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West Bengal to issue certificates to green energy project developers

According to reports, the West Bengal Government is in the final stages of issuing renewable energy certificates (RECs) for those who set up renewable energy projects here in the State.

According to the State Power Secretary, Malay K. De, the draft policy on renewable energy and the issue of RECs has already been put up on the Department’s Web site by the regulatory commission. “We will finalise on the issue of RECs by the end of this calendar year,” he told Business Line on the sidelines of an Environment and Energy Conclave organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday.

RECs are generation-based ‘certificates’ that are awarded electronically in a demat form to those who generate electricity from renewable sources including solar, bio-mass, wind and water. These certificates are tradable on exchanges and are bought by ‘obligated entities’, like specified consumers or electricity distribution companies. Such entities either purchase a specified quantity of the renewable energy so generated or these RECs.

According to De, the State was looking to push usage of renewable energy initially, through smaller units. Based on the popularity of these smaller units such as roof-top solar panel-enabled lighting large scale options will be explored, he said.

Also in the planning stages, De said, was a scheme for replacing energy consuming incandescent street lights with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The scheme will be on the lines of the Centre’s Bachat Lamp Yojana.

The Bachat Lamp Yojana was discontinued in the State after the price of carbon emission reduction (CER) certificates – tradable certificates measuring the reduction of carbon emission – went down in the international market.

“We had entered into a tie-up with a company to install new CFL lamps and use the carbon credits to be sold in the market. However, the scheme was discontinued following a fall in the price of CER,” De said.

The State Government was also discussing with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency – a statutory regulatory body on energy conservation – to come up with a similar project based on RECs.

According to De, the State Government is also mulling possible conversion of diesel pumpsets (called shallows) into electrical ones to save on energy. Currently, there are four lakh-odd diesel pumpsets used in the State for use in irrigation .

“Currently, a survey is on to determine how many such pumps we need to convert into electric ones,” he said.

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