Biomass in Punjab
A large number of private companies have entered the biomass energy sector in order to capitalize on the potential of biomass growth. A new entrant into the biomass energy field in India, Punjab Biomass plans to set up seven 12 MW plants in India’s northern agri-state of Punjab. The company which is majority owned by financial major IL&FS will set up these plants based on rice and sugar biomass. Note India has a large potential for biomass energy given that it is one of the biggest agri-producers in the world. However the potential remains untapped as biomass plants suffer from a steady supply of biomass fuel. Note the successful biomass companies in India are the agri-producers themselves as they have an integrated operation. A2Z is another company that is focusing on biomass energy production in Punjab.
Note Punjab despite being one of the top agri-producing states in India is ranked 8th with just 28 MW of biomass capacity (2009).
Biomass Power Capacity of Indian States
State Installed Capacity (MW)
1. Uttar Pradesh – 372.5
2. Andhra Pradesh – 343.3
3. Tamil Nadu – 333.7
4. Karnataka – 294.2
5. Maharashtra – 185.5
6. Chhattisgarh – 156.1
7. Rajasthan – 31.3
8. Punjab – 28.0
9. Haryana – 6.0
10. Madhya Pradesh – 1.0
11. Gujarat – 0.5
Source : MNRE
Biomass Energy is highly under-appreciated as a renewable source of energy despite being the most important source of energy during most of human history. Till the 19th century biomass energy used to account for 70% of the world’s energy consumption and still accounts for around 10% of the world consumption.
Read more about the Advantages of Biomass Energy.
India’s Biomass Electricity Capacity at 3 GW (including cogeneration) is around 6% of the world’s total Biomass Power Capacity of around 52 GW. US is the leader in Biomass Capacity with around 20% of the world’s biomass potential. India’s Ministry of Renewable Energy has set a very high target of multiplying the power capacity by 10 times in the next 10 years. India’s Total Biomass Potential with existing Technology is around 25 GW of which around 12% has been realized till date. India produce s 500 million tonnes of biomass per year, 120-150 million tonnes is surplus.
Punjab Biomass Power Ltd., a developer of clean-energy projects in India, plans to set up 96 megawatts of plants fueled by rice straw by 2017. The company, backed by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. and Bermaco Energy Ltd., expects to raise 800 million rupees ($15.2 million) by February for its next plant in northern Punjab state, Bermaco Managing Director Monish Ahuja said in a phone interview today from Mumbai. It has an existing 12-megawatt plant in Patiala district.