Strong potential exists in India for bioelectricity (biomass-derived electricity) to meet the rising, domestic demand for energy. In order to fill the anticipated need, precise assessments of the resource potential are necessary as well as regularly-tracked resource inventories and apt policy. Studies addressing these aspects of energy management are limited for India, particularly in terms of energy planning at the local level. The current research evaluates the prospects for bagasse co-generation in Uttar Pradesh, the largest sugarcane-producing state in India. Specifically, the geo-spatial pattern of bagasse harvestable distributions and bioelectricity potential are assessed, along with policies and market mobilization directions for optimizing increased adoption of biomass energy. Results show that Uttar Pradesh has the potential to produce 27.05 million tonnes of usable bagasse annually. Major, sugarcane producing regions are identified within the western and north-eastern agro-climatic zones. Specific to power generation, the state could produce 1.93 GW of bioelectricity from sugarcane bagasse. At the agro-climatic zone level, the bioelectricity potential varies between 2.46 MW (Vindhyan zone) and 655 MW (western plain zone). When considered at the district level, the potential varies from 66 kW in Firozabad to an upper bound of 232 MW in Muzaffarnagar. The latter estimate indicates that some districts of Uttar Pradesh could be transitioned to 100% renewable electricity from bagasse co-generation. In conjunction with the ongoing growth path for India and energy access considerations, we recommend more strategically-focused energy policies, including auctions, regular resource-mapping, and zoning that can catalyze biomass energy adoption, while mitigating the greenhouse gas footprint of India.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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