Biomass Energy in India is growing at a fast pace due to the rapid advancements in Biomass Energy Technology,Incentives for generating Biomass Electricity by the Indian government and the huge requirements of Power in India.A number of Agricultural Companies and Green Utilities are focusing on setting up biomass plants in different places in India.Note Biomass Energy accounts for almost 20-30% of the Energy Requirements of the country and is the main source of energy for most of the rural communities for cooking and heating.Note the location of the Biomass Plant,the feedstock being used,the distance of the feedstock from the Biomass Plant and the management is extremely important for the success of a Biomass Plant.The profit on a Biomass Power Plant in India can vary widely depending on whether the monsoon season is good or not.In a drought year,the lack of Biomass makes running the Biomass Electricity Generators expensive leading to low profitability.
Biomass Energy in India
India had set up around 500 MW of Biomass Capacity by 2007 and has increased it by almost 150 MW since then to reach around 1 GW capacity today.Most of Indias’ Biomass Electricity is being generated in Andhra Pradesh,Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Rajasthan.A lot of new capacity is being built in Punjab and Chattisgarh as well.India with a total biomass capacity of around 1 GW is planning to increase it by 10 times to 10 GW by 2020.Between 200-600 acres of land are required to support 1 Mw of Biomass Capacity .This is much more than what is required for even thin film solar energy which is around 10 acres.The large land requirements make Biomass Energy Scaling a difficult proposition,however it has a great use in niche applications where there is a large amount of crop and animal residue/waste
Biomass Electricity Producing Companies in India
- Orient Green Power (OGPL) – Orient Green Power is the biggest pure play renewable energy generating company in India.The company is owned by the Shriram Group and a couple of PE Players.The company has around 48 MW of Biomass Electricity Capacity which it plans to increase to 200 MW.The company plans to be the biggest Renewable IPP with a target of 1000 MW.
- Greenko is an AIM Listed,TPG backed Green Energy generating company in India.In a short time span it has emerged as one of the biggest green companies with great financials.It has seen its share price shoot up over the last year as it has executed well.Greenko currently has six biomass plants and plans a total of 1000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2015 from hydro,wind and biomass sources.
- A2Z Maintenance & Engineering Services – This facilities management firm which recently came out with an IPO is planning to foray big time into biomass energy generation.The company is planning to set up 120 MW of Biomass Energy i n the next 2-3 years which would make it the biggest biomass electricity producing company in India.It plans to set up three 15 MW plants in Punjab and five 15 MW plants in Rajasthan mainly using crop residue like rice husk as feedstock.
- Lakshmi Energy and Foods is engaged in manufacturing and processing food grains and related products. The product includes rice, basmati rice (branded as Lakshmi Foods), parmal rice, rice bran edible oil, wheat flour, de-oiled cake, refined oils, and cattle feed (branded as Heera Moti). It also has 30MW biomass-based power generation business using rice husk as fuel.The company plans to expand this capacity to 105 MW.Note the company is trading at extremely low valuations and is traded on the Indian stock exchange.
- Clenergen India Private Limited – The company is a subsidiary of Clenergen Corporation based in Florida,USA.The company has a 18 MW plant in Kancheepuram Tamil Nadu and is taking over operations of an existing 27MW/h biomass power plant (the “Plant”), which has the ability increase Clenergen’s operating capacity to 51.5MW/h by the end of 2011
- Auro Mira Energy is a Tamil Nadu based Green Utility backed by a clutch of PE investors like IFC etc.It has 2 biomass plants of 7.5 MW and 10 MW and plans to build around 100 MW of hydro and biomass capacity over the next 2-3 years.
- Husk Power Systems (HPS), a Patna-based company engaged in rural electrification and power generation started by Darden School of Business 2009 graduates Chip Ransler and Manoj Sinha.HPS is engaged in producing clean energy from rice husks using biomass gasification technology.It currently owns and operates mini power plants with a capacity to produce 35-100 KW electricity, and has about 25 plants spread across Bihar.
- Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd – This is an Indian Biomass Energy Company that is setting up a huge planation in Ghana to employ thousands of workers.The plantation will grow bamboo, palmarosa and sweet sorghum on 10,000 hectares of degraded land which will be used as biomass feedstock for a big power plant
- LT Foods – This is also a well known rice producer and refiner with well known brands.It is similar in profile to Lakshmi Energy and Foods and plans to set up a 5 MW plant in Punjab with more investment in further expansion.
- Dee Development provides services primarily to the oil & gas and power sector .Dee Development has installed two bio-mass based power plants of 7.5 MW and 8 MW, both in the state of Punjab. It is also planning to set another biomass plant in Madhya Pradesh by 2011.
- AllGreen Energy – This Bangalore based startup has raised from Reliance Capital and GE.It is building a 6.4 MW biomass project in Perundurai,Tamil Nadu with a total installed capacity target of 100 MW.The company is using IGCC technology developed by IISC.
Biomass Energy is clearly seeing a massive investment of private capital by a number of Green Energy companies.A number of these companies are backed by Private Equity Players.Almost all Sugar Companies in the country co-generate biomass power at their sugar plants.The size of the segment is quite large and has not been listed here.In India 3 types of companies are focused on biomass electricity – Sugar Companies,Rice Companies and Green Energy Utilities.The first 2 categories will be successful as their cost of feedstock is essentially zero while the the success of the third kind will depend on the management and execution.
Greenworldinvestor Articles that expand on this article
- List of Top Renewable Energy/Green/CleanTech Companies in India which are Publicly listed
- A2Z Maintenance and Engineering Services IPO Review – Good Quality EPC,Facilities,Waste Management Company entering Biomass Energy Fairly Valued
- Renewable Energy in India – Past,Present and Future
- “Renewable Energy Certificate” Policy Starts in India – What you need to Know and Who will Benefit
- List of Wind Energy Companies in India – Pretenders or World Beaters
- How to make Green Investments in India – Renewable Energy Focused Power Utilities