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December 29, 2013

Green Power – a major boost to West Bengal

Green Power – a major boost to West Bengal

West Bengal power sector had mainly been dependent for many years on thermal power and hydel power. When the new government under the leadership of Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee took charge, one of the prime focuses was to improve services in the power sector. The visionary Chief Minister rightly judged that West Bengal is blessed with abundant sources of Renewable Energy in the form of Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biogas, Hydro, Tidal etc.

These perennial sources of energy have a vital role in socio-economic development of West Bengal, and were ready to be tapped. In coming future, Renewable Energy holds the key to the future of energy, food and economic security. It was decided that all efforts should, therefore, be directed to harness alternate sources of energy to supplement the energy needs for domestic, institutional, commercial and industrial purposes. It was pointed out that the New and Renewable Energy Sources is closely linked with Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and Climate Change issues like Global Warming etc. The West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA), the State Nodal Agency for implementation of Non-Conventional Energy Programmes was asked to take up the matter on a much serious note.

WBREDA was created with the following objectives: Implementation of Renewable Energy Programme; Popularizing and creating awareness on use of renewable energy; Standardization of Renewable Energy Technologies in West Bengal; Promotion of Renewable Energy Technology in supplementing conventional sources of energy.

WBREDA has given importance to providing basic lighting systems in the non-electrified areas using Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Biomass Energy etc. WBREDA has also taken leading role in utilizing mini and micro hydel energy in collaboration with WBSEDCL in hilly areas.

Activities of WBREDA :

WBREDA is implementing a number of schemes and programs. The major programme and schemes are as follows:

1. Solar PV Programme:
2. Solar Thermal Programme
3. Bio-energy Programme
4. Wind Energy
5. Battery Operated Vehicle
6. Rabi Rashmi Abasan
7. Energy Park
8. Tidal Energy
9. Mini- Micro Hydel
10. Publicity and Awareness

Few important programmes in West Bengal are as follows:

1.  Village electrification through Solar PV Systems
2.  Village electrification through decentralized generation like Biomass Gasifier, Solar PV etc,
3.  Wind Farm Project at Freserganj
4.  Wind-Diesel- Gasifier Hybrid Project at Ganga Sagar
5.  Electrification of schools through renewable energy systems
6.  Establishment of Energy Parks
7.  Promotional activity for the rice mills in generating power from rice husk
8.  Installation of Bio-gas plants for households
9.  Promotional activities in popularizing uses of solar hot water systems
10.  Tidal Energy Project
11.  Popularizing Battery Operated Vehicle

Achievement made by WBREDA:

1. Solar PV Home Lighting Systems installed – 2,00,000 Nos.
2. Solar PV Street Lighting System Installed – 10,000 Nos.
3. SP Power Plants – 950 kWp
4. Family size Biogas Plants installed – 2,72,000 Nos.
5. Wind Farm – 2 MW
6. Biomass Gasifier for Village Electrification – 1.5 MW
7. Power Generation through Rice Husk – 61.75 MW
8. Energy Parks – 9 Nos.
9. Solar Housing Complex – 30  Nos.
10. Mini Micro Hydel – 2 MW
11. Battery Operated Vehicle – 1,500  Nos.

In the state so far installed capacity of different installations of Renewable Energy Systems is 100 MW, out of which, grid connected installations is 70 MW.

Projected Target during 12th Plan Period (2012 – 2017)
WBREDA is giving importance to generate more energy from renewable energy sources to bridge the gap between energy demand and supply and also to supplement grid power. In the future WBREDA intends to take the following programs inter-alia regular programme.

A) Solar PV Programme:

1. Solar HLS under RVE Programme.
2. Solar HLS under Normal Electrification Programme.
3. Solar Street Lights under RVE Programme.
4. Solar Street Lights under Normal Programme for Rural and Remote Areas.
5. Solar Street Light Programme for Urban Areas.
6. Solar PV Systems for School and Community Establishments.
7. Solar PV Power Plants for Village Electrification.
8. Solar Photovoltaic Home & Street Lighting Programmes at Char Area of Malda.
9. Construction of 1 MW capacity Grid Connected SPV Power Plant at Purulia District.
10. Small Grid Connected Rooftop Solar PV Power Plant.
11. Solar PV in off-grid application.

B) Solar Thermal Programme

1. Solar Hot Water System for individuals.
2. Solar Hot Water for Community, Hospitals.
3. Solar Hot Water for Commercial uses.
4. Solar Cooker.

C) Bio-energy Programme

1. Bio gas for domestic purpose.
2. Bio-gas for community purpose.
3. Biomass Gasifier for Village Electrification.
4. Biomass Gasifier for Commercial Establishments.
5. Micro Turbine.
6. Village Energy Security Programme with 100% Gasifier + Improved Chulha + Biogas Plants.
7. Bio diesel.
8. Bio fuels.
9. Hydrogen Fuel.

D) Wind Energy

1. Wind Farm.
2. Wind – Diesel Hybrid.
3. Wind-Solar Hybrid.
4. Aero Generator.

E) Battery Operated Vehicle.
F) Rabi Rashmi Housing Complex.
G) Power Generation through Municipal Solid Waste.
H) Power Generation through Agricultural Residue and Rice Husk.
I) Energy Park.
J) Tidal Energy.
K) Mini- Micro Hydel.
L) Awareness.
M) Solar Mission.

Target for 2012 to 2017

Biogas Programme – 1,00,000 Nos.         
Solar Photovoltaic (Street Lighting)(Normal Programme)               – 1,00,000 Nos.
Electrification of Tribal Households and Tribal School Hostels through LED based Solar Lighting System  -10,000 Nos.        
Solar PV Power Plant at Schools for Computer Education – 950 Nos.         
Solar Thermal – 5000 M2              
Solar SPV Power Plant (Non Grid) (Captive use) – 2 MW
Solar SPV Power Plant (Grid connected) (Net metering) – 50 MW           

Village Electrification – 18 villages           
a) Home Lighting – 22,000 Nos. 
b) Street Lighting – 2,200 Nos.   

Electrification of 66 Char Areas                 
a) Home Lighting – 27,000 Nos. 
b) Street Lighting – 3,000 Nos.   

Solar Cooker – 10,000 Nos.         
Improved Chulha – 50,000 Nos.
Biomass Power Plant for captive use: (Rice Husk) – 400 MW
Wind Farm Project (New) – 2 MW           
Tidal Power Project – 3.75 MW 

In addition to the above, WBREDA will undertake other programmes like Awareness, Municipal Solid Waste to Energy, Bio Diesel, Hydrogen Fuel etc.

In West Bengal, there is abundant potentiality to generate power through Solar Energy. It is expected that in West Bengal about 20,000 MW power generation can be possible only through this Solar Energy. Many investors in the state are shown their interest for installation of Solar Power Plants. It is expecting that within 3 years, the state can generate 500 MW electricity through this system alone. West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission has declared price capping for Solar Energy including other sources of Renewable Energy for providing encouragement to the investors.

WBREDA in Heritage sites

Special Area Demonstration Programme (SADP) was launched under which inter alia the world heritage sites would demonstrate renewable energy systems. WBREDA is making efforts to electrify the following heritage sites in West Bengal with alternative power resources.

  • Assembly House of West Bengal
  • Writers` Building
  • Saheed Minar
  • Netaji Bhawan
  • Jorassanko Thakur Bari
  • Santiniketan
  • Sundarbans Reserve Forest
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
  • Cooch Behar Rajbari
  • Belur Math
  • Dakshineswar Kali Temple
  • Fort William
  • Kalighat Temple
  • Mother Teresa House

The work of such electrification are on process at  (i) Assembly House of West Bengal, (ii) Writers Building, (iii) Saheed Minar (iv) Shantiniketan and (v) Dakshineswar Kali Temple.

Greener Future

The West Bengal Government is keeping no stones unturned to achieve most in the field of renewable energy resources. Already, West Bengal is a power-surplus state. With newer energy resources coming up, West Bengal will soon be importing power and earning revenues. Moreover, newer projects will create employment. Above all, small local power station will be able to serve remote areas bringing relief to the common people.