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Overview - Biomass Sector in India For India, biomass has always been an important energy source. Although the ener gy scenario in India today indicates a growing dependence on the conventional fo rms of energy, about 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is still derived from biomass and more than 70% of the country's population depends upon it for its energy needs. India has a large agricultural industry and this sub sector of the economy produ ces 540 million tonnes of biomass ea
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  Overview-BiomassSectorinIndiaForIndia,biomasshasalwaysbeenanimportantenergysource.AlthoughtheenergyscenarioinIndiatodayindicatesagrowingdependenceontheconventionalformsofenergy,about32%ofthetotalprimaryenergyuseinthecountryisstillderivedfrombiomassandmorethan70%ofthecountry'spopulationdependsuponitforitsenergyneeds.Indiahasalargeagriculturalindustryandthissubsectoroftheeconomyproduces540milliontonnesofbiomasseachyear,ofwhichitisestimatedthat70-75%ofbiomassareusedasfodder,fuelandotherpurposes.Thecurrentpotentialforpowergenerationfromsurplusagroandforestryresiduesisestimatedat~18,000MWe.Withprogressivelyhighersteamparametersandefficientprojectconfigurationinnewsugarmillsandmodernizationofexistingones,thepotentialofsurpluspowergenerationthroughbagassecogenerationinsugarmillsisestimatedat7,000MW.Thusthetotalestimatedbiomasspowerpotentialisabout25,000MW.BiomassCapacityDevelopmentinIndiaSocialBenefitsofBiomassbasedpowerplantBiomasspowergenerationleadstoseveralsocialbenefits:*Biomasspowerplantsmonetizetheheatvalueofbiomass,whichbringsinadditionalincometovariousplayersinthebiomasssupplychain(farmers,traders,agroprocessingindustriessuchricemillsetc).*Itcreatesadditionalemploymentincollectionandtransportationofbiomass,aswellasadditionalemploymentinpowergeneration.*Itbringseconomicandincomegenerationactivityintoruralareasâ  especiallyforwomen-therebycontributingtolocal&regionaldevelopment.*Itdiversifiestheruraleconomy,whichgenerallyrelyentirelyonfoodcrops,byintroducingenergyplantations.Thisisallthemoreimportant,sincemostenergyplantationsaregrownonsocalled wasteland whichhave,no/minimalaccesstoirrigation.Thisisasignificantaspectinwaterstressedareas.*IncountrieslikeIndia,theemploymentgeneratedinfuelcollectionandlogisticshasexcellentgendermixinfavorofwomen,which,islackinginmanyemploymentgenerationschemesofthegovernmentandinothersectorssuchasinfrastructurebuilding(roads,highwaysetc.).Thisleadstowomenempowermentintheplanthinterland.*Itbringsadditionalskillstoruralareasandcanraisetheincomelevelsoffarmersandlaborers,andthisinturnimprovesthestandardofliving.Thecreationofemploymentopportunitiesinruralareasreducesthegovernmentspendingrequirementonemploymentgenerationandatthesametimebringsinadditionaltaxrevenuestothegovernment.EnvironmentalBenefitsofBiomassbasedpowerplantThebenefitsofbiomassuseasasourceoffuelincogenerationsystems,besidesenergysecurity&independenceoftheindustries,includeseveralenvironmentalbenefits,mainlyintermsofGHGreduction:*BiomassPowergeneration,isconsideredtobeCO2neutral,sinceonlytheamountofcarbonfixedduringthegrowthofacrop/tree,isemittedduringitscombustion.*Biomassistraditionallyusedascookingfuelinhouseholdsinmanycountries,especiallyinruralareas,whichisthecauseofindoorairpollutionandhealthimpacts,suchasasthma,bronchitis,respiratoryinfectionsetc.onwomen&children,leadingtomorbidity&mortality.Governmentsinvariouscountriesp  rovidecleanfuelssuchasLPG&kerosene,atsubsidizedprices,toreduce&disengagefirewood/biomassasacookingfuel.Henceincreasingamountofbiomassisavailableassurpluswhichcanbemoreefficientlyutilizedforpowergeneration.*Openburningandcookingcauseahighlevelofparticulatematterproblems,whichareaddressedeffectively,withelectrostaticprecipitators(ESP)inbiomasspowerplants.*Thesurplusbiomassisburntinthefields,byfarmers,togetridofitintimefortheplantationofnextcrop.Thisopenburninginthefields,haveenvironmental&healthimpactswhichcanbealleviatedduetoefficientutilizationandburningprocessinthepowerplant.*Itreducesthetransmissionlosseswhichotherwisewouldhaveincurredwhentheelectricityissuppliedtotheruralareaswheretypicallytheseplantsarelocated.Thisinturnleadstolessfuelusagetoproduceelectricitybyanequivalentamount.UnderEvaluationGILGrowthPlansGILhasastrongpipelineof~100MWofprojectsbiomassprojectsunderevaluationatvariousstagesofdevelopment.InthisverticalGILisveryselectiveaboutitsinvestmentsandtargetsonlythebestinclassprojects.By2015,GILaspirestohavemorethan40MWofbestinclassoperatingbiomassprojectsinIndiaandhaveapipelineof80MWofprojectsunderdevelopment.
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