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Friday 4 January 2013

National Biomass Mission on the cards

According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy seems to be impressed by the perceived success of the National Solar Mission, which has certainly helped to create solar awareness across the country. Now, the Ministry is working on a National Biomass Mission, and has asked the industry to prepare a mission document. This need not be anything more than an archive of informative documents. To recount, India produces 620 million tonnes of bio resources, and after allowing for fuel and fodder, the surplus comes out to be 150 million tonnes. This can support 18,000 MW of power, not counting another 5,000 MW of co-generation, against which the existing biomass power capacity is only 2,665 MW.
Biomass is ‘base load’, and firm power and needs to be encouraged over other forms of renewable energy. It is also the least expensive. To set up 1 MW of capacity, it takes Rs 5.5 crore, against Rs 6.5 crore for wind and Rs 9 crore for solar. Each MW capacity of biomass produces 8.5 million units of electricity a year, against 2.4 m u for wind and 1.7 m u for solar, under good conditions.

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