Biomass materials meet myriad human needs including
energy. Sources of biomass energy are trees, crops and
animal waste. Thermo and Bio Conversion technologies
would make efficient bioenergy end use available.
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 twentieth century ushered in oil which
developed into one of the most vibrant global energy for
agriculture, transport and industries including electric power.
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
• 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
In a social, economic, legal and political setting
What is Sustainability?
Bioenergy- In a social, economic, legal
and political setting 9
Power, Lighting, Heating, Operation of Kilns,
Transportation, Milling, Motor Usages, Cooking.
• Solid biomass combustion and gasification for
• Slurry biomethanation for electricity and
cooking energy (gas)
• Efficient wood-burning devices for cooking
• Liquid biofuels for local usages and
Biofuel stoves for home & institutional cooking
Biogas digesters for cooking & lighting
Briquetting for producing ‘biocoke’ from
particulate agro residues
Thermal gasification system to generate producer
gas for diesel substitution in stationary engines
for water pumping and rural industry.
What are the connections between
Bioenergy and Sustainability in India?
To meet sustainability goals – social,
GOALS OF BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
In India, policies aim to promote modernization
and commercialization of biomass production,
combustion, densification, and electricity
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
RESOURCES FOR BIOFUELS IN INDIA
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-à-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
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.
ƒThe National Project on Biogas Development (NPBD),
to set up family type biogas plants.
ƒThe 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.
alternative use of biomass as fodder or
industrial raw material
actual availability of so-called waste
lands, forest lands and other types of
availability of water, geographical and
The most vital issue for biomass energy in India is
the development of market for biomass
Two broad responses to this are:
i) ensuring reliable and enhanced biomass
ii) provide energy services reliably with biomass
technologies at competitive cost.
Training programmes for creating pool of skilled
Effective Monitoring and Evaluation for quality control
Economic/Financial Viability by means of pilot projects,
transparent feasibility studies, prototype business
Coordinated R&D policies
Incentives for private sector participation
Development of information package in technologies
and subsequent dissemination to entrepreneurs, end-
users, policy makers, manufacturers