West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency is a state nodal agency under the department of Power and NES, Government of West Bengal. WBREDA was created in the year 1993 with the following objectives:
1. Implementation of Renewable Energy Programme
2. Popularizing and crating awareness on use of renewable energy
3. Standardization of Renewable Energy Technologies in West Bengal
4. 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 :
Within the plan and programme of central government (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), WBREDA is implementing a number of schemes and programs with financial assistance from both central and state Government. 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
The programs as mentioned above are also divided in different schemes. 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 on cumulative basis is as follows:
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.
M) Solar Mission.
Target for 2012 to 2017
In addition to the above, WBREDA will undertake other programmes like Awareness, Municipal Solid Waste to Energy, Bio Diesel, Hydrogen Fuel etc.
National Solar Mission :
Recently, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India has taken initiative for introduction of National Solar Mission towards building solar India and to promote ecologically sustainable growth.
WBREDA had submitted a proposal long back to the MNRE for scope of development of Solar Energy in the field of Renewable Energy Sector. WBREDA is the pioneer in the country for development of Solar Energy in the State. In West Bengal, there is abundant potentiality to generate power through Solar Energy. It is expected that in West Bengal about 20,000 MW 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 03 years, the state can generate 500 MW electricity through this system only.
West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission has declared price capping for Solar Energy including other sources of Renewable Energy for providing encouragement to the investors.
Recently MNRE, Govt. of India, has announced a programme namely Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in consequence to the announcement of the National Action Plan of Climate Change in June 2008, with identification for development of Solar Energy Technologies in the country as a National Mission. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in Solar Energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. Accordingly the Mission will adopt a three phase approach spanning the remaining period of the 11th Plan and 1st year of the 12th plan (upto 2012- 2013) as Phase – I, the remaining four years of the 12th Plane (2013-17) as Phase – ll and 13th Plan (2017-22) as Phase – III.
WBREDA will implement the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in West Bengal in association with other stake holders.
Creation of New Posts for West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency :
WBREDA is now implementing different Renewable Energy Programmes in the State of West Bengal with regular 15 employees. Out of 37 sanctioned posts, 22 nos. posts in different categories are lying vacant till now. To implement the activities of Renewable Energy Programmes, few Contractual Employees, Consultant and IREP Staffs have been engaged in this Organisation against above 22 nos. vacant posts.
An Organisation like WBREDA, A proposal for creation of another 28 no. posts such as General Manager (2 Nos.), Divisional Engineer (6 Nos.) and Assistant Director (20 Nos.) have been sent to Department of Power & NES, Govt. of West Bengal for sanction.
It is felt that unless otherwise, WBREDA is structured; it would be difficult to achieve the National target. It is also important to note that this is the right time to built infrastructure for Renewable Energy Technologies since the reserve of fossil fuels are gradually decreasing with increase of price of fossil fuels. Therefore, it is essentially required to switch over energy dependency from conventional to non-conventional. A thrust is very much important to explore a huge quantum of un-tapped potential of non-conventional energy sources to supplement conventional sources of energy from these days. WBREDA with its existing structure can not make any remarkable achievement but gradually loose to have opportunity to utilise National Plan Programmes in the State of West Bengal.
It may be stated here that a large number of employees are working in the Renewable Energy Sector in the State of Maharashtra, Gujarat and others except of West Bengal, where only 15 nos. of permanent employees and some contractual employees are working in this sector.
To achieve the Solar Mission targets of 20,000 MW of Solar Power by 2022 including 20 million Solar Lighting Systems, a well organized manpower set up is very important.
Exemption of Electricity Duty :
Secretary, MNRE, Govt. of India has proposed to consider exemption of electricity duty for the electricity generation from Renewable Energy Sources like Biomass, Rice Husk etc. This suggestion has been sent to the Finance Department by the Department of Power & NES, Govt. of West Bengal for favourable consideration by the state Government. If the Government of West Bengal considers exemption from payment of electricity duty to the Renewable Energy Sectors, it will provide immense help for sustainable development of Renewable Energy Fields which helps for minimization of dependency on fossil fuel and clean and green environment.