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Bio Energy

Power situation in India :- India hosts 15% of the world’s population and has one of the fastest economic growths. The increasing GDP means higher income for the masses and is leading to higher aspiration of its people to better quality of life. In addition India is already having a huge gap between the demand and supply of energy. While India’s domestic energy resource base is substantial, the country relies on imports for a considerable amount of its energy use, particularly for Crude Petroleum. India’s Power Sector continues to be impediment for its infrastructure growth and overall development. Energy and Peak shortages are the abundant and transmission and distribution losses continue to be unreasonably high. High dependency on imported and expensive oil is not only resulting in big drain on foreign exchange but also increasing year by year at an alarming rate. It has also put the nation’s energy security at risk. In the above scenario, the country needs to aim at energyindependence. Power generation through renewable energy plays a very important role in this endeavour.

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Biomass Energy

What is Biomass?
Biomass is fuel that is developed from organic materials, a renewable and sustainable source of energy used to create electricity or other forms of power.As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel.Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Rotting garbage, and agricultural and human waste, all release methane gas—also called landfill gas or biogas. Crops, such as corn and sugar cane, can be fermented to produce the transportation fuel, ethanol. Some examples of materials that make up biomass fuels are:
• scrap lumber;
• forest debris;
• certain crops;
• manure; and
• some types of waste residues.

What is biomass power?
Biomass power is carbon neutral electricity generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned, or left as fodder for forest fires. When burned, the energy in biomass is released as heat. If you have a fireplace, you already are participating in the use of biomass as the wood you burn in it is a biomass fuel.

Biomass Power is Carbon Neutral Biomass power is carbon neutral. Any carbon that is released into the atmosphere during combustion of biomass was absorbed from the atmosphere at one point in the tree’s life – so what it took out ends up going back. In many cases, the carbon released is re-absorbed by another plant so it never reaches the atmosphere in the first place. With fossil fuels, the carbon released during combustion has been inaccessible to the atmosphere for millennia and therefore adds additional carbon to the atmosphere. Biomass power does not threaten forests. It is not economically viable to clear forests or chop down trees solely for the purpose of getting wood to create the green power. The only economically viable fuel for biomass facilities comes from waste byproducts, including construction and demolition and waste wood, that from other industries

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Biomass Power Generation


Q 1. What is biomass?
Ans.

Biomass is organic material of recent origin that can be used as a source of energy. It generally includes crops and other plants, as well as agricultural, forest, sawdust and agro-industrial waste.

Q 2. What is biomass power?
Ans.

Electricity that is produced as a result of utilizing surplus biomass sources into energy is considered biomass power. Biomass combusted in a boiler produces steam. This steam drives a turbine generator that produces electricity. This electricity will be fed into the high voltage transmission grid to be transported to end-users.

Q 3. Why produce power from biomass?
Ans.

Generating power through the use of biomass represents the cost-effective and cleanest way to provide renewable electricity in biomass potential regions with high levels of biomass resources and its processing activity. Furthermore, use of this resource helps become more energy independent and use of a locally derived fuel provides employment and direct economic benefit to local communities.

Q 4. What is the potential of power generation from biomass?
Ans.

The estimated power potential from surplus agro residues in the country is about 17,000 MW. In addition about 5000 MW of power can be produced, if the sugar mills in the country switch over to modern techniques of cogeneration.

Q 5. Do biomass power generating units help combat global warming?
Ans.

Generating power through the use of biomass represents the cost-effective and cleanest way to provide renewable electricity in biomass potential regions with high levels of biomass resources and its processing activity. Furthermore, use of this resource helps become more energy independent and use of a locally derived fuel provides employment and direct economic benefit to local communities.

Q 6. What are the economic benefits of biomass power generation facilities?
Ans.

Biomass power generating units produce a significant economic benefit to the area surrounding the plant. A 10 MW biomass power project can create approximately employment for 100 workers during the 18-month construction phase, 25 full-time workers employed in the operation of the facility, and 35 persons in the collection, processing, and transportation of biomass material.

Q 7. What are the types of biomass used in a biomass power generation facility?
Ans.

The principal source of biomass are rice husk, woody biomass such as Julie flora, casurina, other agro residues such as stalks/cobs/shells, sugarcane trash, cotton stalks, mustard stalks, groundnut shells etc.

Q 8. How long does it take to develop a biomass power project?
Ans.

If there are no issues in fuel collection , investors and fund, then it is possible to develop a project in a fast track mode in 18 months period.

Q 9. What is the average estimated (i) capital cost, (ii) cost of electricity generation and (iii) PLF for Biomass Power and bagasse Co-generation Project ?
Ans.

The capital cost of installation of bagasse based co-generation projects is in the range of Rs. 4.5 to Rs. 5.0 Crore/MW depending upon technical, financial and operating parameters. Costs of generation are expected to vary from Rs. 3.25 to 3.75/kwh, depending upon the plant load factor, and interest on term loans. The PLF of bagasse cogen projects is about 45% - 55%. In case of biomass power plants, the capital cost of installation are Rs.4.5 to 5.0 Crore/MW, depending upon boiler pressure and capacity, costs of generation around Rs. 3.50 to Rs. 4.00/kwh. The PLF of biomass power projects is about 70% - 75%.

Q 10. Is EPC contract a better approach for implementing biomass projects?
Ans.

EPC approach is suitable, when the project owner/developer/investor is not having core expertise in biomass project development. But, in general EPC contract is 10 to 20 % more expensive than separate procurement and management. The exact approach to be selected depends on several aspects of the project and it is difficult to generalize.