Agro-residues can yield 18,000-MW power: minister


New Delhi : India can use its surplus agricultural residues to generate as much as 18,000 MW of electricity, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar said here Friday.

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The minister was replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament.

“States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have the potential for setting up biomass-based power projects with capacity of 100 MW or above,” Muttemwar said.

“A cumulative biomass power potential of about 18,000 MW from the surplus agro residues has been estimated in the country,” he added.

“Sugar mills in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana alone have an estimated potential of about 5,000 MW surplus power generation through optimum bagasse-based cogeneration,” Muttemwar pointed out.

A target of adding 1,700 MW power generation capacity based on agro-residues has been envisaged for the 11th five-year plan (2007-12). This includes 1,200 MW from bagasse and the rest from biomass.

Bagasse is the dry dusty pulp that remains after juice is extracted from sugarcane or similar plants.

“The government is providing incentives for setting up of power generation projects based on biomass and bagasse cogeneration in the form of capital subsidy and fiscal incentives such as accelerated depreciation, relief from taxes and duties, and term loans from Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency,” Muttemwar said.