Fuelling India’s future with bioenergy

Although India can produce reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable bioenergy to meet its energy demand, progress has been slow. Implementing a few key action plans centred around the market ecosystem, collaboration and financing could accelerate its production. In November 2022, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced that it would continue with the National Bioenergy Programme for energy recovery till 2025–2026 with a budget outlay of INR 858 crore for the first of the two phases. The programme is meant to enable the use of cattle dung, biomass, and urban and industrial biowaste for energy recovery. The announcement has put the spotlight on the green sector and demonstrates the Government of India’s sustained focus on bioenergy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that once such government policies are in place, bioenergy may produce 130 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) of useful energy by 2040, or about 15% of India’s total energy demand at that time.