Ex-CM Nitish Kumar visits the solar village of Dharnai, Jehanabad, Bihar

Press release - August 5, 2014
Patna, 4 August: In a thumbs-up to Greenpeace’s solar-powered micro-grid, former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday visited Dharnai village in Jehanabad district, where the micro grid has been setup. Elated to see homes, shops and streets lit up at night, Kumar praised Greenpeace and the unique energy model, upholding it as a crucial step towards rural electrification of Bihar.

Nitish speaks on Greenpeace’s solar micro-grid in Dharnai village:


  • “Solar is the real energy as it is non depleting, Solar energy is here to stay.”
  • “Solar energy is the only solution & I praise and appreciate Greenpeace for accepting the challenge in successfully installing this everlasting viable solution model.”
  • “Coal is a limited resource and eventually it will deplete, and Renewable, as the name suggest is the energy future.”
  • “In the meeting with Greenpeace back in May 16th 2012, I recommended them to install the micro grid model in one village of Bihar, and see here Greenpeace has successfully delivered its promise.”
  • “We are destroying our environment and we usually are unaware about it. We must appreciate Greenpeace’s effort to safeguard our environment.”


In a meeting between Nitish Kumar and Greenpeace on 16 May, 2012, the then chief minister had suggested that Greenpeace should display the viability of a clean energy micro-grid through a pilot project that his government was willing to replicate across the state. “Billion units of electricity is produced in this country everyday but it never reaches the villages and towns of poor states like Bihar because they are not connected to the country’s energy infrastructure or the national grid. To stop this energy injustice, Greenpeace had advocated to the Bihar government that it must not depend on central power supply but produce its own electricity at smaller, village-levels using clean energy,” Manish Ram, Senior Campaigner, Renewable Energy, Greenpeace India, said.

Speaking at the public function in the village, Dr. Shaibal Gupta, Secretary, ADRI, said, “It is very encouraging to see that Greenpeace has successfully demonstrated the viability of renewable energy by setting up a micro-grid that provides clean power to an entire village. This will definitely play a vital role in transforming the energy sector of Bihar.”

Built at a cost of Rs 3 crore, the 100kW micro-grid in Dharnai provides 24x7 electricity to 450 households, 50 commercial establishments, 60 streetlights, two schools, one health centre and one Kisan Training Centre. Besides this, 10 solar irrigation pumps also run on the micro-grid.

“We hope that after witnessing the merit of this project, the state government would fulfill its promise of replicating Dharnai-like models across the state and deliver power to all those who are currently living without it,” said Ram.

Home to one of India’s most fertile lands and a large labour force, Bihar has the potential to become the country’s next centre of agricultural and industrial growth. However, lack of electricity continues to remain a critical issue, posing as an impediment in the growth of Bihar. But with Nitish Kumar’s visit to Dharnai, the state government has reaffirmed its commitment and willingness to adopt models that can quickly overcome Bihar’s severe energy crunch.

Timeline – From darkness to light in two years

May 15, 2012

Brijendra Prasad Yadav, then Bihar energy minister, releases Greenpeace’s “Energy Revolution Bihar – The Renewable Energy Way” report demonstrating the potential and viability of decentralized renewable energy or distributed micro-grids in Bihar.


May 16, 2012

Nitish Kumar meets Greenpeace representatives. Asks for setting up of a pilot micro-grid that can be replicated across Bihar.


May 18, 2012

Then chief minister Nitish Kumar holds a high-level meeting with his cabinet. Says the energy requirements of Bihar can be fulfilled only through renewable energy like biomass, husk and solar.


Sept 23, 2013

Greenpeace presents Bihar government with a report on legal, policy and regulatory framework required to accelerate renewable energy development in Bihar.


Oct 18, 2013

Following on Nitish Kumar’s initiation, Greenpeace lays the foundation stone for setting up of micro-grid in Dharnai village, Jehanabad district.


Mar 12, 2013

Micro-grid work completes. Begins supplying electricity to village.


July 20, 2013

Greenpeace officially launches micro-grid. Over 3,000 people attend.



For further details, please contact:

Madhulika Verma, Media Officer, Greenpeace India, 9971137736,

Munna Jha, Media Consultant, Greenpeace India, 9570099300,

Manish Ram, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India, 9741936701,