“There is a need to develop fuel-flexible technologies"

Salman Zafar, CEO, BioEnergy Consult, talks about challenges and ways to scale up the Bioenergy market in India, in an email interaction, with Pushkar Oak.
“There is a need to develop fuel-flexible technologies

BioEnergy has been in India since 1987 while Solar has lifted its game contributing more towards renewable energy. What will help scale up BioEnergy?

Unlike solar power, biomass energy is a grassroot-level renewable energy technology. The success of biomass energy projects is heavily dependent on strong biomass supply chain, advanced conversion technologies, market price control, proactive government support, large-scale investment and reliable power purchasers.


Share with us current challenges in the sector?

The key challenges faced by the biomass sector are such as lack of institutional support, absence of biomass supply chain, low power tariffs and dishonouring of PPAs by utilities, alarmingly high rate of non-performing biomass projects and lack of indigenous technologies for large-scale biomass power generation.


How sugarcane will be help to scale up and why does govt. bids over it?

Bagasse and sugarcane trash are some of the biggest biomass resources in the country. Bagasse is currently used by sugar mills to generate in-house power using low-efficiency boilers while most of the cane trash remains unutilised. The deployment of high-efficiency CHP-based biomass energy systems in sugar mills will definitely go a long way in significantly increasing the installed biomass capacity.


Is cost-effective technology available in India for BioEnergy? Are there ample component suppliers to support the same?

Biomass combustion and gasification technologies are widely available in India for low-to-medium biomass energy plants. However, there is a real need to develop fuel-flexible technologies for large-scale biopower generation. Advanced thermal technologies, like biomass pyrolysis, will help in the rapid development of the biomass sector in India.


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