June 25, 2011, Kolkata

Believe it or not — the price hike of diesel and gas was welcomed by the energy conscious section of the society!! They think that this decision will pave the way for renewable energy and energy efficiency practices in the society.

“Even with this increase in the price of diesel by Rs 3/litre, the government has to provide a subsidy of approx Rs 27/litre. The real pricing of fossil based resources will make stakeholders understand the need for RE which is misinterpreted to be costlier than conventional sources”, said Dr. S. P. Gon Chaudhuri, Adviser, RE, Government of West Bengal, at a project launch meeting of ‘Demand Side Management (DSM) & Renewable Energy (RE) in India – Capacity Building of CSOs’ [DREC Project] organized by CUTS International with the support of ClimateWorks Foundation, USA, represented by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) on 25th June, 2011 in Kolkata. Dr. Chaudhuri further stressed on the need for chalking out viable strategies and models for off-grid generation through RE sources. He also emphasized the need for developing appropriate regulations for off-grid electricity generation.

Mr Malay Kumar De, Secretary, Department of Power and NES, West Bengal cautioned that price of coal is expected to increase at a rate higher than the inflation rate. This is bound to manifest as increased electricity tariff. Saying this he pointed out how capacitated CSOs can play an important role in promoting DSM (Energy Efficiency) among consumers and welcomed CUTS’ initiative in building the capacities of CSOs on RE and DSM.

Mr. Prititosh Ray, Member, Governing Body, WBREDA, told that there is a need for a separate State Ministry for Renewable Energy Sector and likewise a need for developing a RE Act as well. He also said that DSM can be taken care at two levels–one at the distribution level and the other on the consumption level where the consumers need to be sensitized for using electricity responsibly.

Mr. Prasad Ranjan Ray, Chairperson, WBERC, mentioned that enhanced energy security can be achieved through a three pronged strategy – firstly, by reducing distribution cost, secondly, by increasing consumer end efficiency and lastly, by increasing use of RE.

Mr. Udai S Mehta, Project Manager of the DREC Project underlined the role of CSO’s in generating awareness at the consumer level that can lead to the enhanced demand for RE which will ultimately work as a pressure on the policy makers to make effective and appropriate policies for clean and sustainable energy that will work for the masses.

In total close to 50 participants, comprise of policy makers, local CSOs, media, etc actively participated in the event

For further details please contact:
Mr. Udai S Mehta, usm@cuts.org, +9198292 85926
Dr. Keya Ghosh, kg@cuts.org, +9198312 19339