West Bengal, is an Indian state that lies in the eastern part of Indiain the Gangatic plains. It is the third largest economy in India. Being itself a center of agriculture and huge reserves of minerals, it constitutes one tenth of the Indian market.

West Bengal also has a prosperous hinterland of some mineral rich stateslike Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa. Asansol is a coal mining area and Durgapur is a hub of power plants and the state is proximal to many other coal reserves as well. Government of West Bengal has initiated power sector reforms in 2005 with the restructuring of West Bengal State Electricity Board into a distribution company and a transmission company in 2007. West Bengal shows certain promising signs for better energy situation in the state beacuse of its financially viable power sector, energy surplus situation and its easy accessiblity. However, there are certain shortcomings like despite its almost 100% village electrification, the state’s 42% rural households are still without electricity. Aquiring land for power projects is another problem that the state is facing.

Given this backdrop, the state has an opportunity in the form of renewable energy, which can utilize the natural and geographic conditions to the fullest while not being much affected by the pitfalls that the state faces at this moment and can improve it’s energy situation.

Thermal power

Coal mine : (raniganj coalfield) : Raniganj Coalfield, is the birth place of coal mining in the country. In 1774, first mining operation in the country was started in this Coalfield by Sumner & Healy. In 1820, first Coal Company- M/s. Alexander & Company was established. In 1835, first Indian Enterprise i.e. M/s. Carr & Tagore Company was formed. In 1843, the first joint stock Coal Company i.e. M/s. Bengal Coal Company was formed. Since then, underground coal mining operation had been continuing in Raniganj Coalfield by numerous small owners.

In 1973, all Non-Coking Coal Mines were nationalized and brought under Eastern Division of Coal Mines Authority Limited. In 1975, Eastern Coalfields Limited, a Subsidiary of Coal India Limited (C.I.L.), was formed and inherited all the private sector coal mines of Raniganj Coalfield.  Area of Raniganj Coalfield is 1530 Sq.Kms spreading over Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura and Purulia Districts in West Bengal and Dhanbad District in Jharkhand. Heart of Raniganj Coalfield is, however, in Burdwan District bounded by Ajoy River in North and Damodar River in South. Kasta Coalfied is located on the North of Adjoy while Mejia and Parbelia are on South of Damodar River.


Thermal power plants in west Bengal :

  • Kolaghat Thermal Power Station have a total installed capacity of 1260 MW (6×210 MW). Bakreswar Thermal Power Station have a total installed capacity of 1050 MW (5×210 MW).
  • Sagardighi Thermal Power Project have a total installed capacity of 1,100 MW (2×300 MW, 1×500 MW. Another 500 MW capacity installation is under progress.
  • Bandel Thermal Power Station have a total installed capacity of 450 MW (4×60, 1×210 MW). Renovation & modernisation of 215MW unit is modified from 210MW.
  • Santaldih Thermal Power Station have a total installed capacity of 500 MW (2×250 MW).
  • Kasba Thermal Power Station : Kasba Thermal Power Stationis a gas-based thermal power plant located at Kasba in Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. The power plant is operated by CESC Limited. It has an installed capacity of 40 MW (2×20 MW gas turbines).


 Hydro electric power plants in West Bengal

Name                                                                     River                          Basin

  1. Jaldhaka Hydroelectric Project Jaldhaka                   Ganga
  2. Massanjore Hydroelectric Project Mayurakashi Ganga
  3. Purulia Hydroelectric Project                  Kistobazar Nala     Ganga
  4. Rammam Hydroelectric Project Rammam                 Ganga
  5. Teesta Canal Falls                              Teesta                      Ganga
  6. Teesta Low Dam III Hydroelectric Projec Teesta                      Brahmaputra
  7. Teesta Low Dam IV Hydroelectric Project Teesta                      Brahmaputra


Nuclear energy in west Bengal

Haripur power plant : Haripur is expected to have six nuclear reactors each of 1650 MW- a total installed capacity of 10,000 MW of electricity. It is located in the coastal area of Contai, East Midnapur district, roughly 170 km away from Kolkata.however it’s development is halted because of the protests .



Renewable energy resources : west Bengal

The State of West Bengal is blessed with abundant sources of Renewable Energy in the form of Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biogas, Hydro, Tidal etc.  This perennial an eternal sources of energy has a vital role in socio-economic development of not only West Bengal but also the country as a whole. Renewable Energy holds the key to the future of energy, food and economic security. All efforts should, therefore, be directed to harness alternate sources of energy to supplement our energy needs for domestic, institutional, commercial and industrial purposes. The New and Renewable Energy Sources is closely linked with Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and Climate Change issues like Global Warming etc.

For the currently proven renewable technologies in the State, the targets till the end of 2022 are set as below:

Energy type            Potential ( in MW)           Existing installed Capacity             Target           

Wind power            450                                                         2                                     450

Bio mass                  662                                                       16                                   662

Solar                        approx. 500                                         2                                     500


Solar Energy Programme

West Bengal is a state in the eastern part of India. West Bengal has on an average 300-330 sunny days, with solar insolation 5-5.5 (kwh/m2/day). West Bengal declared West_Bengal_Solar_Policy 2012. West Bengal has initiated a net-metering solar rooftop model to promote self-consumption. The system size limited to 2-100 kW, Connectivity is allowed at Low Voltage or Medium Voltage, or 6 KV or 11 KV, of the distribution system of the licensee. Policy targets 16 MW of rooftop and small PV installations by 2017. West Bengal government is planning to introduce a new solar policy to meet the Centre’s revised target of generating 4,500 MW solar energy by 2022 in the state.

Bio mass Energy Programme

Biomass means wastes produced during agricultural and forestry operations (for example straws and stalks) or produced as a by-product of processing operations of agricultural produce (e.g., husks, shells, de-oiled cakes, etc); wood produced in dedicated energy plantations or recovered from wild bushes/weeds; and the wood waste produced in some industrial operations.

An additional 224 MW of biomass power has been targeted for achievement by the year 2017. In West Bengal, rice husk is a primary feedstock for biomass projects. However, other forms of agricultural waste like wood, straw, maze, energy plantation, etc. are also being considered for generating biomass power in West Bengal.

Feedstock availability and pricing are the critical determinants of success for biomass plants. In order to ensure feedstock availability, energy plantations will be promoted. For this, barren Government land, waste land, as well as degraded forest land shall be made available. The Nodal Agency shall identify potential sites for such plantation based on PPP mode. The feed-in-tariff structure shall be reviewed and possibility of adaptation of two-part tariff structure segregating fixed and variable charges shall be explored. The two-part tariff mechanism for biomass projects with partial fixed cost recovery linked to project availability and the variable cost linked to the fuel cost shall be considered for implementation.

To ensure smooth availability of feedstock, WBGEDCL (West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited) shall classify the high rice-producing areas into zones based on the quantum of production of rice in these areas. Based on the clustering study conducted by the Nodal Agency, the Nodal Agency would allocate projects in the predefined command areas. Such allocations shall be periodically reviewed by the Nodal Agency.

Presently, in West Bengal, 173 rice-husk-based gasifier systems with an aggregate capacity of 3.5 MW have been installed under the MNREinitiated programme for commercial establishments. The power generated is primarily used to meet the captive demand of the rice mills. The Policy envisages establishing 1000 such rice-husk-based gasifier systems with an aggregate capacity of 20 MW by the year 2017..

Wind energy

To exploit the wind potential of the State, the Nodal Agency shall initially undertake a comprehensive wind resource assessment and offer the identified potential sites for development. Government-owned wasteland in areas having minimum annual mean Wind Power Density (WPD) of 200 Watt/m2 measured at a hub height of 50 meters and using new generation wind turbine generators will be offered for setting up of wind projects. The Nodal Agency shall undertake an assessment of the progress achieved for all earlier allocated projects. Projects which have not met implementation milestones as per the Allotment shall be required to provide justification to the Nodal Agency failing which the Nodal Agency shall reserve the right to cancel such allotments without incurring any liability thereof. Extension shall only be provided in the case of project progress having been impaired because of factors beyond the reasonable control of the Developer. The Nodal Agency shall assist the project developers in obtaining CDM benefits. The CDM benefits would be allowed to directly accrue to the developer.



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