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Punjab to Produce 1,000 MW Green Power from Agricultural Residues

The government of Punjab, India, plans to produce about 1,000 MW of green energy from livestock residues by 2015, as large quantities of cattle manure became a main pollutant in the region.

In addition to livestock residues, the state generates about 21 million tons of rice stalks and similar biomass plant wastes every year, which can be used for the production of green power. The state government has plans to use renewable resources as the source of power to contribute 10% of its total energy production in the next five years.

Punjab already runs a biomethanation facility with a capacity of 1 MW located close to Ludhiana that uses methanogens as microbes for the manufacture of methane gas. The facility uses 235 tons of cattle wastes to generate 18,000 kWh of electricity and also produces 45 tons of organic fertilizer every day.

The Punjab Energy Development Agency has developed 318 MW of green power projects, which includes the Ludhiana plant, until today. These projects comprise 37 MW of small hydro facilities, 28 MW of biomass power facilities, 250 MW of biomass co-generation facilities and 2 MW of solar projects.

The agency is currently developing 132 MW of green power projects, which include 11 MW of hydropower, 100 MW of biomass co-generation and 20 MW of traditional biomass. If all become operational, the state will generate 700 MW of green power by 2012. Sukhbir Singh Badal, the deputy chief minister of the state stated that the planters are getting an income of about RS. 4,000 per acre every year by marketing agro wastes to biomass facilities.


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