Biomass in Indian energy matrix is veryimportant for remote villages and disenfranchised settlements. Biomass relatedprojects receives an investment of about $ 9251 million every year, leading toelectricity generation of 5000 million units. The national target is to achieve10 GW of installed biomass power by 2022.India has a potentialof about 18 GW of energy from Biomass. Currently, about 32% of total primary energyused in India is derived from Biomass. More than 70% of the country’spopulation depends upon biomass for its energy needs. India has ~5+ GW capacity biomass poweredplants: 83% are grid connected while the remaining 17% are off-grid plants.
The off- grid plants are divided betweencogeneration plants that do not utilize bagasse, biomass gasifiers for ruralapplications and biomass gasifiers for thermal applications in industry. Around70 Cogeneration projects are under implementation with surplus capacityaggregating to 800 MW. The leading states for biomass power projectsare Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka each one having more than 1 GW ofGrid interacted biomass power. Other states with favorable policy and opportunities in Biomass are Punjab andBihar. The central government has developed an overarching policy for biomassand bagasse cogeneration. It includes financial incentives and subsidies, bothfor biomass projects and sugar mills that use this technology. GoI gives10 years Income tax holidays.
Concessional customs and excise duty exemptionfor machinery and components for initial setting up of Biomass power projects.General sales tax exemption is available in certain States. State governmentshave also instituted their own incentives and subsidies and these initiativesdiffer across states.Even with decades of experience in managing biomass power, still theirexists lots of gaps in the supply chain. The main scope for interventions arein collection and mobilization of the raw material to the plant; technicalupliftment of the processing units including both bio as well as thermoplants; improving design and engineering aspects, promoting performancemonitoring and management systems, conducting feasibility studies and focusedresearch and development.