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.