Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Ninth Mission – National Bio-energy Mission

On June 30, 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation.
The NAPCC consists of several targets on climate change issues and addresses the urgent and critical concerns of the country through a directional shift in the development pathway. It outlines measures on climate change related adaptation and mitigation while simultaneously advancing development. The Missions form the core of the Plan, representing multi-pronged, long termed and integrated strategies for achieving goals in the context of climate change.
Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining high economic growth rates to raise living standards, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively.  The plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through 2017.
Now  government of India has introduced ninth mission under NAPCC. This new mission is called as National Bio-energy Mission. It is being developed to push sustainable development of the renewable energy sector.
The Bio Energy Mission will:
1.      Aim at improving energy efficiency in traditional biomass consuming industries.
2.      Seek to develop a bio-energy city project.
3.      Provide logistics support to biomass processing units.
4.      It will also propose a GIS-based National Biomass Resource Atlas to map potential biomass regions in the country.
The bio-energy mission will adopt a two-phase approach, spanning the 12th Plan in Phase 1, and the 13th Plan in Phase 2. There will be an evaluation of progress and review of capacity in the middle and end of each Plan. Targets for subsequent phases will be set based on the emerging cost and technology trends, both domestic and global.
70 % of the countries population  have only limited access to electricity. Presently, 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).The ministry has earmarked 3,400 crore for the various incentive schemes under this mission.(2)
Studies sponsored by the Ministry has estimated surplus biomass availability at about 120 – 150 million metric tones per annum covering agricultural and forestry residues corresponding to a potential of about 18,000 MW. Apart from this 5000 MW additional power could be generated through bagasse based cogeneration in the country’s 550 Sugar mills. (3)Each MW generated from biomass plants would be able to cover about 6,000 rural households.
Advantages of Bio – Mass:
Biomass is derived from agriculture, animal and human waste. It can be harnessed to produce fuel, power and heat. Biomass has the potential to address the nation’s energy, environmental, and economic needs simultaneously. Increased use of biomass for energy would lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It is renewable, widely available, carbon-neutral and has the potential to provide significant employment in the rural areas. It is also very low in sulphur, reducing the production of acid rain.
The National solar mission along with this biomass mission will certainly increase the renewable mix of energy, which currently India is looking at positively.