Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 6

The Government is planning to come up with a scheme for encouraging sugar mills in the cooperative sector to set up cogeneration and captive power plants to reduce their dependence on the electricity grid.

"Unfortunately, many sugar mills in the cooperative sector are unable to generate bankable projects for producing electricity. We are looking into this issue minutely and should come up with a scheme that spurs activity in this area," the Minister of State for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Mr Vilas Muttemwar, said at a seminar here on Monday.

Mr Muttemwar, whose speech was read in absentia by the MNES Secretary, Mr V. Subramaniam, said power generation from sugar mills and distilleries needed to be scaled up through appropriate policy measures and regulatory interventions. Renewable energy sources contribute about 8,000 MW of installed electricity capacity in the country, he said adding the potential of co-generation power plants alone was to the tune of 15,000 MW.

There was a need to come up with innovative solutions to produce electricity and reduce dependence on conventional sources such as coal, Mr Muttemwar said and suggested use of new techniques such as bio-methanation of effluents for producing biogas to generate electricity in sugar mills.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 7, 2006)
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