India ranks as one of the top energy consumers in the world. However, its per capita energy consumption is significantly lower than the world average, with wide disparity between urban and rural areas. With growing population and increasing GDP, significant growth is expected in the energy demand in the country. The native energy reserves of India are not adequate, making the country dependent on foreign imports of oil and natural gas.
Bioenergy has the potential to be a possible answer to this energy challenge. The abundantly available biomass resources in India can contribute towards sustainable, secure and economically stronger future in terms of providing domestic clean energy, reduction in fossil fuel imports, employment generation and improving rural economy.
The Union Cabinet of India has approved a new National Policy on Biofuels in 2018, promoting production and use of biofuels in the country. The policy document also recognizes crop residues as a potential source of biofuel/bioenergy. Crop residues are bio-resources with significant spatial and temporal variability. For viable commissioning of a biomass power plant, precise database of residue distribution, including seasonal fluctuation (peak and lean period of availability) are a pre-requisite. Logistics such as residue harvest, collection, storage, and transportation are spatially interlinked and need meticulous planning.
To resolve these constraints, Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), DST has partnered with Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) to assess the district-level surplus biomass from crop residues using crop production statistics. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO has provided support in terms of satellite remote sensing and geospatial technology to downscale district-level biomass of selected crop residues to 1 km grid. A dedicated geoportal – BHUVAN-JAIVOORJA – has been especially created to host the geospatial maps of gross/surplus biomass potential from the crop residues (rice, wheat, cotton and sugarcane) over India, and supplemented with required thematic and administrative layers. A spatial query module has also been developed to assess the biomass availability, land resources composition and logistics support over user defined proposed site and fetch area to facilitate informed decision making.
Biomass potential was calculated from district-level crop production statistics. The grain production data were converted into gross residue potential using residue production ratio. The gross crop residue was further converted into surplus crop residue using collectable coefficient at district level. Surplus crop residue was then converted to district wise bioenergy potential using calorific values.
To generate spatial maps of surplus residue potential of the selected four crops over India, potential crop masks were prepared using multi-temporal satellite data and converted into crop fraction at 1 km grid level. MODIS Gross Primary Production (GPP) data was used as a proxy parameter of biomass abundance and disaggregated district level gross biomass potential to 1 km grid level. It was further converted to surplus biomass and bioenergy potential using suitable coefficient as discussed earlier. A spatial decision support tool is developed with all the relevant thematic layers and user friendly query module. The tool would benefit the policymakers & industry developers to assess the availability of biomass resources from user defined fetch area and facilitate planning/establishment of tailored made biofuel plants.
• Spatial maps of gross and surplus biomass of four crop residues (rice, wheat, cotton and sugarcane)
• Bioenergy potential maps of the selected crops
• Land Use Land Cover (LULC) map
• Administrative boundaries and road network
• A spatial query module allowing to draw a Point of Interest (POI) over the map, delineate a fetch area and calculate how much and what type of biomass would be available.
• Geographical location, district, state, nearest town, nearest railway station, nearest petrol pump of POI
• Map and statistics of LULC over the fetch area.