The history of biogas dates back to 1897 when Charles James, a British civil engineer, established the country’s first biogas plant while working on the homeless leper asylum’s drainage in Matunga, Bombay. Ever since, the green fuel – biogas has been a popular source of energy among Indian households, dairy farms, and community facilities.
The production of green fuel in India is on the constant rise. With their fast-paced development, the industry is captivating the interests of leading players like Adani, Indian Oil, and Reliance.
Green fuel or compressed biogas is obtained after biogas purification. The properties of CBG are similar to that of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and can easily substitute CNG for several purposes, including industrial, commercial, and automotive applications. Now that you know of CBG, let us explore how industry players plan to contribute towards biogas production.
According to the Chairman of IBA (Indian Biogas Association), Gaurav Kedia, “It’s the technical, financial, and social aspect of biogas. The technology is now getting mature, so people can now set up large-scale biogas plants.”
Mr. Kedia also believes they have the government’s support for the financial part and a ready market for green fuel. He further said, “The organic fertilizer from these plants is gaining popularity, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which heightened health consciousness. These factors combine to make the biogas sector highly lucrative at present.”
Organizations like GAIL and IBA are trying to integrate compressed biogas or biomethane in the city’s gas grids. While GAIL embraced the green fuel, IBA advocated for a well-paid and fair price of FOM (Fermented Organic Manure), also known as organic fertilizer, set around INR 5.5 per kg. The initiative aims to strengthen the operations of biogas plants in the nation.
To support these initiatives and efforts, the government announced the MDA (Market Development Assistance) scheme with an initial budget of INR 1,451 crore to promote organic fertilizers.