The Bihar Solar Policy was launched in 2017 by the Bihar State Government to promote the use of solar energy in the state. The policy aims to achieve a target of 3,500 MW of solar energy capacity by 2022.
Renewable Energy including solar, wind, biomass, etc. are not just different sources of energy, but more importantly, tools to address several pressing needs such as improving energy security and access; reducing the health and environmental impacts associated with fossil fuels; and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The government of India has committed to renewable sources to cover 40% of the country’s power generation by the year 2030. Such a feat implies that the country will require to achieve an installed RE capacity of 175GW by the year 2022. This includes 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power. 15 GW of biomass and the rest is covered by hydropower.
To ensure that this target is achieved in due time, it is imperative for all the states in India to actively participate in deploying renewable energy sources and become self-sustainable in terms of their energy demand.
Other bookmarks Bihar is one of the fastest-growing states in India. The rapid economic growth and infrastructural development in the state need to be supported by a proportionate growth in electricity generation. The current installed power capacity in Bihar stands at 2984.79 MW (Mar 2016), with coal contributing to almost 92% of the installed power capacity. With its large population and rapidly growing economy, Bihar needs access to clean, cheap and reliable sources of energy. Giving due cognizance to the issue at hand. the state government has targeted to provide 24-hour electricity connections to all rural and urban households by 2018-19. Attaining such an ambitious target will require a complete transformation of the power sector scenario in Bihar including the tapping of a huge renewable energy potential.
Besides addressing energy demand and access issues, the renewable energy industry will also attract foreign investments which will create several job opportunities in Bihar. The renewable energy industry provides both one-time job opportunities which are during the pre-commissioning/ construction phase, and also permanent operations and maintenance positions that sustain over the life of the projects. Investments in renewable energy deployment, as well as manufacturing of renewable products, will help create direct and indirect employment opportunities in both the skilled and unskilled sectors.
The government of Bihar had issued the Bihar Policy for promotion of New and Renewable Energy Sources 2011, vide Letter No.PRA-02/BREDA-APRA NITI-11/08/2845 Dt.24/06/2011. Post completion of the operative period of the previous policy and recognizing the true potential of renewable energy in meeting the energy demand, providing access to energy and creating many local jobs, a revised ‘Policy for Promotion of New and Renewable Energy Sources, 2017’ has been in alignment to central and state government’s targets.
2. Legislative Framework of the Bihar Solar Policy
The provision of the Electricity Act, of 2003 mandates the Central and State Governments to take necessary steps for the promotion of renewable energy in the country including policy framework design. Accordingly, the Government of Bihar is exercising its power of promoting Renewable Energy in the state through this Renewable Energy Policy.
This policy supersedes the previous policy i.e. “Bihar Policy for promotion of New and Renewable Energy Sources 2011”, issued in 2011 vide Letter No.PRA-02/BREDA-APRA NITI-11/08/2845 Dt.24/06/2011.
3. Operative Period of Bihar Solar and Renewable Energy Policy
The policy shall remain in operation for a period of 5 years from the date of the notification or till the State Government notifies the new policy. The Policy will be evaluated for impact assessment at least once during this policy period. The review will ensure the inclusion of any new renewable technology that may evolve over the next few years. The second evaluation will be undertaken during FY 2022 with the objective of conducting a decision-making assessment over policy continuation or extension. For giving effect to this policy. necessary amendments in various policies, rules & regulations, wherever necessary, shall be expeditiously undertaken by the concerned departments.
4. Nodal agency
Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) will be the key agency for all renewable projects, except for small/ micro/ mini hydro projects, for which Bihar State Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (BSHPCL) shall be the nodal agency. The Energy Department. Government of Bihar. has the authority to nominate the nodal agency/implementing agency for different sub-sectors concerned with solar energy.
5. Policy Objectives
(a) To target installed capacity of 2969 MW solar. 244 MW Biomass & Bagasse cogeneration and 220 MW small hydropower by 2022 in the state with an objective to meet the growing demand for power in an environmentally sustainable manner
(b) To attract private sector participation including foreign players in the solar energy sector by providing a conducive environment for setting up grid connections as well as decentralized renewable energy projects
(c) To provide decentralized renewable energy for agriculture, industry, commercial and household sector, particularly in rural areas thereby improving the quality of power
(d) To support R&D. demonstration and commercialization of new and emerging technologies/applications
(e) To promote local manufacturing to contribute economic growth in the state
(1) To facilitate imparting necessary skills and capacity building in establishing, operating and managing RE projects to generate indirect employment opportunities for the local population
6. Eligible Developers
All registered companies. Government entities, partnership companies/ firms, Individuals. Consortia, Panchayat Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, Co-Operative or Registered Societies, and all consumers of Bihar state distribution companies will be eligible for setting up of RE Projects within the state for the sale of electricity/captive use, in accordance with the Electricity Act-2003, as amended from time to time. The entity desiring to set up Renewable Power Project shall intimate the Nodal Agency as per Para 4 of this policy.
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