The biomass power generation capacity in India is rapidly growing since last few years as Indian government focuses on increasing power generation through renewable energy sources. As on Dec 31, 2017, the grid connected biomass power generation capacity in India stood at 8.4 GW, up from 4.95 GW as on March 31, 2016.
Going by the current growth rate in biomass power generation, India is likely to surpass the target of 10 GW by the end of next fiscal year, way ahead of target year of 2022. Moreover, the newly stipulated National Policy on Biofuels will provide a huge impetus to growing bio-energy sector in India.
The share of biomass power generation capacity to total renewable power generation is just over 13%. Globally, the share of biomass in total renewable energy power is 14% as per latest report from World BioEnergy Association.
“Utilization of biomass for power generation is the need of the hour as it solves two major challenges facing the country: power deficit and waste management. As a country, India produces 1,50,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. While recycling and segregation can help but it barely scratches the surface.
We need to safely dispose the existing trash- biodegradable or not. While setting-up more biomass power generation remains a viable option for processing and disposal of waste, the immediacy of problem has necessitated evolving a mix of quick as well as long-term solutions. Setting-up newer biomass plants would have longer gestation periods. In that regard, there is significant focus on co-firing of biomass in existing conventional thermal power plants,” Aditya Handa, MD and CEO of Abellon CleanEnergy said.
Energy from biomass is reliable as it is free of fluctuation and does not need storage. However, it is not the preferred renewable energy source due to unavailability of biomass supply chain on a yearly basis. Biomass from agriculture is available only after harvesting period which stretches only for 2-3 months in a year.
Thus, there is a need to procure and then store required quantity of biomass within this stipulated time. Biomass power generation has long been promoted in the country as a pathway for generation of renewable energy and allied benefits. The need now is to ramp up efforts in this direction, especially in streamlining biomass supply chain.
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