March 14, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
“The future of energy in India lies in smart backward linkage to the sun. It is the only perennial source of energy, which is renewable in the truest sense,” stated Dr. Nitant Mate, Head, Bioenergy Business, Kirloskar Integrated Technologies Ltd., Pune.
Dr. Nitant was an invited speaker at the International Conference on Renewable Technologies, highlighting the renewable energy roadmap for India.
“Bioenergy has the potential to provide a sustainable solution while alleviating the problem of food shortage. Biofuels derived from agricultural waste, food waste, cultivated plantations and algae are all promising. We need to develop a deep understanding of natural processes such as photosynthesis, digestion and fermentation. Then rural India will be empowered to take the lead as the energy and food producer for the rest of the country.”
These thoughts were echoed by Ms. Arpita Bisht, Research Scholar at TERI, who spoke about biofuels.
Ms. Bisht outlined the different types of biofuels. Primary biofuels were those that were produced from food based resources, such as corn, soya bean and sugarcane and secondary biofuels, which were accorded more importance in recent times, were those that used stems, husks, leaves, grass or organic industry waste.
“Inefficient biomass collection systems, dearth of policy initiatives and less investment in research and development programs are some reasons we are not able to fully exploit the benefits of this resource,” she noted.
More challenges and trends were highlighted earlier, during the pre-conference workshop by Mr. P. Sekhar, Director of a Renewable Energy company, who spoke on the topic, Biowaste to Bioenergy and Organic Fertilizer.
“It is predicted that soon we will have 47% of our global energy from renewable sources. Of this, biomass will contribute almost 50 %.”
“The world has 5 billion hectares of agricultural land, out of which India has 20 %. The agricultural wasteland can be used for sustainably growing biofuels.”
“It is recommended that we grow energy crops such as sugar beets and napier grass that can be used as input for feedstock for producing bio energy.”
“As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, as concerns about climate change cause a shadow of the future of coal, a new world economy is emerging. The old energy economy fuelled by coal, oil, natural gas is being replaced with an economy powered by wind, solar and biomass energy,” stated Prof. R. Subba Rao, Chairman, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences at Amrita.
Renewable Energy: Resources, Challenges & Opportunities
Experts Speak at Pre-Conference Workshop
Inaugural Speeches at Renewable Energy Conference
Wind Power Discussion at Conference
Solar Energy Discussions at Conference