The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has signed an agreement with the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) to install a 5-tonne biogas plant at the municipality’s Waste to Wonder Park in Sarai Kale Khan, New Delhi. The proposed plant will produce 700 cubic metres of biogas, which can generate around 1,400 units of electricity per day along with 500-600 kgs of organic manure. SPMCIL has sanctioned an amount of Rs 29.4 million for the project under their corporate social responsibility scheme.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has introduced various programmes for promoting the bioenergy segment in India under which it provides central financial assistance for setting up projects as well as for supporting programme implementation, information dissemination and trainings. These include the New National Biogas and Organic Manure Programme (NNBOMP), Biomass Power and Bagasse Cogeneration Programme, and Biomass Gasification Programme. The Biogas-based Power Generation (off-grid) and Thermal energy application Programme (BPGTP) is also being implemented for 3 kW-250 kW capacity plants.
In order to effectively harness the biomass potential, the MNRE is implementing the NNBOMP for setting up small biogas plants of 1 cum-25 cum in size in remote, rural and semi-urban areas of the country. These plants will be based on cattle dung and other mixed biodegradable waste. Under the NNBOMP, a target to set up 76,000 small biogas plants has been fixed for the year 2019-20. The government is also promoting compressed bio gas (CBG) as an alternative green transport fuel for the efficient management of biomass and organic waste. To this end, oil public sector utilities launched the “Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation” (SATAT) initiative in October 2018. The SATAT initiative has the potential of addressing environmental problems arising from landfill emissions and stubble burning while bringing down the dependency on oil and gas imports. As of June 2019, oil marketing companies and gas marketing companies had awarded letters of intent (LoIs) to 344 plants for the production and supply of CBG.
For promoting biofuels, the central government announced a national policy on biofuels in 2018. The aim was to utilise indigenous non-feed stock raised on degraded or waste land, and promote research and development (R&D) in cultivation, processing and production of biofuels as well as the blending of fuels with ethanol. It classified biofuel as basic biofuel (first generation) and advanced biofuel (second and third generation). For ethanol production, the scope of raw material was expanded to allow the use of surplus food grains. The policy also encouraged the setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil and short gestation crops.