NTPC Behaving Badly in Bihar

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Whilst NTPC is shifting to photovoltaic energy for purely commercial reasons across India, Bihar has 23480 MW of coal fired power in the pipeline. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Indian Railways, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited, Abhijjit Group, Bihar State Electricity Board, Adhunik Group, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited, Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited, Hindustan Power Projects, National Hydro Power Corporation are all behaving very irresponsibly indeed by promoting coal-fired power plants in Bihar.

In fact, of the 23480 MW of coal-fired power in the pipeline, albeit in various stages of disarray, 18520 MW capacity is planned by Public Sector companies, mainly NTPC. This is doubly irresponsible: from both a commercial and ecological point of view as it is more than obvious to NTPC itself that photovoltaic power generation is preferable to coal. In fact, NTPC is for good reasons being hailed as a "transition cornerstone" by commentators in the international press. NTPC is promoting solar power in various ways including setting up new solar power stations and buying solar electricity generated by others. Then what is NTPC thinking in Bihar?

Today the integration of the regional grids is at an advanced stage. With coal-fired power being wheeled thousands of kilometres every day in India there is no reason why a consortium of public sector companies cannot launch a Green Bond to finance 25000 MW of solar power in Rajasthan's deserts and wheel the clean electricity to Bihar.

Citizens should lobby Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and urge Bihar to join the worldwide trend against coal. Time is running out for everyone on the matter of massive temperature rises due to climate change and an agricultural state like Bihar should build on its strengths of the care economy, agriculture, housing and the local resources of sunshine and water, instead of destroying the stability of the climate for all times to come.

Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland, lives in Bangalore, and worked in Araria District in 2016. She mainly writes about India and how we need a better money policy to help agricultural labourers and women especially to adapt to man-made climate change. 


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