Bio Energy Overview
India has embarked upon an ambitious energy transition journey with a target of fifty percent cumulative electric power installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2070. To attain the ambitious Renewable Energy targets and to achieve self-reliance in the energy sector it is imperative that domestically available Renewable Energy alternatives are optimally utilised. One such alternative is modern bioenergy. With a large surplus of biomass and other waste available in the country, energy recovery from these resources is a viable solution. Modern bioenergy is unique as it provides several social and environmental benefits apart from providing clean fuels. For example, bioenergy applications can help mitigate air, water, and land pollution. It can also create local jobs, and business opportunities, and reduce energy import bills. It can help develop decentralised and independent communities. There are benefits to the private sector, as well, in the form of opportunities to decarbonise their industries. Other benefits include savings on fertiliser subsidies and a reduction in waste management costs. Therefore, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified the National Bioenergy Programme for a period 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2026 with an outlay of Rs.858 crore under Phase-I.
The National Bioenergy Programme will comprise the following sub-schemes:
- Waste to Energy Programme (Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural
- Biomass Programme (Scheme to Support Manufacturing of Briquettes & Pellets and Promotion of Biomass (non-bagasse) based cogeneration in Industries)
- Biogas Programme
The salient features of the above programmes are given below
Waste to Energy Programme:
- MNRE has been implementing a Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes/ Residues and Municipal Solid Waste since 2018 for recovery of energy in the form of Biogas/BioCNG/Power from urban, industrial, agricultural wastes and municipal solid waste.
- Under new guidelines of the programme for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26, Central Financial Assistance shall be made available to projects for setting up of large Biogas, BioCNG and Power plants (excluding MSW to Power projects).
- There exists tremendous scope for generating bio-CNG (Compressed Biogas-CBG) in the Country for meeting various applications such as vehicles, industries for captive energy needs, cooking etc besides generating bio-fertilizers and India through SATAT’ (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on CBG envisages to target production of 15 MMT of CBG from 5000 plants by 2023. Oil Marketing Companies have offered long-term pricing on CBG to make projects bankable and have agreed to execute long term agreements on CBG. The BioCNG component of the programme supports the SATAT initiatives of MoPNG.
- MNRE has been implementing the programme to promote Biomass Power and Bagasse Cogeneration in the country since the 1990s. The Biomass-based Cogeneration Programme (launched in May 2018) was under implementation with the main objective of promoting cogeneration for optimum use of the country’s biomass resources through cogeneration technology in sugar mills and other industries (rice, paper mills, etc).
- The Programme which earlier focused on cogeneration will now support the manufacturing of pellets and briquettes for use in power generation. The scheme will support the implementation of the National Mission on Co-firing of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants. This will enable a reduction in the practice of stubble burning particularly in the northern states of the country.
- Under new guidelines of the programme for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26, Central Financial Assistance shall be made available to projects for setting up of pellets and briquettes for use in power generation and non-bagasse based power generation projects.
- MNRE has been promoting the installation of small biogas plants since the year 1981-82 under National Biogas Programme to provide clean gaseous fuel mainly for cooking and lighting purposes in rural areas.
- Similarly, for medium size biogas plants in the capacity range of 25 m3 to 2500 m3 per day biogas generation for decentralized power generation and thermal energy applications in the range of 3-250 kW has been supported by MNRE since the year 2005-06.
- Under the new scheme for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26, the scope of the scheme has been revised with enhanced financial assistance for the setting up of biogas plants from 1 to 2500 cubic meter biogas per day.