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Bihar’s total potential for renewable energy was 1205 MW in 2011

According to reports, the total potential for renewable power generation in Bihar as on March 31, 2011, was estimated to be 1,205 MW including 619 MW biomass power. Bihar accounts for a meagre 1.34 % of total renewable power distribution in the country.

Gujarat has the highest percentage of nearly 14%, says the recent energy statistics-2012 of the National Statistical Organisation (NSO) of the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, government of India.

This publication titled “Energy Statistics 2012”, is brought out every year by the central statistics office (CSO) and the present one is 19th in the series. The publication contains the latest data available in respect of different energy sources. This publication is an attempt to cater to the needs of the planners, policy makers and researchers by making available the entire energy data at a single place, says S K Das, director general CSO in the report.

But in the off grid decentralized renewable energy system, Bihar is fast growing as a major market hub for solar power equipments in the eastern region. There were 50,117 solar lanterns in the state in 2011. As many as 3,350 home lighting systems were available in Bihar households, the report says. Besides there were 1,26,238 biogas plants in the state as on March 2011.

According to report, there were only 955 street lighting system in the state. The solar cooker concept is becoming popular in Bihar households. In 2011 there were only 475 solar cookers in the state.

The report said that the total potential for renewable power generation in the country as on March 31, 2011, was estimated to be 89760 MW. This includes an estimated wind power potential of 49,132 MW (55%), small hydro power potential of 15,385 MW (17%), biomass power potential of 17,538 MW (20%) and 5,000 MW (6%) from bagasse based cogeneration in sugar mills.

In Bihar, the potential for wind power is zero whereas small hydro power potential was 213 MW, 619 MW from biogass and 300 MW from cogeneration bagasse. The waste of energy potential in Bihar was estimated to be 73 MW.

“We cannot undermine the huge potential of renewable energy in Bihar. If it is properly developed in the state, we can go much ahead without much loss of time,” said a senior official.

In conventional thermal power stations , Bihar is among the lowest power generating states in the country. The CSO report also talks about the statewise estimated reserves of coal in which Bihar had 0.16 million tones as on March 2011.

The total estimate of reserve of coal in India as on March 31, 2010, was around 277 billion tonnes.. There has been an increase of 3.1% in the estimated coal reserves during the year 2010-11 with Madhya Pradesh accounting for the maximum increase of 5%, the report said.

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