T. Sivaraj

The Northeast and its bamboo: Energy for the future

As per the projected figures in the Technology Vision 2035 of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), the estimated energy requirement of the country for the target period of 2035 is about 900000 MW. Considering the present capacities and available technologies, the combined output for the period will be up to 700000 MW, with a shortfall of 200000 MW. This gap is expected to be filled by renewable energy sources.

Considering varied renewable energy sources, biomass is identified here as the focus area. In biomass generation, the role of bamboo is further looked into, since the Northeast is the region, which has the natural advantage with this valuable resource. The advantage of biomass generated energy source will be that, it can operate within the range of 6 to 12 MW or even lesser. The advantage is not only the possible potential for distributed energy sources aiding sustainable development, but the potential for Public-private partnership (PPP) with industries for larger and region specific participation.

The role of biomass generated energy is further divided into work sections of technology issues, affordability and problems in implementation. With the capacities and available manpower that can be channelized, the technical issues related to the energy generation for utilizing biomass will not be the major hurdle.

The issues that will have to be addressed will be the availability of biomass and in this context, the final availability of energy from bamboo at a price which would result in the cost much less than Rs.7/unit.

(T.Shivaraj is the Secretary of Uravu Indigenous Science and Technology Study Centre in Wayanad District of Kerala)