Claiming zero performance by Delhi on its renewable energy targets, Greenpeace activists on Wednesday picketed outside the residence of Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf.
Highlighting Greenpeace report, “Powering Ahead with Renewables: Leaders and Laggards”, the activists blocked the Minister’s residence by placing solar panels at the entrance and chained themselves to it. They later met Mr. Yusuf and sought a commitment from him on the policy on renewables energising Delhi.
They claimed that though the Minister “accepted the solar panels (presented by them), he was non committal on a timeline for a strong policy on renewables. He, however, agreed to forward the Greenpeace report and recommendations to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for future action”.
The solar panels, with which the activists protested, displayed a message asking the Minister to “Switch on the Sun”. “The 2.3-kW panels can light up Mr. Yusuf’s house meeting most of its energy demands. The activists handed over the panels to Mr. Yusuf to emphasise that he should look at using solar energy to supply power to Delhi homes and commercial establishments using their rooftops,” a statement by Greenpeace later said.
However, the rights group was critical of the Delhi Government’s handling of the renewable energy issue. “Power Minister Haroon Yusuf has no plans to deal with the electricity crisis. He has hardly enunciated as to how he intends to deal with the gap in demand and supply of electricity in the Capital… Meeting renewable target could have staved off the power cuts that residents in various colonies in Delhi are facing,” said Greenpeace India energy campaigner Anand Prabhu Pathanjali.
The Greenpeace report had earlier underlined the performance of all the States on their renewable energy target under the RPO mechanism. The mechanism, introduced by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, guides State electricity regulatory bodies to set targets on renewable supply in energy mix. However, the compliance under it is not mandatory and only seven out of 29 States have met their targets.
“Delhi achieved 0.01 per cent of the target showing lack of political will,” a Greenpeace statement said, adding that “Delhi’s peak deficit during 2011-12 was around 77 million units along with substantial load shedding throughout the city and its suburbs, these could have been avoided if Delhi had even taken up its insignificant RPO target of 3.4 per cent seriously”. Mr. Pathanjali added: “Greenpeace believes that renewable energy is the key to energy independence and access to quality electricity supply in all the areas of Delhi. The Government should earnestly take steps to improve its performance on use of renewables in the Capital to deal with the increasing demand and uncertain supply from conventional sources.”