The demand for energy has seen an upsurge in India and so has been the magnitude of its production. Looking back to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations pledged by the government for sustainability in the nation, there have been serious considerations given to the settlement of renewable energy production units. This has encouraged vast participation by many NGO foundations and private entities. 

Some promising highlights of such developments are:

  • Fast-rising solar installed capacity that reached 25.21GW
  • Rural areas are provided with renewable energy based generators
  • Rooftop solar policies in residential, industrial or commercial buildings

With the concerns surrounding the depletion of non-renewable sources, the Indian government saw major commitment in the use of biomass energy or biofuel.

What is biomass energy or biofuel?

Unlike fossil fuels that are produced by geological processes and take millions of years to form, biofuel is an energy type that is derived from biological processes i.e. plant, algae or animal excreta.

Taking in its ease of accessibility & formation, this energy source has been chosen for household and industrial purposes.

Its various areas of applications are:

  • Used as cooking fuel replacing traditional solid biofuel such as wood, dung cakes etc.
  • Used to create biogas that encourages clean cooking without any indoor air pollution.
  • It also serves the purpose of industries through space heating, hot water heating and electricity generation.
  • Biomass gasifier has been manufactured for drying purpose.
  • Village electrification has been undertaken in few Southern and Eastern parts.

The current statistics of biomass production in India:

  • 450-500 million tonnes of biomass is produced every year, covering more than 30% of the energy requirement in the country.
  • The total installed capacity of biomass-based power in India has reached 8.3GW as of March 2018.
  • Family type biogas plants reached 3.98 million in installed capacity.
  • Estimations suggest that potential for biomass energy in India includes 16,000 MW from biomass and 3,500 MW from bagasse cogeneration.
  • Government plans to meet country’s diesel requirement by 2020 through the commercial sale of biodiesel.

Looking Forward to a Sustainable Future

India’s different approach in the production of biomass using non-feedstock serves dual purpose: reduction in the use of non-renewable sources while ensuring food security simultaneously. The focus remains in the utilization of wastes, degraded forests or the non-forested area where shrubs are grown for the production. This intelligent scheming ensures the sustainable development Goal 2 “Zero Hunger”, Goal 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”, and Goal 13 “Climate Action” as well as Goal 17 “Partnerships for the goals”.

In lieu of its production, the government is also taking care of the price dependency so that the future of biofuel is not anyhow gets disrupted by price of petroleum or diesel.

Indian startups are vastly undertaking technologies, using their expertise and studying the Indian economy as well as environmental situation to bring out an alternative but cost-effective energy production that the country could rely on.

Final thoughts

Sustainable future is not just a dream. Though we are not galloping on the path today, we are definitely moving right on it with steady objectives to attain such a future. 

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