Biogas Current Affairs
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Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) aimed at providing sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation. The initiative was launched with PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs i.e. IOC, BPCL and HPCL).
The SATAT initiative has potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, as well as provide additional revenue source to farmers. It will also benefit vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs. Under it, Expression of Interest (EoI) have been invited from potential entrepreneurs to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make available biogas in market for use in automotive fuels.
It will boost availability of more affordable transport fuels and enable better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste. It will pave way for efficient municipal solid waste management and help in tackling problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.
It will boost entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment and provide additional source of revenue to farmers. It will also help achieve nation’s climate change goals and bring down dependency on natural gas and crude oil imports and act as a buffer against crude oil and gas price fluctuations.
It will also help to integrated CBS networks with city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. Besides retailing from OMC fuel stations, CBS can at later date be injected into CGD pipelines too for efficient distribution and optimised access of cleaner and more affordable fuel.
Bio-gas is produced naturally through process of anaerobic decomposition from waste and bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, municipal solid waste, sugarcane press mud, sewage treatment plant (STP) waste, etc. It is called CBG after biogas is purified and compressed, which has pure methane content of over 95%. CBG is exactly similar to commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. It has calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties are similar to CNG. CBG can be used as alternative, renewable automotive fuel. It has potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years, given the abundance of biomass in the country. Advantages of converting agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste into CBG on commercial scale are
- It results in responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution.
- It generates additional revenue source for farmers.
- It boosts entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment.
- It supports national commitments in achieving climate change goals
- It also helps in reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil.
- It also serves as buffer against crude oil and gas price fluctuations.
The Union Government is going to roll out Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme. It was first announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his 2018-19 budget speech.
The scheme focuses on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste in farms to useful compost, biogas and bio-CNG. It will also help in keeping the village clean while increasing income of farmers and cattle herders.
Significance of Scheme
The scheme will be hugely beneficial for country as India is home to highest cattle population in world (around 300 million in number) which produces around 3 million tonnes of dung. It will encourage farmers to consider dung and other waste not just as waste but as source of income.
The scheme will provide many benefits to rural people by keeping villages clean and sanitized, improving livestock health and increasing farm yields. Under it, biogas generation will help to increase self-reliance in energy utilized for cooking and lighting.
The scheme will augment income of farmers and cattle herders. It will create new opportunities for jobs linked to waste collection, transportation, biogas sales etc. It will also provide stable fuel supply in market for oil companies and accessible credit in market through government schemes and banks for entrepreneurs.
Under it, villagers will be mobilized to create self-help groups (SHGs) and creative societies that will help in clean energy and green jobs initiative.