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India to formulate mini-grids policy for Jharkhand State

In bids to accelerate access to power for all across India, the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) in collaboration with the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) and the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, gathered stakeholders to deliberate the formulation of mini-grids policy.

The consultation provided an opportunity to seek input from key stakeholders to strengthen the Draft Mini-Grid Policy 2018 for Jharkhand.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC), Shri Arbind Prasad, said: “The policy is a positive step in the direction of regulating the mini-grid sector and offering excellent opportunities for private investment in the realm of rural electrification through renewable energy.”

“Mini-grids are a great means to ensure electricity generation closer to use and can totally transform the rural economy,” Prasad added.

Among many benefits of mini-grids, they also help reduce the state’s carbon emission by facilitating the use of low-carbon energy sources, such as solar and biomass. Read: Mini-grids to disrupt the energy storage market

“JREDA is committed to the development of mini-grids to realise the government’s target of providing quality electricity supply to rural households,” the agency’s director, Niranjan Kumar, asserted.

He continued: “With this policy, we wish to address the issue of rural electrification through a decentralised approach and to help remove all barriers to investment with better regulation of the mini-grid sector, which, in turn, will benefit the people of Jharkhand.”

Public information on mini-grids

While commenting on finer details of the policy, Deepak Gupta of the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation said: “…we need a regulatory framework to encourage investment in the mini-grid sector in rural areas and also safeguard investments that have already been made.”

He further stressed on the availability of public information on the benefits of mini-grids and the capacity building of mini-grid developers as the state nodal agency.

In conclusion, Chief Executive Officer of CEED, Ramapati Kumar said: “The proposed new policy will develop Jharkhand into a favorable investment destination as well as give a boost to the government’s ‘Power for All’ initiative.”

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Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.