Greenpeace blockades Power Minister Haroon Yusuf’s residence with solar panels

Questions Delhi government on plans to face the energy crisis and it’s no show on renewables

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Press release - May 14, 2013
15 May, 2013, New Delhi: Greenpeace activists were today violently removed from the entrance of the Delhi power minister Haroon Yusuf's residence. The activists were peacefully protesting against Delhi's zero performance on its renewable energy targets as highlighted in the Greenpeace report "Powering Ahead with Renewables: Leaders and Laggards".

Greenpeace activists had blocked Haroon Yusuf's residence by placing solar panels at the entrance and chained themselves to it. The activists demanded to meet Haroon Yusuf and that he commits to a policy on renewables energising Delhi.

After persistent demand by activists, Yusuf finally agreed to meet them and accepted the solar panels but was non committal on timeline for strong policy on renewables. He did, however, agree to forward the Greenpeace report and recommendations to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for future action.

The solar panels displayed a message that urged the power minister to "Switch on the Sun". The 2.3 KW panels can light up Yusuf's house meeting most of its energy demands. The activists handed over the panels to Haroon Yusuf to emphasise that he should also look at using solar to power Delhi homes and commercial establishments using their rooftops.

"Power Minister Haroon Yusuf has no plans to deal with the electricity crisis. Despite holding the power portfolio, he has hardly enunciated as to how he intends to deal with the gap in demand and supply of electricity in the capital. In our report we have highlighted how Delhi has completely ignored its renewable energy targets under the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mechanism. Meeting renewable target could have staved off the power cuts that residents in various colonies in Delhi are facing," said Anand Prabhu Pathanjali, energy campaigner, Greenpeace India.

The Greenpeace report underlines the performance of all the states on their renewable energy target under the RPO mechanism. The mechanism, introduced by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, guides state electricity regulatory bodies to set targets on renewable supply in energy mix. However the compliance under the mechanism is not mandatory and hence only 7 out of 29 states have met their targets. Delhi achieved 0.01 per cent of the target showing lack of political will.

Delhi's peak deficit during 2011-12 was around 77 million units along with substantial load shedding throughout the city and its suburbs, these could have been avoided if Delhi had even taken up its insignificant RPO target of 3.4 per cent seriously.

"Greenpeace believes that renewable energy is the key to energy independence and access to quality electricity supply in all the areas of Delhi. The government should earnestly take steps to improve its performance on use of renewable in the national capital to deal with the increasing demand and uncertain supply from conventional sources," added Pathanjali.

For more details, contact:

Shachi Chaturvedi, Senior Media Officer, Greenpeace India, 9818750007,

Anand Prabhu Pathanjali, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace, 09902544118,