SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, Ministry of Power has asked states to formulate time-bound plans to ensure the utilization of biomass for co-firing in thermal power plants ahead of the Kharif harvest season to reduce stubble burning and air pollution.
- Farm stubble burning plays a major role in air pollution across the country.
- This step has taken to address the issue of air pollution,
- And to reduce the carbon footprint of thermal power generation.
- Earlier October, for the use of agro residue-based biomass,
- Ministry of Power has mandated the use of five to seven per cent of biomass co-fired along with the coal for all thermal power plants.
- Ministry of Power (MOP) set up a National Mission on the use of Biomass in thermal power plants in July last year named as SAMARTH Mission.
Why Biomass for co-firing?
- Biomass is available at a lower price, owing to the rising prices of imported coal.
- Biomass co-firing along with coal presents a viable solution to the stubble burning problem while affording multiple benefits like additional income for farmers, power generation, and reduction of dependence on coal.
- Co-firing of biomass pellets is not only environment-friendly but also an economical option for power utilities as compared to the blending of imported coal.
Biomass co-firing stands for burning biomass in coal-fired power plants along with coal.
Types of co-firing:
- Direct co-firing: Biomass and coal are burned in the same furnace. Russia accounts for 13% of world output of fertilizers.
- Indirect co-firing: Solid biomass is converting to clean fuel gas, using a biomass gasifier. Parallel co-firing (A completely separate biomass boiler is install in addition to conventional boiler).
- Minimize greenhouse gases, additional income for farmers, existing coal power plants can be retrofitted quickly and cost-effectively, works on existing network of coal plants.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES