Study helped reduce reliance on TPPs and mitigate air pollution
New Delhi: A study has helped in reducing the reliance of Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) on coal and mitigating air pollution caused due to stubble burning “to some extent”, Union Minister of Power R.K. Singh said in the Lok Sabha today.
The study established that 5-10% biomass can be safely co-fired with coal without adverse impact on the thermal power plant. Experiments were carried out by NTPC-NETRA in the NTPC Dadri coal-based thermal power plant to ascertain the impact of co-firing biomass on the Thermal Power Plants (TPPs).
The Minister said that so far around 97000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of agro-residue-based biomass has been co-fired in coal-based thermal power plants, leading to a reduction of more than 1.2 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) of carbon dioxide emissions.
To address the burning issue of air pollution particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to farm stubble burning and to reduce the carbon footprints of thermal power generation, the Ministry of Power launched the National Mission on the use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants (SAMARTH) on July 12, 2021, and the revised biomass policy was issued on October 8, 2021, mandating all TPPs in the country to use 5% of biomass pellets in the co-firing with coal.
Singh said the government has also taken the following steps:
(i) A customized window has been made available on the GeM portal for Biomass pellet procurement.
(ii) Biomass has been notified under Priority Sector lending by the RBI. This would enable easier & faster availability of bank loans to the pellet manufacturers. The State Bank of India has launched a dedicated scheme to provide long-term loan to pellet manufacturers.
(iii) Following Financial Subsidy Schemes have been issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) to encourage new entrepreneurs:
i. MNRE Scheme “Biomass Programme” provides assistance to set up the biomass pellet plant”.
ii. CPCB guidelines “One-time financial assistance scheme for setting up pellets plant in NCR”.
The Minister said that for providing financial assistance for setting up biomass pellet manufacturing plants, schemes envisaged were:
(a) MNRE Bio Energy Schemes in which Pellet Manufacturing plants will be provided with Rs. 9 Lakh per MTPH (Metric Ton Per Hour) of Rs. 45 Lakhs per plant as Central Financial Assistance.
(b) CPCB financial support under Environment Protection Charge (EPC) funds for Non-torrefied plant set up by a one-time support of Rs. 14 Lac per ton of production capacity per hour subject to a ceiling of Rs. 70 Lacs and for Torrefied plant set up one-time capital support of Rs. 28 Lac per ton of production capacity per hour subject to a ceiling of Rs. 1.40 Crores. A corpus of Rs. 50 crores have been earmarked for utilisation through the guidelines.
– global bihari bureau