India is at the global center stage ever since it has embarked on the journey of a profound socio-economic transformation. Propelled by world’s largest and most vibrant democracy and home to over one-sixth of the world’s population, India is already in the top league being the third-largest economy. India’s industrialization and modernization has gathered significant momentum through conducive policies and recent campaigns like “Make in India” which envisage India as a manufacturing hub.
Whilst there are many challenges for achieving envisaged success of “Make in India” campaign, how to sustainably fuel the manufacturing remains a major question. Manufacturing-based growth requires at least 10-fold more energy per unit of value added when compared with growth led by the services sector. For realizing the milestones envisaged for “Make in India”, the additional demands on energy arise primarily from industry. This additional energy shall be required by not only energy-intensive sectors but also from other industries that are targeted by the “Make in India” campaign such as textiles, food processing, industrial equipment and machinery. Besides consequential incremental energy demands from road freight, residential consumption and for a more mechanized and productive agricultural sector also rise.
Whilst there has been a consistent increase in global renewable fuels by industrial consumers, the focus has been more on Solar and Wind and other unconventional sources which require significant investment. Amidst renewable energy resources, Biomass based Solid Biofuels offer a vast potential for feeding the fuel requirements of a variety of Industrial Boilers. Besides being fully eco-friendly, Biomass based Solid Biofuels can be easily manufactured. Rich availability of biomass from mainly agrarian economy of India fetches a good opportunity to produce green fuel with low investment and economic advantage.
The paper discusses the potential of using Biomass Based Solid Biofuels like Briquettes and Pellets as sustainable and alternate fuel for industrial usage and related issues.
Keywords: Renewable Energy Resources, Renewable Fuels, Biomass, Solid Biofuels, Briquettes, Pellets
India is at the global center stage ever since it has embarked on the journey of a profound socio- economic transformation. Propelled by world’s largest and most vibrant democracy and home to over one- sixth of the world’s population, India is already in the top league being the third-largest economy. India’s industrialization and modernization has gathered significant momentum through conducive policies and recent campaigns like “Make in India” which envisage India as a manufacturing hub.
There are many challenges for achieving envisaged success of “Make in India” campaign, how to sustainably fuel the manufacturing remains a major question. Manufacturing-based growth requires at least 10-fold more energy per unit of value added when compared with growth led by the services sector.
IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) predicts that India will become world’s 4th largest renewables consumer by 2030, so it becomes indispensable to make important business connections in this market. In fact, India aims to have 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and has been ranked as the 5th in the world’s top ten wind power producers and is estimated to account for 9% of future worldwide renewable capacity and target of 15,000 MW of biomass-based capacity by 2022.
In addition to being increasingly economical, IRENA has stressed that renewable energy provides strong social and environmental benefits, simultaneously improving public health and security, creating jobs, reducing air pollution, boosting GDP and improving the balance of trade. The renewable energy industry is now employing 6.5 million people globally; a number
IRENA estimates could top 16 million by 2030. India is the world’s fourth largest employer in the sector, with 391,000 renewable energy jobs.
“India has one of the most ambitious renewable energy programmes in the world and developments in India will strongly influence the trajectory of the energy transformation worldwide,” according to Mr. Amin, Director- IRENA.
According to IREF (Indian Renewable Energy Federation) its aim is to ensure prompt and extensive permeation of Renewable Energy sector in India and beyond, by forming policy frameworks and building strategic partnerships with all stakeholders. IREF look for establishing and driving India as a global leader in clean energy technology production, innovation, deployment, service delivery, and market creation. Guaranteeing energy security in India through clean and sustainable energy sources is main aim of IREF.
Whilst there has been a consistent increase in global renewable fuels by industrial consumers, the focus has been more on solar and wind and other unconventional sources which require significant investment. Amidst renewable energy resources, biomass based solid biofuels offer a vast potential for feeding the fuel requirements of a variety of industrial boilers. Besides being fully eco-friendly, biomass based solid biofuels can be easily manufactured. Rich availability of biomass from mainly agrarian economy of India fetches a good opportunity to produce green fuel with low investment and economic advantage.
II. POTENTIAL OF BIOMASS BRIQUETTE FROM ECONOMIC POINT OF VIEW
The biomass briquetting is important for the success of the economic as well as environmental aspects. The role of the biomass briquettes in developing nations is important for global energy saving and dealing with the global climate changing.
Around 74 million tones biomass agro-crops residues can be produced and used for the energy applications in many developing nations like India. The potential of such biomass residues to produce electricity is more than 67 TW annually. Bio fuel has become a term that is in larger demand in many industries. Biomass includes the woody materials of forestry and agricultural waste like cotton stalks, rice husks, almond shells etc. These biomass wastes can be used as a source for the production of the bio energy. The latest technology is the biomass briquettes to produce the renewable energy source from the waste biomass materials. By the use of biomass briquettes the capacity of the agricultural bio residues has increased. Therefore, the biomass briquettes help to achieve maximum utilization of the bio energy present in the biomass residues and to stop the soil erosion done by such waste materials.
III. ROLE OF BRIQUETTE IN SAVING GLOBAL ECONOMY
The biomass briquettes can play an imperative role in saving global economy. As all kind of biomass residues can be converted into a high densified fuel through the process of briquetting, the production of solid bio- fuel briquettes can easily be carried out in the agricultural based countries where these bio residues are available in ample quantity. The raw materials for manufacturing briquettes are green and available at very low cost. So, the briquette manufacturing technology provides the alternative energy fuel at very cheap rate which is feasible to every industry.
IV. GOVERNMENT POLICY
The Indian Government has offered various incentives for implementation of the biomass briquette plant project. Some of the highlights of the incentives which is offered by the Indian Government for biomass briquette machine.
100% income tax free for the First five years A subsidy of 35% on the cost of the plant is provided by the Government
80% depreciation on Capital cost in the First years itself
No necessity of NOC from State Pollution Boards
The higher energy value, low ash production, having low moisture content, long burning time due to uniform combustion, fixed shape and size, easy storage and transportation and eco-friendly nature, all these advantages of briquettes show that the briquette is only fuel which can replace the black coal in the industries.
Also, the industrial benefits of using the briquette can save the manufacturing cost of boiler and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
V. LEVERAGING RENEWABLE ENERGY THROUGH SOLID BIOFUELS
For foundries & furnace, thermal application like steam generation in boilers, any type of biomass briquette can be used for heating purposes, drying process and in gasification plant replacing conventional solid fuels like Coal and Firewood and liquid fuels like Diesel, Kerosene, Furnace Oil (FO), etc.
Briquettes is going to be the most important fuel of the world. An upcoming use of briquettes is in electricity generation, bio-gasifiers for thermal applications. It’s a benefit towards economical, ecological, & advanced environmental company policy.
If boiler is running on F.O (furnace oil) or coal, it is not tough to change to biomass briquettes. Small changes to the existing boiler can help to fire briquettes. Switching to biomass briquettes can also help to earn carbon credits.
In fact, briquettes can replace the conventional fuels like diesel, kerosene, furnace oil, lignite, coal and firewood.
Biomass briquettes are one of the most effective and efficient biomass energy generation sources that has been found. They are very low cost, because they use domestic and local resources to their fullest extent. The energy derived from these biomass energy sources is a clean burning energy that is much better for the earth and the environment. Fossil fuels will run out in the near future, and unless steps are taken to switch to renewable energy sources an energy crisis may occur. This can be prevented by using biomass briquettes for electricity generation instead of other energy sources.
The major use of biomass briquettes in India, is in industrial applications usually to produce steam. A lot of conversions of boilers from FO to biomass briquettes have happened over the past decade. A vast majority of those projects are registered under CDM (Kyoto Protocol), which allows for users to get carbon credits.
The use of biomass briquettes has been strongly encouraged by issuing carbon credits. One carbon credit is equal to one free ton of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere. India has started to replace charcoal with biomass briquettes in regards to boiler fuel, especially in the southern parts of the country because the biomass briquettes can be created domestically, depending on the availability of land. Therefore, constantly rising fuel prices will be less influential in an economy if sources of fuel can be easily produced domestically.
Energy from biomass is dependable as it is free of fluctuation unlike wind power and does not need storage to be used in times of non-availability as is the case with solar.
However, is not the preferred renewable energy source till now. Biomass availability is not certain for whole year. Biomass from agriculture is available only after harvesting period which can stretch only for 2-3 months in a year. So there is a need to procure and then store required quantity of biomass within this stipulated time.
Some of the Indian states leading in establishing biomass-based power supply are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Incongruously, states having agricultural-based economy have not properly been able to utilize the opportunity and figure low on biomass energy utilization. Only Uttar Pradesh has utilized large part of the biomass potential in north Indian States and that is mainly due to the sugarcane industry and the co-generation power plants.
The electricity generation could be cheaper than coal if biomass could be sourced economically.
If companies using boilers and power plants using coal resort to briquettes the scenario will definitely change and India may become the leading country in power generation through solid biomass and a major green electricity producer.
 Saurabh Mahapatra, India Attracted $14 Billion In Renewable Energy Investment In 3 Years, April 29th, 2016
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Renewable_Ener gy_Agency