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Biomass materials are used since millennia for meeting myriad human needs including energy. Main sources of

biomass energy are trees, crops and animal waste. Until

the middle of 19th century, biomass dominated the global energy supply with a seventy percent share. Among the

biomass energy sources, wood fuels are the most

prominent. With rapid increase in fossil fuel use, the share of biomass in total energy declined steadily through substitution by coal in the nineteenth century and later by refined oil and gas during the twentieth century.

Oil & Gas:

The early years of the twentieth century

ushered in oil which developed into one of the most vibrant

global industries of all times. One hundred years later, this industry has reached its zenith with the panorama of entering

its twilight years in the second half of this twenty-first century.

How far in the future can the happening of this event be deferred depends on how much we can decelerate a runaway demand and how expeditiously we can implement specialized renewable technologies. These measures will give us more breathing space to develop alternate energy forms, non hydrocarbon fuels like biomass.

With a rapidly growing economy and rising population,

India is the fifth largest and one of the fastest growing petroleum oil consumers in the world. With limited

domestic crude oil reserves, India meets over 72 per cent

of its crude oil and petroleum products (diesel, aviation fuel, etc.) requirement through imports. Energy demand in the transport sector is growing relatively high due to the growing economy and rising private vehicle ownership, particularly four-wheelers. Due to rising oil consumption and relatively flat domestic production, India is increasingly dependent on imports to meet its petroleum demand.

What is Bioenergy?
What is Sustainability? What are the connections between them in India? Goals of bioenergy technologies Strategies to address these goals What is happening towards this strategy implementation? Way Forward

What is bioenergy?
Energy from trees, plants, crops or from human, animal, municipal and industrial wastes Woody and

Non Woody Biomass.

Woody - derived from forests, plantations and forestry residues Non Woody - comprises agricultural and agro industrial residues, algae, and animal, municipal and industrial wastes.

What is Sustainability?

In a social, economic, legal and political setting

Bioenergy- In a social, economic, legal and political setting

Power, Lighting, Heating, Operation of Kilns,

Transportation, Milling, Motor Usages, Cooking. Solid biomass combustion and gasification for electricity Slurry biomethanation for electricity and

cooking energy (gas)

Efficient wood-burning devices for cooking

Liquid biofuels for local usages and



What are the connections between Bioenergy and Sustainability in India?

To meet sustainability goals social, environmental domains



In India, policies aim to promote modernization and commercialization of biomass production, combustion, densification, and electricity generation. A long-term techno-economic analysis using the MARKAL model shows that biomass electricity technologies have significant potential to penetrate Indian market under a fair competition with the fossil technologies. Under an optimal greenhouse gas mitigation regime, biomass electricity penetration can be reached in next thirty years. 13

Myriad economic, social, technological and institutional barriers remain to be overcome. The future prospects of biomass technologies depend considerably on removing these barriers. The key issue before the Indian policy makers is to develop the market for biomass energy services by ensuring reliable and enhanced biomass supply, removing the tariff distortions favouring fossil fuels and producing energy services reliably with modern biomass technologies at

competitive cost.



India's biofuel strategy continues to focus on use of non-food sources for producton of biofuels: sugar molasses for production of ethanol for blending with gasoline, and non-edible oilseeds for production of biodiesel for blending with petro-diesel.

The government's current target of five per cent blending of ethanol with petrol has been partially successful in years of surplus sugar production, but

falters when sugar production declines.


The cornerstone of India's energy security strategy is to focus efforts toward energy self-reliance and developing renewable energy options like biofuels vis--vis fossil fuels. Adoption of environmentally friendly biofuels to meet improved vehicle emission norms. Developing an alternative usage for crops like sugarcane and its byproducts as feedstock for biofuels to support farm income. Improve utilization of wastelands and other unproductive land for cultivation of biofuel feed stock. Enhance rural employment and livelihood opportunities by promoting production and marketing of biofuel feed stocks


Wasteland Agricultural Residues Forest Wasteland - forest, forest tree twigs, forest wastes, plantation, farmlands, homesteads, degraded lands and shrubs Marginal Cropland Crops Rice, Maize, Cotton, Sugarcane Dung Cattle, Buffalo - cattle dung, leaf litter and woody biomass as the feedstock, biogas can be used for cooking Oil bearing seeds, crops - Jatropha curcas, Neem, Mahua, Wild Species, Sweet Sorghum, Rice Bran, Neem, Sal, Karanja



Energy forms which are available

gaseous (biogas, producer gas)

liquid (ethanol, methanol, biofuels)

solid (briquette) fuels

Penetration of bioenergy technologies has been marginal in comparison to the target inspite of large number of programmes






Lignocellulosic ethanol technologies by biochemical

conversion using enzymes are the focus of a

considerable amount of research, notably in the United States. Thermochemical conversion, by gasification and the Fischer Tropsch synthesis of the gases into petroleum substitutes, is also under

evaluation at a demonstration scale. There is no

clear consensus about when lignocellulosic

technologies will be commercially competitive.


The National Programme for Improved Cook stoves (NPIC) was launched to disseminate mud based improved

cook stoves, equipped with chimneys, and portable metallic

stoves to increase the fuel use efficiency and to reduce indoor air pollution.

T he National Project on Biogas Development (NPBD),

to set up family type biogas plants. T he Village Energy Security Programme (VESP) was started by the MNRE with an objective to provide total energy requirement of villages_ lighting, cooking, and motive power with the involvement of local community.

Biomass based power systems come under the purview of the Electricity Act. Further, the Rural Electrification Policy (2006), National

Electricity Policy (2005) and the Integrated Energy

Policy (2005) provided the required enabling environment for the promotion of electrification to the entire country. The National Policy on Biofuels was approved by the Government of India (GOI)

on December 24, 2009.



use of biomass as fodder or industrial raw material collection efficiency actual availability of so-called waste lands, forest lands and other types of lands availability of water, geographical and weather conditions

The most vital issue for biomass energy in India is the development of market for biomass

energy services.
Two broad responses to this are: i) ensuring reliable and enhanced biomass supply, and ii) provide energy services reliably with biomass

technologies at competitive cost.


WAY FORWARD Training programmes for creating pool of skilled personnel Entrepreneurship Development Effective Monitoring and Evaluation for quality control Economic/Financial Viability by means of pilot projects, transparent feasibility studies, prototype business plans Coordinated R&D policies Incentives for private sector participation Development of information package in technologies and subsequent dissemination to entrepreneurs, endusers, policy makers, manufacturers