Biomass is a key renewable energy source in India, considering the country’s agrarian imprint, with 70% of population dependent on agriculture in India.
Biomass has been an important source of energy for India for almost a decade. Recent research shows that around 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is still derived from biomass and more than 70% of the country’s population depends on it for its energy needs. India has abundant availability of biomass — around 150 million tons of biomass each year — to meet its needs.
This report, Snapshot: Biomass Energy Sector in India, provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on the growth trends, major players, recent developments and key drivers of the Indian biomass energy sector.
Biomass power generation in India is an industry that attracts investments of over USD 10million every year, generating more than 5,000 million units of electricity and yearly employment of more than 10 million man-days in rural areas. Studies have shown that there is surplus biomass availability at about 120-150 million metric tonnes per annum covering agricultural and forestry residues which corresponds to a potential of 18,000MW. Apart from this about 5000MWadditional power can be generated through bagasse based cogeneration in the country’s 550 sugar mills. The ministry has realized this potential of biomass energy and initiated a number of programmes for the application of this renewable energy in various sectors of the economy.
The biomass sector in India is growing at an encouraging rate with increased needs for non renewable energy sources to meet the ever growing demands of the population. The key drivers of this industry are the rising demand supply gaps for meeting energy requirements, pressure on high-emission industry sectors from their shareholders, biomass posing to be a potential solution for rural electrification, growing concerns regarding excessive use of non-renewable energy resources which in turn is proving detrimental to the environment.
Key players and regions
A host of Indian states where biomass based power operate in all forms of power production. These include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The key players include Agro Power Gasification Plant Pvt. Ltd., Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies Pvt. Ltd., ASN Industries, Bergamo Energy, Chanderpur Works Pvt. Ltd., Cosmo Powertech Pvt. Ltd., Ganesh Engineering Works, GP Green Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd., Infinite Energy Private Limited, Inspiring Agro Limited, Oriental Green Power Limited, Poorvanchal Urja Private Limited, Radhe Renewable Energy Development Associate., Rake Power Limited, Rishipooja Energy& Engineering Company, Satya Bio, Power India Private Limited, Skand Agri Power, Southern Carbons (P) Ltd., Viaton Energy.
The future of biomass energy depends on providing reliable energy services at competitive costs. In India, this can only take place if biomass energy services can compete in a fair market. The most economical option would be the utilization of waste materials. Potential availability of agro residues and wood processing waste in India can sustain 10,000 MW power. Biomass waste, however, shall be inadequate to support the growing demands for biomass resources. Sustained supply of biomass will require production of energy crops (e.g. wood fuel plantations and sugar cane as feedstock for ethanol) and wood plantations for meeting growing non-energy needs. Land supply, enhanced biomass productivity, economic operations of plantations and logistics infrastructure are some of the critical areas which will determine future of biomass in India.
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