet its energy needs of the future. The stress on renewable energy is more than ever for the development of Bihar.
Concluding on why a policy framework is required, Mrinmoy Chattaraj, Campaigner, Greenpeace India says, "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 necessary for Bihar to have a legal, policy, and regulatory framework backed by a strong and progressive Renewable Energy act (RE Act).
Ruhie Kumar is a Digital Media Campaigner with Greenpeace India.