The power ministry on Tuesday said it has decide to set up a National Mission on use of biomass in coal- based thermal power plants in order to address the issue of air pollution due to farm stubble burning and to reduce carbon footprints. This would further support the energy transition in the country and its target to move towards cleaner energy sources, Ministry of Power said in a statement. The National Mission will have objectives including increasing the level of co-firing from present 5 per cent to higher levels to have a larger share of carbon neutral power generation from thermal power plants.
It would also take up research and development (R&D) activity in boiler design to handle the higher amount of silica, alkalis in the biomass pellets. The Mission would also facilitate overcoming the constraints in supply chain of bio mass pellets and agro-residue and its transport up to the power plants, the statement said. It would also consider regulatory issues in biomass co-firing. The modalities of operation and structure of the Nation Mission are under finalization. It is being envisaged that the Mission would have a Steering Committee headed by Secretary (Power) comprising all stakeholders including representatives from Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy etc.
The Executive Committee would be headed by Member (Thermal), CEA (Central Electricity Authority). NTPC will play a larger role in providing logistics and infrastructure support in the proposed National Mission, it added. The Mission would have full time officers from CEA, NTPC, DVC and NLC or other participating organizations. The minimum duration of the proposed National Mission would be 5 years. Total five sub-groups are also proposed to be formed under the Mission that would be entrusted with various tasks. The Mission would also contribute in the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), it added.