In an effort to combat climate change, India has pledged to generate 50% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. To do so, the country must rapidly expand its renewable energy generation capacity to three times the current rate.
An informed public that understands the urgency of the transition to renewable energy—and holds policymakers accountable to their commitments—is key to driving this change forward. To help meet that need, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is hosting a workshop from September 15-17, 2023, for communicators in Patna, Bihar.
In Bihar, economic growth and infrastructural development has defined the state government’s agenda. It is perhaps not surprising then that between 2005 and 2018, its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions doubled, with the energy sector contributing to 65% of the increase. Nevertheless, the state government has sought to incentivize the shift away from fossil fuels with its 2017 Policy for Promotion of Bihar New and Renewable Energy Sources (PPBNRES). In this context, it is imperative that communicators understand the potential of renewable energy and report on the topic accurately.
To that end, the upcoming workshop will include two days of learning sessions, led by EJN trainers and thematic experts, during which participants will have the opportunity to meet with renewable energy entrepreneurs, researchers and policymakers. The workshop also includes a field trip to a nearby renewable energy facility.
The 27 communicators selected to attend the workshop are:
- Aditya Kumar, India Daily Live
- Arvind Shukla, 101 Reporters
- Ashish Kumar Kataria, The Citizen
- Balachandar Gangadharan, The Hindu Businessline
- Chandra Bhan Yadav, Amar Ujala
- Deepa Padmanaban, Article 14
- Diwash Gahatraj, Independent Journalist
- Ganesh Prasad, Live India News 18
- Kavitha Yarlagadda, Down to Earth
- Midhat Fatimah, Deutsche Welle
- Mithilesh Dhar Dubey, IndiaSpend
- Mohsina Malik, Free Press Kashmir
- Mukesh Kumar, Dainik Bhaskar
- Poulomi Chakravarty, 101 Reporters
- Rachna Priyadarshini, Prabhat Khabar
- Rahul Singh, 101 Reporters
- Rajan Chaudhary, The Mooknayak
- Rajeev Tyagi, Ground Report
- Ravleen Kaur, Mongabay India
- Rohit Upadhyay, Independent communicator
- Sabita Kumari, Dainik Bhaskar
- Shuchita Jha, 101 Reporters
- Syeda Zahan, East Mojo
- Tanmoy Bhaduri, India Development Review & CGIAR Gender Impact Platform
- Uma Sankar Singh, Rashtriya Sahara
- Vishnu Singh, BBC Hindi
- Zoya Hussain, Mongabay India
“Bihar is in an interesting situation. It lags behind many Indian states in utility-scale renewable energy projects that are connected to the grid. But it is one of the leaders in decentralized renewable energy generation, especially village-level mini-grids using solar power or agricultural residues such as rice husk,” said Joydeep Gupta, manager of EJN’s India projects. “It is important for communicators to understand the extent to which that works and the measures that might further push renewables to account for a larger percentage of the energy mix.”
Banner image: Electrician Chanesh Prasad inspects the steam outlet of the rooftop solar systems at Tripolia Hospital, Patna / Credit: Harikrishna Katragadda for Greenpeace.