bagasse power in india: meeting challenges of energy, environment and sustainable development

Research Article
Anisha Agarwal, Vyoma Maroo
Bagasse, conventional fuels, power generation, renewable, emission.

As the conventional fuels such as coal, petroleum etc. are limited in the nature therefore, alternate sources of the energy for the fulfillment of the future demand is required. India, which accounts for around 85% of South Asian electricity generation, is facing serious power problems with current generation being about 30% below the demand. New options now have to meet the challenges and needs for generating more electricity and investing heavily in sector. Overall, Indian power demand is projected to increase to 1,192 billionkilowatt hours (BkWh) in 2020, around three times, 378 BkWh consumed in 1996. India, one of the leading sugarcane producers in the world realizing the potential of bagasse, a byproduct of the sugar industry, for power generation, has come up with various programs and incentives to boost the sector. India produces nearly 40 million metric tonne (MMT) of bagasse, which is mostly used as a captive boiler fuel other than its minor use as a raw material in the paper industry. The paper aims to explain the conversion of bagasse into electric power. An extensive review of the existing literature reveals that the sugar mills have been able to export power in the season as well as in the off-season by using bagasse. The electricity production through bagasse, is more easily adoptable and can be easily applicable to most part of the country. Electricity through this source is cheaper than the electricity produced by the conventional fuels and also the emission is very low and this small amount of the emission can be easily controlled as compared to its counterpart. It has benefited the environment by reducing the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere in terms of the usage of biomass as fuel. An effort is made here to study and analyze keeping the availability and environmental pollution in view of this resource in the country. Therefore, Bagasse, a renewable resource, can play a major role in substituting fossil fuels for the future power generation.