Power Secretary reviews status of Biomass utilization in Thermal Power Plants in the country : SAMAR

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Power Secretary reviews status of Biomass utilization in Thermal Power Plants in the country : SAMAR

  • In order to reduce stubble burning and to reduce the carbon footprint of Thermal Power Plants while increasing the income of farmers, the Government of India has taken the various proactive step with the establishment of the National Mission on Use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants.
  • The agro-residue/ biomass earlier considered as a waste product has now begun to produce zero-carbon electricity for the citizens of the country.
  • In turn farmers are getting additional income by selling the stubble/ biomass for conversion into torrefied/ non-torrefied biomass pellets.


  • The National Mission on biomass will contribute to the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
  • It would further support the energy transition in the country and our targets to move towards cleaner energy sources.


  • To address the issue of air pollution due to farm stubble-burning and to reduce carbon footprints of thermal power generation.


  • Increase the level of biomass co-firing from present 5% to higher levels to have a larger share of carbon-neutralup to power generation from the thermal power plants.
  • Biomass co-firing stands for adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers.
  • Take up R&D (Research & Development) activity in boiler design to handle the higher amount of silica, alkalis in the biomass pellets.
  • Facilitate overcoming the constraints in the supply chain of biomass pellets and agro- residue and its transport upto to the power plants.
  • Consider regulatory issues in biomass co-firing.


  • The duration of the proposed National Mission would be a minimum of 5 years.

Initiatives to Reduce Pollution from Coal Power Plants:

  • Stringent emission standards for coal-based thermal power plants have been notified.
  • Compulsory adoption of emissions standards for installing Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) units that cut emissions of toxic sulfur dioxide.
  • Approved automatic transfer of coal linkage from inefficient power plants to new supercritical plants subject to certain conditions to promote the setting up of supercritical units in place of old ones.
  • Thermal power plants within 50 km of sewage treatment facilities will mandatorily use treated sewage water.

Other Initiatives to Reduce Air Pollution:

  • Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms.
  • UJALA scheme.
  • International Solar Alliance.
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).


  • Biomass is plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity or heat.
  • Examples - wood, energy crops, and waste from forests, yards, or farms.


  • It is renewable, widely available, carbon-neutral, and has the potential to provide significant employment in rural areas.
  • It is also capable of providing firm energy. About 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is still derived from biomass and more than 70% of the country’s population depends upon it for its energy needs.