Minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah on Monday called for a massive thrust by private sector to generate electricity from agro-industrial waste which is essential to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and combat environment pollution.

The industry needs to add to huge power generation capacities as the country is aiming at sustaining high growth and emerging as an economic superpower on the global horizon, he said while addressing a conference organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Abdullah said there is potential to recover 1,300 megawatt of power from industrial wastes which is projected to increase to 2,000 megawatt by 2017. Projects of over 135 megawatt have been installed so far in distilleries, pulp and paper mills, food processing and starch industries.

“The focus of modern biomass programme is on co-generation, especially in the sugar industry. A co-generation potential of 17,000 megawatt is identified with 6,000 megawatt from sugar industry.”

Still there is immense untapped potential to harness solar and wind power. “We also need push for nuclear energy as the country’s energy needs are increasing rapidly. Nearly 40 per cent of people do not have access to electricity,” he said.

The minister urged Indian industry to invest in green buildings which consume less energy. “The future is green and there is tremendous opportunity for generating power from agro-industrial waste. Global warming, rising population and coal shortages are contributing to shift attention to biomass as a clean source of fuel.”

Abdullah said the ministry of new and renewable energy will collaborate with ASSOCHAM to develop Chandigarh and Ahmedabad as model cities where these new technologies can be used extensively.

Ashok Khanna, chairman of ASSOCHAM National Environment Council, said energy capacity in the country can be increased by renewable sources including solar, wind, nuclear and waste, and energy utilisation can be optimised – both of which should be addressed through efficient waste management.

Waste to energy projects will help reduce the gap between demand and supply of power and limit reliance of industrial units on grid-based electricity or fossil fuel-powered generators.

ASSOCHAM secretary general D.S. Rawat said Indian economy is growing rapidly and the 12th Five Year Plan targets an average growth of 9.5 to 10 per cent. It is imperative that Indian industries continue to deliver rapid growth through increased efficiencies and innovation.

“The key challenges we face to propel this growth include securing a stable supply of power and managing negative effects of rapid industrialisation – that is drain on resources and high quantities of waste generation,” he said.

source: indiablooms

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