Select Page

Sugar mills in India produce 2,000 megawatt of biomass-based energy every year, as much as windmills produce, and at half the cost, a new study has found.

The sugar mills, which produce both electricity and heat through cogeneration, are already selling power to the grid and can produce up to 5,100 MW — 69 percent of the country’s total cogeneration capacity — according to the study carried out by the New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Sugar mills generate biomass-based ‘green’ energy from bagasse, a waste product that comes from sugarcane cultivation. Mills in the five major sugarcane growing states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are now generating enough to meet the energy needs of a business centre the size of Gurgaon.

Today, out of the 650-odd sugar mills in India, 107 have cogeneration plants.

The report points out that bagasse generates nearly the same amount of power as the wind energy sector.

Bagasse-based cogeneration plants also earn carbon credits as the carbon dioxide absorbed by sugarcane plants while growing up is more than the carbon dioxide produced in burning bagasse. The cogeneration plant of Triveni earned about 186,000 certified emission reductions worth over Rs.30 million between March 2004 and December 2007.

India launched its biomass power (bagasse-based cogeneration) policy in 1990.

More from here