The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued an expression of interest (EoI) for an independent third-party evaluation study of its biogas-based power generation (off-grid) and thermal energy applications program (BPGTP).
The period for the evaluation study would be the three years from 2017-18 to 2019. The program has been implemented in eight states of the country by the MNRE. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
According to the MNRE, out of the eight states, Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of projects at 13, followed by Punjab with nine projects.
Similarly, Maharashtra has eight projects that are completed; seven are in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu, four in Madhya Pradesh and two each in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. The total number of projects sums up to 50.
The MNRE has been implementing the program for the deployment of medium-sized biogas projects in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country. The program helps consumers install captive power generation projects in the range between 3 kW to 250 kW.
The last date for the submission of interests is December 12, 2019.
As a part of the methodology and approach of the independent evaluation study of the program, the successful bidder will be required to collect the primary data for the study from the project sites, beneficiaries, non-beneficiaries, and implementing agencies of the states through structured questionnaires and interviews.
The scope of work also involves the desk evaluation of the primary data and information gathered, designing a standard questionnaire for the purpose, and preparing a detailed list of biogas power projects completed and commissioned by the program in these states.
Further, the selection of the sample should be random from the computerized lists of all the projects installed during the last three years.
The study would also cover an assessment of the physical, economic, and social impact of the program.
The primary objective of the study would be to highlight the extent to which the set goals and results have been met. It would also include the impact assessment of biogas-based power generation projects, including thermal applications.
The work also includes highlighting the problems and difficulties faced by the project owners to assess and recommend the need for increasing or decreasing the amount of Central Financial Assistance (CFA) from the current level of CFA, and other components of the program.
The other objective of the study is also to notify the reduction in greenhouse emissions.
As reported previously by Mercom, India is poised to utilize its huge biomass potential in the coming years. Biomass and organic waste sources like paddy straw, farm stubble, agricultural residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, distillery spent wash, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plants waste, offer massive potential for biogas production.
Like biomass, biofuels in India are of strategic importance as they help in tackling pollution levels and augur well with the government’s ongoing initiatives, such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Skill Development. Keeping this in mind, in May 2018, the central government cabinet approved the National Policy on Biofuels – 2018.
Since then, the thrust in this sector has gradually been increasing. In March 2019, the government notified the Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana for providing financial support (viability gap funding) to integrated bioethanol projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock to set up the second generation ethanol projects across the country.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.