The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has built a partnership with Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society’s (BRLPS) JEEViKA program through an innovative institutional model to make clean energy products affordable to local women-based self-help groups (SHGs). To date, the program has benefitted over 50,000 households across Bihar by providing access to Solar Home Lighting Systems (SHLS) and clean cookstoves.
The program aims to complement the government’s vision of enriching rural livelihoods by providing reliable electricity to every household. Under this public private partnership (PPP) model, 60 percent of the funds are tapped from the savings of the SHGs of the JEEViKA program, and the remaining 40 percent are mobilized by TERI through grants and CSR funds.
The TERI-JEEViKA program in Bihar operates on an entrepreneurial model of energy service delivery in which TERI has trained and mentored around 20 energy entrepreneurs who procure the solar home systems and clean cookstoves from accredited manufacturers, install them at households, and ensure maintenance with the support of a network of around 300 solar technicians.
The program beneficiaries – located across Gaya, Khagariya, Madhubani, Purnia and West Champaran districts – suffer from an erratic grid power supply. In Purnia alone, 28, 261 households benefitted from the program.
Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Minister for Energy in the government of Bihar, said, “Surveys show Bihar has a high potential for non-conventional energy. We need new thinking and new approaches for this. There should be a survey on how we can generate solar power even in flood-prone areas of Bihar, and find out future possibilities that are realistic, keeping geographical considerations in mind.”
Dr. Ajay Mathur, the director general at TERI, said, “The TERI-JEEViKA project demonstrates that a strong decentralized model, which brings together the state government agency, local communities and the private sector, can plug the energy gap that exists even in grid-connected villages. Distributed renewable energy, combined with the grid, provides reliable and quality electricity supply to rural communities, while also providing voltage stability at the end of the grid.”
Bihar is one of the least developed states when it comes to making progress in the renewable growth front. According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, the cumulative installed solar capacity in Bihar is merely 110 MW.
Image credit: TERI