After successfully biding out the 250 MW solar power projects, the Punjab is all set to harness the biomass potential of the state for generating 300 MW power in next 3 years.Presiding over a meeting with more than 30 top Bio-mass Power Project Developers of the country, Punjab Non-Conventional Energy Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia today said that the state government was fully committed to promote generation of clean energy with dual purpose of safeguarding the health of people and protecting environment on one side and to achieve the target of meeting at least 10% power requirements through these renewable resources on the other. Mr. Majithia pointed out that with availability of 15 Million Ton Paddy straw and 5 Million Ton other agro residue like Cotton and Mustard Stalk, the State has the potential to generate 600MW power through biomass. He said that the burning of Paddy straw was causing not only serious health hazards but also affecting the ecology of the region.
He said that keeping in view the seriousness of this trend; it becomes imperative to find a long term solution of this problem. He said that the setting up of biomass based power projects have the potential not only to address these problems but also to further supplement the income of farmers by ensuring them additional income through their agro residue.
The Non-conventional Energy Minister informed that the biomass power projects having joint power generation capacity of 62.5MW were successfully working in the state and the state government’s renewed focus was to harness at least 300MW such power in next 3 years. He said that Punjab Energy Development Authority(PEDA) has identified 29 sites/tehsils for setting up of new biomass power plants and the preference would be to set up a 10-12MW such plant at a particular site so that there should not be any problem for availability of fuel i.e., paddy straw. He said that the detailed bidding process would be initiated soon and the purpose of today’s meeting with biomass power project developers was to take their feedback to make changes, wherever, required.
On this occasion, Mr. Majithia also briefed about the key incentives offered in the State government’s NRSE Policy-2012. He informed that during the construction and testing of the project 100% electricity duty has been exempted for power consumed by any state licensee. Besides this, 100% VAT exemption has also been extended for manufacturing and sale of NRSE devices/systems/machinery for NRSE power projects, 100% exemption from entry tax for all supplies required for setting up and trial operations of the project, 100% exemption from payment of fee and stamp duty for registration/lease deed charges for the land required for the project and 100% exemption from payment of CLU and EDC for the land required for renewable energy power projects are also the other key incentives offered in the new policy.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, Mr. Anirudh Tiwari, Secretary Power & Non-Conventional Energy explained about the programme for allocation for 300MW capacity biomass power projects through tariff based competitive bidding. Mr. Balore Singh, Director & Mr. M.P. Singh, Joint Director, PEDA made a presentation regarding biomass power potential in the state. On this occasion, Mr. T.L. Jain (Punjab Biomass), Mr. Sanjay Goenka (Viaton Energy Ltd.), Mr. Vikram Ahuja (Biomass Collector) and Mr. Ranjan Kumar (Orient Green Power) also shared their experiences.