<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents from Delhi and the National Capital Region can now expect relief next year from the pollution caused due to the burning of stubble by farmers in Punjab and Harayana. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) on behalf of ministry of power has framed up a policy for biomass utilisation for power generation through co-firing in coal based power plants.CEA estimates that 30 to 40 million tonnes of paddy straw that remains unutilised and burnt in north west India has potential to generate about 6,000 to 8000 MW and 45,000 million units of electricity annually by co firing it along with coal in existing power plants. About 2.5 to 3 lakh tonnes of biomass pellets are required for 7% blending in a thermal power plant of 1,000 MW capacity.Biomass co-firing has a potential to create a market for large scale consumption of agro residue and convert into electricity in eco-friendly and cost effective manner while mitigation problem of air quality deterioration. The policy envisages that the appropriate electricity regulatory commission will determine the compensation to be allowed in tariff for increase in cost of generation on account of using bio mass pallets. Besides, the appropriate commission will devise a suitable mechanism to ensure the use of bio mass.Already, the power ministry last week has asked the state run NTPC to float a tender to buy farm stubble at Rs 5,500 per tonne, which will yield an additional income of approximately Rs 11,000 per acre to farmers.Power Ministry officer told DNA,” The biomass pellets co-firing in coal power plants will eliminate or minimize burning of agro residue and create economic value of agro residue by promoting its use as fuel in power plants in co firing mode. It will improve the air quality index and encourage the establishment of decentralized pellets manufacturing units and generate job opportunities. The officer clarified that the existing power plant infrastructure cannot directly use raw and agro residue bio mass in a pulverised coal fired type boiler and it is required to be processed into dense bio mass in the form of pellets.According to the officer, the CEA will provide technical assistance to utilities on how to use bio mass pellets for blending with coal in coal based thermal power plants.
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