Featured Image Source: Renewable Energy/Wikimedia Commons
Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) has announced the tariffs for renewable energy sources in the state for the new fiscal. Namely, these sources are Solar, Biomass, Co-Generation and Waste to energy and accordingly the tariffs are
Since Bihar is not a windy state the commission does not determine the wind energy tariff. In a recent order, BERC has instructed the state DISCOMs to procure wind energy through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Among renewable energy sources only solar photo-voltaic technology has breached the tariff to the low levels- between INR 2-3 per unit. Sources other than solar also have variable cost and therefore their tariffs are relatively high. Cost of energy per unit from solar thermal is high due to high capital cost.
Bihar’s Renewable Energy at a glance
Bihar has revised its renewable policy in 2017 which came after a gap of six years! As per the policy, the state plans to deploy 3400 MW RE Power Plants by 2022- 2984 MW for solar, 282 MW for biogas and 200 MW for small hydro plants. Of the planned capacity for solar 1000 MW is for rooftop solar plants.
The state government of Bihar has recently started focussing on solar power deployment across the state. But other renewable technologies such as biomass, waste to energy and co-generation also need attention. Due to high tariffs these projects run into off-take risk. DISCOMs often back down from purchasing costly power. Therefore both the central and the state government should subsidize non-solar technologies. Bihar is mainly an agrarian economy. It can generate agricultural waste to use them for biomass plants. RE Technologies can best serve their purpose if, the resources are optimally aligned particularly in states like Bihar.