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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


    The industrial sector today consumes approximately 35% of total electricity generated in the country. At the same time, high quality stable power is required to attain the higher growth rate projected for this sector. Majority of industries in India require both electrical and thermal energy. Today, they either buy power from the State Electricity Boards, or generate their own power largely through diesel generators and meet their thermal energy requirements through captive means mostly utilizing fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. As fossil fuels are limited, and have adverse environmental impact, it would be appropriate to use non-conventional energy sources including biomass resources such as crop residues and agro-industrial wastes for generation of energy in the industries mainly through biomass gasification technology for meeting their total / partial requirements for both electrical and thermal energy.

    There are several industries such as sugar, paper and pulp, textiles, fertilizers, petroleum, petrochemicals and food processing, etc. which require electrical as well as thermal energy for their operations. These requirements can either be met through different energy sources, or from a single source, which is capable of generating electricity as well as producing thermal energy. Simultaneous production of power and thermal energy from a single fuel source is termed as co-generation. The power generated from such co-generation plants can be used for meeting the captive requirements and the surplus power produced can be exported to the grid.

    Industrial co-generation has in the past not received adequate attention, as cheap power and fuel were abundantly available. However, with increasing tariffs, and unreliable supply of grid power, there is considerable opportunity for the industrial sector to tap the potential for producing electricity and thermal energy in the co-generation mode. As per certain estimates, there is a potential for power generation of about 15,000 MW (including sugar industry) through co-generation in various core industries in the country. In particular, there is significant potential in breweries, caustic soda plants, textile mills, distilleries, fertilizer plants, paper and pulp industry, solvent extraction units, rice mills, petrochemical plants, etc. Furthermore, co-generation projects based on conventional fuels such as coal, oil, lignite, gas and un/semi-utilized wastes / rejects like dolochar, coal rejects and refinery mud, etc. can also be installed in industry for meeting their power and energy requirements.

    The Ministry has notified a Scheme on Biomass Energy and Co-Generation (non-bagasse) in Industry with the following objectives:

  • To encourage the deployment of biomass energy systems in industry for meeting thermal and electrical energy requirements.

  • To promote decentralized / distributed power generation through supply of surplus power to the grid.

  • To conserve the use of fossil fuels for captive requirements in industry.

  • To bring about reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in industry

  • To create awareness about the potential and benefits of alternative modes of energy generation in industry.

    The scheme has a provision for providing Central Financial Assistance for encouraging setting up Biomass Gasifiers and Biomass Co-generation (non-bagasse) projects in the industries for meeting their thermal and electricity requirements.


Source: Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources

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