National Bio Energy Programme

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    In News

    • Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy organized a seminar on the National Bio Energy Programme in New Delhi in partnership with UNIDO and GEF as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

    Introduction

    • Biomass is simply organic matter: that means it comes from anything that’s alive or been alive, including animal waste, crop waste, garden waste and so on. 
    • India is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources and their use should be encouraged in every possible way. 
    • Rural India generates enormous quantities of bio-waste including animal waste, kitchen leftovers, crop residue, market waste and faecal sludge. 
    • Biogas is an environment friendly fuel and its utilization contributes to reduction of carbon emissions and pollution.

    Major highlights of the seminar

    • They unveiled the compendium of the National Bio Energy Programme and launched the Biourja and Biogas portals.
      • BioUrja portal has been developed as a single window platform to register and submit online applications for grant of Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to Waste to Energy projects, Biomass Briquette/Pellet manufacturing plants and Biomass (non-bagasse) based cogeneration projects.
      • Biogas portal provides an overview on biogas related information.
    • It described waste as a source of wealth and emphasized the concept of ‘kachre-se-kanchan’.

    About National Bioenergy Programme

    • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has notified the National Bioenergy Programme in November 2022.
    • MNRE has continued the National Bioenergy Programme for the period from FY 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    • The Programme has been recommended for implementation in two Phases: 
      • The Phase-I of the Programme has been approved with a budget outlay of Rs. 858 crores.

    The National Bioenergy Programme will comprise the following sub-schemes:

    • Waste to Energy Programme
      • It is Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Wastes /Residues to support the setting up of large Biogas, BioCNG and Power plants.
      • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will be the implementing agency for the program. 
    • Biomass Programme 
      • It is a Scheme to Support Manufacturing of Briquettes & Pellets and Promotion of Biomass (non-bagasse) based cogeneration in Industries to support setting up of pellets and briquettes for use in power generation and non-bagasse based power generation projects.
    • Biogas Programme 
      • To support setting up of family and medium size Biogas in rural areas.

    Advantages of Bioenergy

    • It helps in providing clean cooking through biogas.
    • Co-firing in thermal power plants by utilizing biomass pellets and briquettes and BioCNG for transport.
    • Setting up of biogas plants for clean cooking fuel, lighting, meeting thermal and small power needs of users which results in GHG reduction, improved sanitation, women empowerment and creation of rural employment.
    • Organic enriched Bio-manure: The digested slurry from biogas plants is a rich source of manure which shall benefit farmers in supplementing / reducing the use of chemical fertilizers.
    • It is carbon neutral: As a natural part of photosynthesis, biomass fuels only release the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as was absorbed by plants in the course of their life cycle.
    • It reduces the overreliance of fossil fuels: Not only is there a limited supply of fossil fuels, but fossil fuels come with environmental baggage, including the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the pollutants that result from removal, transportation and production.
    • Less expensive than fossil fuels: While fossil fuel production requires a heavy outlay of capital, such as oil drills, gas pipelines and fuel collection, biomass technology is much cheaper. Manufacturers and producers are able to generate higher profits from a lower output.

    Disadvantages of Bioenergy

    • Biomass energy is not as efficient as fossil fuels: Some biofuels, like Ethanol, are relatively inefficient as compared to gasoline. In fact, it has to be fortified with fossil fuels to increase its efficiency.
    • It is not entirely clean: While biomass is carbon neutral, the use of animal and human waste escalates the amount of methane gases, which are also damaging to the environment. Additionally, the pollution created from burning wood and other natural materials can be considered just as bad as that resulting from burning coal and other types of energy resources.
    • Can lead to deforestation: Since wood is one of the most used sources of biomass energy, vast amounts of wood and other waste products have to be burned to produce the desired amount of power. While currently there is enough wood waste already, there is a risk of deforestation in the future.
    • Biomass construction plants don’t come cheap: The harvest, transportation and storage of organic matter can be costly and go beyond what other renewable sources need such as solar power. 

    Government initiative

    • GOBAR-Dhan was launched by the Government of India in 2018 as a part of the Biodegradable Waste Management component under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) (SMB-G) to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.
    • SATAT is an initiative aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs. 
      • This initiative holds great promise for efficient municipal solid waste management and in tackling the problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.

    Way forward  

    • Rural household: The benefits of utilization of surplus biomass should reach the rural household by way of an additional source of income for farmers.
    • The extra push in the form of a 20 per cent higher standard CFA (central financial assistance) pattern for the north-eastern region and Gaushala/shelter was the need of the time to create inclusiveness in an applied manner.
    • Other benefits include:
      • Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals
      • Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil
      • Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations.

    Source: PIB