India Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biofuels – EAI

Current Status of Biomass Gasification in India

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Even though biomass gasification provides the benefits of a well proven technology that can produce power at small scales using locally available resources, the total amount of power production from biomass gasification in India is relatively low. EAI estimates that the total installed capacity of biomass gasification based power production in India will be about 140 MW, out of a total of about 2600 MW of biomass based power (cumulative of grid connected and off grid). Of the total, bagasse based power generation has the lion’s share (about 1400 MW), followed by combustion-based biomass power production (about 875 MW).

Currently, most power production systems in India using biomass gasification are off-grid and have been for captive consumption for an industry or for a community.

Size (Capacity) Distribution for Gasification and Combustion Technologies








(10 kW – 25kW)

Not prevalent



(25kW – 250kW)

Not prevalent



(250 kW – 2MW)

Not prevalent



Large (2 MW and above)


Not prevalent


Type of system



Small Systems

(10 kW – 25 kW)

  • The smaller systems are more prominent in the rural area where availability of feedstock is not an issue; emphasis is on power generation despite lower efficiencies.
  • The efficiency (energy output/energy input) for a 25 KW system is about 12%.
  • The number of installed systems in this range is the maximum.

Combustion technology is not used in this range owing to very lower efficiencies.

Medium Systems

(25 kW – 250 kW)

  • In terms of cumulative capacity installed, this range is the maximum
  • Installed systems around the 500 MW capacities are much fewer in comparison to the 25-250 kW categories.

Same reason as above.

Large Systems

(1 MW and above)

  • Gasifiers work well upto 2 MW, beyond which multiple engines can be used, or pyrolysis technology can be implemented for higher capacities.
  • 36-40% efficiencies possible for 2 MW gas engines
  • There are fewer than 10 installations in India
  • The ideal minimum capacity requirement for combustion technology to be employed is 3MW- 5MW.
  • When considering bulk inputs the capacity can range between 5MW-10 MW.
  • Maximum capacity installed in this sector is about 20 MW.



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