Bioenergy is produced using biomass or organic matter. The biomass energy potential in India is enormous. Traditionally, it has always been an important energy source. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), nearly 32 per cent of the total primary energy use in the country is derived from biomass and more than 70 per cent of the population depends on it, especially in rural areas. Prime Minister Modi has set a target to increase India’s biomass capacity from 4.4GW to 10GW by 2022.
The process of using organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills or openly burned to generate electricity and heat is called biomass energy. Biomass in solid, liquid and gaseous form is not only used for electricity and heat generation, but also for the production of biofuels (transportation fuels). And because of a constant supply of organic waste, there is an almost infinite supply of bioenergy production!
India ranks fifth in the world in terms of usable hydroelectric potential, with an estimated capacity of 148GW. This can make hydropower one of the most important future sources to meet the country’s energy needs. India has roughly 42GW of hydropower generation capacity, while an additional 13GW is under construction. Though hydropower is clean energy, its benefits need to be weighed against the environmental and social costs.
Hydropower is derived from the force of moving water. This force is used to spin a turbine and operate a generator to produce electricity.
Run-of-river (ROR) plant The turbines are spun by the natural flow of the river, usually without any storage facility.
Storage plant A dam is used to slow down the flow of a river and store water in a large reservoir. Electricity is generated by releasing water from the reservoir through a turbine, which activates a generator.
Pumped storage plant During off-peak hours, reversible pumps are used to send water back from lower reservoirs to upper reservoirs.
Offshore Hydropower An upcoming technology that uses tidal currents to generate electricity.