In an effort to capitalize on renewable energy sources throughout the country, the government of India is preparing a national bio-energy mission.
According to a recent article published by the Economic Times, this mission will aim at improving energy efficiency for industries that already use biomass as an energy source, but will also seek to develop projects in various cities that could benefit from biomass power.
“Our surplus biomass is estimated to be 150 million tonnes,” said Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy this week. “This could potentially be used to generate 16 gigawatts of power.”
Nearly 70 per cent of India’s population lives in villages with marginal access to electricity, the Times reported, so an influx of energy – particularly renewable energy – could prove to be a great asset to an under serviced population.
Reports from the ministry indicate that each megawatt generated from biomass could provide power to about 6,000 rural households. The mission is also expected to create employment opportunities in these rural regions and help stabilize energy grids throughout the country.
The proposed energy mission also intends to increase capacity for biomass energy on a large scale.
“Currently, India has a total installed capacity of 3,000 MW of biomass-based power generation. The ministry of new and renewable energy is targeting to double this capacity during the 12th Plan (2012-17),” reported the Economic Times. “According to some estimates, biomass from agro and agro-industrial residue can potentially generate 25,000 MW of power in India. This can be further raised with wasteland-based integrated energy plantation and power generation systems.”