According to reports, India’s electricity consumption is expected to rise to around 2,280 BkWh by 2021-22 and 4,500 BkWh (billion kilowatt hours) by 2031-32, according to Forest College and Research Institute at nearby Mettupalayam.
In a release issued by the institute on the eve of a two-day national workshop on ‘Dendro Biomass Based power generation,’ it said that concomitant to the real GDP growth of 8.7 per cent in the last five years, per capita energy consumption has increased from 1,204 KWh in 1970-71 to 6,419 KWh in 2011-12, with an annual growth of 4.06 per cent.
However, India is not well endowed with conventional energy resources like oil gas or uranium.Coal is abundant but regionally concentrated and of low calorie and high ash content, it said.
Under such circumstances, India rightly shifted focus to tapping renewable power generation and currently installed power generation capacity is higher with coal at 58.3 per cent, followed by hydro 17.7 per cent, renewable energy 12.3 per cent, gas nine per cent, nuclear 2.1 per cent and oil 0.5 per cent, the release said.
Among renewable energy sources,bio-energy or biomass based power generation was a huge area of exploration, as there was a huge amount of biomass potential in India. Current biomass potential, including rural and urban waste is about 34,961 MWe.
Among biomass resources, the tree-based Dendro power generation is far superior due to high Gross Calorific Value and high combustibility, it said.
But the Dendro potential has not been fully exploited. In Tamil Nadu alone there are 13-15 biomass power plants, with an installed capacity of 120 to 160 MW, as against the potential of 480 MW.
Biomass power generation plants face severe constraints as the power is found to be costliest of all renewable energy due to non-availability of quality raw material, lack of site specific tree cultivation models, unorganised supply chain and lack of cooperation among stake holders, the release said.
The workshop will discuss and deliberate various aspects and generate viable ideas to salvage biomass power generation, the release added.