BIOMASS POTENTIAL IN PUNJAB

 

 

The potential of major biomass energy resources available in Punjab is high. These resources, if utilized to their full extent for power generation, can contribute considerably in the current scenario. The biomass resource quantification is done along with its environmental impact assessment in terms of methane eMission & Visions pre and post production of biogas. Economic appeal of biomass energy is demonstrated by a comparative cost analysis among heavy fuel oil, natural gas and biomass. The ongoing policies and incentives on biomass energy usage, and bottlenecks in making the biomass a component of energy portfolio of Punjab has also been reviewed. Biomass-to- Energy has been recognized as a clean, reliable, renewable source of energy. Unfortunately in Punjab this source of energy has not been utilized for power generation in the past. Biomass-to-energy plants are used not only to generate sufficient power but also used to cleanup the environment as well by conserving non-renewable fossil fuel resources and reducing the environmental impacts of burning crops residue in fields. Biomass-to-energy facilities can also contribute to the country’s economy by providing jobs apart from generating electricity. The availability of biomass in Punjab is also widespread. Wheat straw, rice husk, rice straw, cane trash, bagasse, cotton sticks are some of the major crop residues in Punjab.

Crop

Biomass type

Area Under Crop
(M. Acres)

Gross Quantity of Biomass
(M. Ton)

Net Collectable Biomass
(M. Ton

Consumed Locally
(M. Ton)

Minimum Available for Power Generation
(M. Ton)

Cotton Cotton Stalk 5.705 11.43 10.288 5.144 5.144
Wheat Wheat Straw 16.154 18.63 16.764 15.088 1.676
Rice Rice Straw 4.229 4.869 4.382 2.191 2.191
Rice Husk 1.39 1.252 0.250 1.002
Sugarcane Sugarcane Waste 1.897 6.88 6.44 6.44 -
Corn Stalk 1.492 5.163 4.646 4.646 -
Cobs 1.721 1.549 0.620 0.929
Total (Excluding Bagasse) 43.204 38.881 27.940 10.942

n Punjab wheat is one of the most important crops. It produces 19.0 million Tons of wheat each year. Wheat straw is its by-product. It is usually gathered and stored in a straw bale and has many uses. The better utilization of wheat straw will support fuel for energy production. It can also be a source of an additional income for the farmers. This can be an important motivational factor in promoting an efficient harvesting, collection and management system of wheat straw. Secondly, Rice is also a useful crop for Punjab. It is cultivated at a large scale approximately 2.5 million tons of rice is produced in Punjab yearly. Rice Husk and Rice Straw can be obtained from the crop of the rice that can be used to generate biogas and electricity to fulfill the deficiency of energy. Rice husk in Punjab has the potential to generate 600MW to 1,000MW per annum.

Sugarcane is also one of the high potential sources of the biomass in Punjab. During 2013-2014, the area for cultivating sugarcane in Punjab was 1870, million acres which is 64% of the total sugarcane cultivation area of Pakistan. In 2013-14 its production in Punjab was 43 million tons that can generate around 4 metric tons of trash. The trash obtained from the sugar cane can be used for the electricity production. Similarly the potential of a sugarcane crop waste also has huge potential to produce electricity. Sugar mills are producing their own power from sugarcane. Cotton/Corn stalks available in the province may also generate 100-200 MW annually.

 

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