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Greenpeace India unveils report to create microgrids network

“Bottom-up” cluster based grid proposed to make Bihar “power surplus state” for renewable energy

Greenpeace India said its proposed microgrid network will reduce energy poverty
Greenpeace India said its proposed microgrid network will reduce energy poverty in Bihar

Greenpeace India has released a report to propose a network of microgrids in the country. The report emphasises the need for microgrid clusters in Bihar to reduce energy poverty across the state.   

The Greenpeace report- Smart Energy Access today emphasises the role of “bottom-up” grid expansion through a network of micro-grids to ensure “energy to all”.

The proposed micro-grid network2 functions in clusters and is completely powered through locally available renewable energy resources. The model will foster inclusive growth and remove the energy poverty from the state of Bihar to “take the state out of the darkness”.

Manish Ram, renewable energy analyst and co-author of the report, Greenpeace India, said: "Microgrids can offer reliable and cost competitive electricity services, providing a viable alternative to the conventional top down approach of extending grid services.

“The microgrid approach is "smart" because it can facilitate the integration of renewable energy, thereby contributing to national renewable energy uptake,” he added. “In addition it can reduce transmission targets due to generation being close to where demand is. This report demonstrates Bihar as a case study on how this bottom-up approach with microgrids will take the state out of darkness."

While appreciating the various efforts of the Bihar government, Samit Aich, executive director, Greenpeace India said, "Bihar has enormous energy deficit which is a major challenge for the growth of the state. However, it has the potential to become a power surplus state with strong focus on development of renewable energy. What it needs is the right incentives, enabling environment and effective implementation."

Shri Brijendra Prasad Yadav, Hon’ble minister of energy of Bihar released the report at the business conclave “Energy Revolution Bihar- The Renewable Energy Way” organised by Greenpeace India.

The business conclave brought together the industry leaders, policy think-tanks, investors and energy experts from across the country to suggest the various ways and means to bring state out of the power crisis. The conclave witnessed discussions on innovative and implementable models of decentralised renewable energy. It also suggested a strong and enabling regulatory framework to attract investment in the renewable energy sector in the state.

At the conclave, Greenpeace urged the Bihar government to focus on integrated energy planning based on cluster based development. The energy planning should promote the establishment of a council for rural industrialisation and establishment of related coordination committees at district level with strong financial support. Institutionalise supportive regulatory structures and encourage governance support through the Electricity Regulatory Commission.

While speaking at the conclave, Ramapati Kumar, head-renewable energy, Greenpeace India advocated for a strong policy based on the state-wide network of decentralised energy plants (stand alone and micro-grids), developed with the support from the state government agencies in collaboration with the private entrepreneurs for a high impact and accelerated economic development of the state. "The government should work towards a strong feeding tariff support mechanism (FTSM) policy to support a large scale deployment of renewable energy in Bihar," he added further.