Techno-economic assessment of biomass pellets for power generation in India

Biomass pellet production has increased considerably in recent years, mainly due to the demand created by policies and bioenergy-use targets in the European Union (EU). Global biomass pellet production was 24.1 million tonne (Mt) in 2014. In this study, a preliminary attempt has been made to assess the techno-economic feasibility of biomass pellets for electricity generation in India produced from biomass surplus available from agriculture and forestry/wasteland. Biomass surplus availability from agriculture and forestry/wasteland for biomass pellet production is estimated at 242 Mt for 2010–11, and is expected to rise to 281 Mt in 2030–31 due to increased crop production and associated waste/ residue availability. The surplus biomass availability from the agricultural sector (123 Mt in 2010–11) alone is sufficient to substitute 25% of the current coal consumption in the power sector (through co-firing of coal with biomass pellets).