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Paddy Stubble Utilization

Paddy Stubble Utilization

Context:

The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) along with the science and the technology department creating alternatives for paddy stubble utilization. 

Research by PEDA:

  • PEDA working towards the promotion and development of renewable energy for the past three decades. The following researches have been done:

Biomass power plants:

  • PEDA has set up 11 biomass power plants where 97.50 megawatts of power is generated. In these plants, 8.80 lakh metric tonnes of paddy stubble, which is less than 5 % of the total 20 million tonnes paddy stubble generated in Punjab, is used annually to generate power.
    • Most of these plants are 4-18 MW and are consuming 36,000 to 1,62,000 metric tonnes stubble annually.
  • Two more biomass power projects with 14 MW capacity are under execution and will be commissioned from June 2021. These will also require 1.26 lakh metric tonnes paddy stubble per annum.
  • These projects are environmentally friendly due to relatively lower CO2 and particulate emissions and displace fossil fuels such as coal.

Bio CNG:

  • Eight projects of Bio CNG are under execution. These will need around 3-lakh metric tonnes of paddy stubble annually.
  • India’s largest Bio CNG project, which will produce 8,000 m cube biogas per day (equivalent to 33.23 tonnes of Bio CNG per day) is under execution at Lehragaga tehsil in Sangrur district.
    • The project is expected to be commissioned by March 2021.

Bioethanol Project:

  • A Bioethanol project of 100 kilolitres is being set up at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda. This will require 2 lakh metric tonnes of paddy stubble annually.
  • Bioethanol can be used to run vehicles after blending with diesel and petrol.

Benefits of a paddy straw-based industry:

  • Farmers can benefit hugely if they can sell paddy stubble to the industry instead of burning it and there are also environmental benefits.
  • Fertile soil will be saved from burning in which a huge amount of organic matter also gets burnt.
  • Educated unemployed youth in rural Punjab where such projects will be set up can get big job opportunities.

Suggestions:

  • The current usage of stubble in these plants is very small compared to the generation of stubble. Punjab needs varieties of the stubble-based industry here where more and more stubble is required.
  • Apart from businessmen and NRIs the youth, particularly engineers, graduates in science and technology can start such projects under the ‘start-up’ concept, which will create entrepreneurship among them.
  • Joint efforts are required from the state, Centre, and industries, including public and private participation, to convert all of Punjab’s stubble into farmers’ income.
  • There are around 13,000 villages in Punjab and stubble-based projects can be set up at these villages to manage stubble.

Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA):

  • PEDA was formed in 1991 as a state nodal agency for the promotion and development of renewable energy projects and energy conservation programmes in Punjab.
  • It is registered as a Society under the Societies Act of 1860.

Source: Indian Express