In news– Recently, the Union Power Secretary chaired the second meeting of Steering Committee for SAMARTH i.e. National Mission on Use of Biomass in Coal based thermal Power Plants.
- In order to reduce stubble burning and to reduce carbon footprint of thermal power plants while increasing the income of farmers, the government has established the National Mission on Use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants.
- For overall monitoring of the Mission and to facilitate the Mission on inter-ministerial issues/constraints, a Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Power (MoP) has been constituted.
- Under this mission, advertisement, awareness campaign and training activities are actively being pursued.
- With this mission, agro-residue/ biomass, earlier considered as a waste product, has now begun to produce zero-carbon electricity for the citizens of the country.
- In turn farmers are getting additional income by selling the stubble/ biomass for conversion into torrefied/ non-torrefied biomass pellets.
Current status of Biomass Utilization in thermal Power Plants-
- The Ministry of Power’s policy on “Biomass Utilization for Power Generation through Co-firing in Coal based Power Plants” issued in October 2021 mandates all thermal power plants in the country to use 5 to 10% biomass along with coal for power production.
- As on date, approximately 59,000 metric tonnes (MT) of biomass has been cofired in thermal power plants in the country.
- It has been observed that NTPC has emerged as a leader in biomass users.
- Among the State Governments, Haryana State Genco has been able to co-fire around 550 MT of biomass in two of its stations and float tenders worth 11 lakh metric tonnes.
- Some of the Public and Private generating companies have started co-firing small quantities of biomass in Punjab, UP and Maharashtra.