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Empowering Tomorrow: India’s Strategic Initiatives in Promoting Bioenergy from Farm Stubble and Renewable Sources

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on December 16, 2023

Introduction

The Government of India has implemented a range of programmes to increase the generation of new and renewable energy resources as a key step toward sustainable energy practices. This focused strategy encompasses the utilisation of bioenergy resources, such as agricultural byproducts, to mitigate environmental issues and advocate for more sustainable energy options. The comprehensive framework for the production and usage of bioenergy throughout the nation, with a specific focus on states such as Punjab, is the objective of the multifaceted strategy.

Analysis

National Bioenergy Programme (“NBP”)

  • The launch of the NBP by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in November 2022 is a significant milestone in the advancement of bioenergy generation.
  • An approximate budgetary amount of Rs. 1715 Crore is allocated for this initiative, which is implemented in two stages between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2026.
  • The initial stage, which is supported by a budget allocation of Rs. 858 Crore, consists of central financial aid being provided to facilitate the construction of bioenergy facilities.
  • This could act as an impetus for project developers and enable them to establish bioenergy projects throughout the country.

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (“SATAT”)

  • Launched in October 2018, the SATAT initiative of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas aims to establish an environment conducive to the production of compressed biogas (“CBG”).
  • SATAT seeks to encourage the use of CBG in conjunction with natural gas by utilising a variety of waste and biomass sources. This would create a sustainable alternative to cost-effective transportation.

GOBARDHAN Scheme

  • As an agency of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has executed the GOBARDHAN initiative.
  • This initiative provides financial backing of up to Rs. 50,00,000 in each district to facilitate the construction of exemplary community biogas facilities.
  • The government aims to promote the effective exploitation of waste materials for energy generation through the encouragement of the establishment of such facilities.

SAMARTH Mission

  • SAMARTH Mission, a National Mission on the Use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants and an initiative of the Ministry of Power is instrumental in encouraging biomass blending in existing coal-powered thermal power plants.
  • This would contribute to the mitigation of carbon emissions associated with energy generation and underscores the criticality of integrating renewable resources into conventional power systems.

Biomass Pellet Plants

  • To facilitate the building of biomass pellet factories, the Central Pollution Control Board has issued recommendations pertaining to financial assistance.
  • This would promote the manufacturing of biomass pellets in places such as the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the states of Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Awareness Initiatives

  • Proactive efforts have been made by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to increase public knowledge regarding the application of farm stubble in bioenergy initiatives.
  • This would include 21 districts in the Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, and aims at spreading awareness among stakeholders regarding the advantages of integrating agricultural byproducts stubble into the process of bioenergy generation.

National Biomass Mission Programs

  • The National Biomass Mission has coordinated 51 awareness campaigns around the nation.
  • Various stakeholders, including farmers, are the focus of these initiatives, which aim to promote biomass cofiring in thermal power plants.

Conclusion

The measures implemented by the Indian government to encourage the utilisation of bioenergy sources, such as farm stubble, to generate new and renewable energy demonstrate a holistic and coordinated approach to implementing sustainable energy practices. With the ongoing implementation and expansion of these programmes by the government, the outlook for a more environmentally sustainable energy future gets brighter. The incorporation of bioenergy sources into the domestic energy framework not only serves to promote environmental preservation but also positions India at the forefront of the worldwide transition towards sustainable and renewable energy alternatives.


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