To enrich the farm value chain, the Uttar Pradesh government is working on a roadmap to process agricultural waste to feed the state thermal power plants in the state.
Agri waste or biomass will be converted into combustible pellets to replace coal in thermal power plants. The potential agri waste market in UP is estimated at Rs 50,000 crore annually.
Some thermal power units run by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as well as UP power utility are using biomass pellets along with coal.
Biomass fuel, derived from organic material, is a renewable and sustainable source of energy to generate electricity. Biomass pellets, made from compressed organic material, could be produced from industrial waste, food waste, cow dung, crops residue, untreated lumber etc.
According to state energy minister R K Sharma, Punjab, Haryana and UP are the leading states in biomass generation. UP’s biomass generation is estimated at 60 million tonnes (MT) annually.
Nearly 100 MT of coal is required to produce 7,000 megawatt of power, and if biomass fuel could replace even 10 percent of the existing coal usage, it is estimated to save Rs 5,000 crore.
Biomass fuel output will pare air pollution as farmers will desist from burning farm/crop residue after harvest and instead sell biomass/stubble.