An analysis on biomass cogeneration scenario in India and its benefits
The biomass cogeneration of power in India is primarily effected in the sugar industry. Indian sugar factories were using this biomass material for meeting their own steam and power requirements during crushing season, with low pressure, inefficient, old boilers and mostly back pressure type turbines.
Since 1995 the efforts for cogeneration of exportable power by deploying extra high pressure, temperature configurations and reducing steam and power consumptions for the sugar process, started. As on date, all the techno-commercial, policy and capacity barriers have been more or less removed and the sugar industries are deploying extra high pressure and temperature configurations (125 kg/cm2 pressure and 545 degree C) as well as have achieved lowest steam and power consumptions of 30 per cent on cane crushed and 20 kWh/MT of cane crushed, with latest technologies and building manpower capacity. The extension of operation in the off season periods to a maximum possible extent by use of other biomass materials like cane trash, rice husk and up to 15 per cent coal are also getting commercialised in the states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Briefing about recent scenario of biomass cogeneration in India S. C. Natu, Sr. Vice President, Power Division, MITCON Consultancy & Engineering Services Ltd says, “As on date, a total of about 300 sugar factories (out of 854 existing, closed and upcoming sugar factories) have implemented bagasse cogeneration power projects with cumulative installed capacity of 5,800 MW (3,800 MW exportable surplus in season), against a potential of 16,404 MW (11000 MW exportable surplus during season) on all India basis.” The states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and UP lead the bagasse cogen power industry at sugar factories in India. The all time conducive Central Government policies and particularly policies of the states, as well as all stakeholders including the sugar industries, associations, etc are responsible for this growth over the last 2 decades. The balance potential can be tapped within next 5 to 7 years with preferential and conducive tariff regime and innovative equity and debt financing. “Cogeneration power from biomass in other industries like paper, distilleries and independent power plants has progressed over the years, however, the success is limited due to issues related to biomass linkage and subsequent financial performance of these plants,” informs Natu.
The biomass cogeneration has two sub-sectors – first as Captive Generation and second Independent Power Producers (IPP)supplying to grid. The biomass cogeneration IPP have been largely induced by carbon credit and state policies to pay a premium price over other power. That has been boost for the industry and people stopped using coal for this reason.
Largest Captive Power co-generation based on biomass is with sugar industry due to large quantity of Bagasse availability. It is followed by paper, edible oil and food, chemical industries etc.
Speaking about the recent scenario of biomass cogeneration in India Rajiv Agrawal, Secretary, Indian Captive Power Producers Association says, “There is not much of growth in terms of biomass cogeneration as was witnessed a few years back. Some people tried to venture as independent power producers but somewhere they were not getting sufficient biomass. It is due to very high storage required for biomass and unable to get sufficient crop-biomass quantity within catchment area of 30 to 100 km. As a result most IPP have almost closed down after huge losses and have not been even able to recover any investment is one reason.”
Another part relates to conflicting reports of few sugar mills producing power much more than normal bagasse availability. It is being alleged that they are using coal to boost quantity of produced power due to above referred state-incentive to buy green-power. It is said to be misused by politically well connected hence no actions are taken. “However, because of few cases, the government feels that the whole system is running on false premise. As a result, even after our many requests and meetings advocating for co-generation as a whole that is not restricted to biomass co-generation, the government is not at all ready to give any particular concession to the cogeneration industry itself,” informs Agarwal.
Your contribution to this domainMITCON has worked with the Central and State policy makers, financial institutions and industry for development of this sector, both at the micro and macro levels.
Briefing about MITCON’s contribution in biomass cogeneration segment Natu says, “At the micro level, MITCON provides consultancy and engineering services from concept to commissioning of these projects, starting from fuel assessment, feasibility and detailed project reports, NoCs and approvals, environmental services, loan, soft loan and capital subsidy syndication, TEV and LIE services, project developer interface services, pre-contract and post-contract engineering and project management services, plant performance improvement services, manpower training and capacity building services, etc.” At the macro level, MITCON has worked with MNRE, IREDA, State Government, FIs and banks, bi-lateral agencies like USAID, UNDP-GEF and UNIDO.
ICPPA has been telling the policy makers to give incentives for the cogeneration as a whole, that includes biomass co-generation. However, unfortunately so far its efforts are net bearing fruits due to above referred dishonesty of few in the industry.
Informing about ICPPA’s contribution Agarwal says, “As part of our energy conservation efforts, are trying to search various energy saving technologies that are available in the world. I have been able to zero-in on a nano-technology that improves the combustion without stopping a plant. This is called XPlate nano- technology. By removing static charge from air passing through fans and blowers, these nano-plates de-clusters the oxygen. Thus as Oxygen-booster, the technology works on all type of fuels i.e. biomass, coal, FO, Gas. Depending on present combustion efficiency of boilers, XPlate Technology can give 4 to 15 per cent fuel saving. Alternatively you can get additional power from same quantity of biomass feeding. In terms of additional realisation from additional biomass based power generation, the pay-back is within a few months to less than a year.”
ConclusionThere is a huge potential for biomass cogeneration in India but the growth in this sector is holding back due to few reasons, once these problems are overcome the biomass cogeneration will grow rapidly and will surely meet the countries power need.
———————–There is not much of growth in terms of biomass cogeneration as was witnessed a few years back.
Rajiv Agrawal, Secretary, Indian Captive Power Producers Association
——————–Cogeneration power from biomass in other industries like paper, distilleries and independent power plants has progressed over the years.
S. C. Natu, Sr. Vice President, Power Division, MITCON Consultancy & Engineering Services Ltd
An analysis on biomass cogeneration scenario in India and its benefits