Here we are – bringing to you Part 2 of the #TechWindow Series – Status of the #Biogas sector in India. Stay tuned for the next parts right here!
Status of the Biogas Sector in India
Biogas plants in India are mainly divided into three models : (i) Household (ii) Community Size (iii) Large-scale (Market sized). A provision of Rs. 134 crores had been budgeted under the head “Biogas Programme” by MNRE for 2017-18.
Biogas production in India is most common at household and community levels, mainly to fulfil cooking gas needs. There are more than 5 million such biogas plants out of which, nearly 85-90% household plants are not in working conditions. For 2017-18, the government targeted to install 1.1 lakh (or 0.11 million) family sized biogas plants. This was likely to save around 2.2 million LPG cylinders. Against the 1.1 lakh, 0.15 lakh biogas plants were installed by the end of November 2017. This figure is despite the excellent subsidy provided by the MNRE.
On the other hand, large-scale biogas plants are mostly either installed by the local state or municipal authorities or by industries for captive purposes. The subsidy provided by the government for the large-scale plants are also attractive. To understand the causes, we can look into the value chain of the biogas sector which is mainly divided into three parts:
In case of resources, India has 141 million hectares of arable land which can produce over 700 MT of biomass annually. The residues from this biomass an estimated, 150 MT, is an important feedstock for biogas plants. Additionally, we have a large cattle population and the dung along with poultry droppings sums to around 1000 MT. Apart from this, organic MSW and sewage are also a significant source of feedstock.
Regardless of the subsidy and a large amount of feedstock availability, the biogas sector in India has still not advanced sufficiently. In further posts, we shall discuss each of the challenges that we believe are faced by the sector and shall also look into the potential solutions to it.