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Why Bihar is worst-performing state in terms of renewable energy generation?

Bihar state has a potential renewable energy capacity of over 30 GW, but only 0.03 GW has been installed so far.

By groundreportdesk
New Update
Why Bihar is worst-performing state in terms of renewable energy generation?
  • Bihar faces significant challenges in renewable energy generation, with only a fraction of its vast potential harnessed, primarily due to issues related to infrastructure, policy, and finance.
  • Despite setting targets for renewable energy development, the state has seen a decrease in its renewable energy generation capacity over recent years, hindering progress in this sector.
  • Lack of government support, including ambitious targets and financial incentives, has contributed to Bihar's underperformance in the renewable energy domain.
  • Insufficient infrastructure, particularly the absence of a well-developed transmission and distribution network, further obstructs the evacuation of electricity from renewable energy projects to the grid.

Bihar, the second most populous state in India, is the worst-performing state in terms of renewable energy generation. The state has a renewable energy potential of over 30 GW, but only 0.03 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed so far. This is just a fraction of the state's potential.

Infrastructure, policy, and financial challenges

The Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) was established to promote the development of non-conventional energy sources and carry out remote village electrification programs. However, according to official data, Bihar is falling short of achieving its own target of generating clean energy as per the state’s renewable energy policy of 2017.

Several factors contribute to Bihar’s slow progress in renewable energy generation. High land costs, lack of land for large-scale projects, and other issues have been cited by the government as reasons behind the slow growth of the sector. Furthermore, projects like solar street lights in rural areas often remain defunct due to non-maintenance, reducing trust in clean energy and its viability among people.

The state set a target of 3,433 MW of renewable energy by 2022, including 2,969 MW from solar alone. However, Bihar’s renewable energy generation capacity decreased from 488.14 MW in 2018–19 to 358.68 MW in 2019–20 and further to 226.61 MW in 2020–21.

There are a number of reasons why Bihar is lagging behind in renewable energy generation. One reason is the lack of government support. The state government has not set any ambitious targets for renewable energy development. It has also not provided any financial incentives to promote renewable energy projects.

Another reason for the state's poor performance is the lack of infrastructure. Bihar does not have a well-developed transmission and distribution network for renewable energy. This makes it difficult to evacuate electricity from renewable energy projects to the grid.

The Potential

Despite these challenges, Bihar has immense potential for renewable energy generation. The state receives solar energy in the region of 5 to 7 kWh/m2/day for 300 to 330 sunny days. This energy is sufficient to set up a 20 MW solar power plant per square kilometer of land area. Moreover, the estimated power potential from surplus agro residues in the country is about 17,000 MW.

Future Plans

To boost its slow progress on clean energy, Bihar is looking at floating and rooftop solar alternatives. The state government plans to use land available in Lakhisarai and Bhagalpur districts to construct solar energy plants. The excess solar energy generated through these proposed plants will also be used to run turbines for water supply and other power-driven works.

Furthermore, Bihar is set to become the first Indian state to have two fully green energy towns - Rajgir and Bodh Gaya. These towns will begin getting solar energy through one-of-its-kind renewable energy projects in 2023.

The state government has taken some steps to promote renewable energy in recent years. It has launched a number of schemes to promote rooftop solar and solar irrigation projects. However, more needs to be done to accelerate the development of renewable energy in the state.

Here are some of the measures that the state government can take to promote renewable energy:

  • Set ambitious targets for renewable energy development.
  • Provide financial incentives to promote renewable energy projects.
  • Develop a well-developed transmission and distribution network for renewable energy.
  • Streamline the land acquisition and environmental clearance process for renewable energy projects.
  • Create awareness about the benefits of renewable energy among the public.

The development of renewable energy in Bihar is essential for the state's sustainable development. Renewable energy can help Bihar reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, improve its air quality, and create jobs. The state government needs to take urgent steps to accelerate the development of renewable energy in the state.

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