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Govt to set up National Mission on biomass use in power plants

The power ministry on Tuesday said it has decided to set up a National Mission on the use of biomass in coal-based thermal power plants in order to address the issue of air pollution due to farm stubble-burning and to reduce carbon footprints.

This would further support the energy transition in the country and its target to move towards cleaner energy sources, Ministry of Power said in a statement.

The National Mission will have objectives including increasing the level of co-firing from the present 5 percent to higher levels to have a larger share of carbon-neutral power generation from thermal power plants.

It would also take up research and development (R&D) activity in boiler design to handle the higher amount of silica, alkalis in the biomass pellets. The Mission would also facilitate overcoming the constraints in the supply chain of biomass pellets and agro-residue and its transport up to the power plants, the statement said.

It would also consider regulatory issues in biomass co-firing.

The modalities of operation and structure of the National Mission are under finalisation.

It is being envisaged that the Mission would have a Steering Committee headed by Secretary (Power) comprising all stakeholders, including representatives from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, as well as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy etc.

The Executive Committee would be headed by Member (Thermal), CEA (Central Electricity Authority).

NTPC will play a larger role in providing logistics and infrastructure support in the proposed National Mission, it added.

The Mission would have full-time officers from CEA, NTPC, DVC and NLC or other participating organizations.

The minimum duration of the proposed National Mission would be five years. A total of five sub-groups are also proposed to be formed under the Mission that would be entrusted with various tasks. The Mission would also contribute to the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), it added.

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