Keywords: biomass technologies (BTs), biomass development policies, improved cookstove (ICS), India, biomass power/cogeneration, biomass gasifier, biomass resource assessment, subsidy, power purchase policy
The recent development of biomass energy in India: an overview
This paper presents the current status and use of Biomass Technologies (BTs) in India. Different technology routes such as gasification, combustion and cogeneration are being actively developed to promote conversion of biomass materials such as agricultural, forestry and agro-industrial residues into electric power. The promotion of scientifically designed models of wood/biomass fired efficient cookstoves will have a direct impact on the welfare of women as well as of domestic households in the villages. The pressure for the use of kerosene and LPG might also be reduced. Higher value addition to biomass can be achieved by utilising it for power generation. In addition, sugar mills in the country offer a tremendous potential for additional power generation through optimised cogeneration using the bagasse produced in the process of cane crushing. There is a well established capability for the indigenous manufacturers of boilers, turbines and related equipment for use in the production of biomass energy. The promotion of biomass energy in the country is being encouraged through favourable policy regimes. A package of financial incentives such as concessional customs duties, exemptions from excise duty, tax holidays and accelerated depreciation, is available for commercial biomass projects. This paper also outlines potential, assessment and some barriers found to be in the way of the promotion and development of BTs.