Waste feedstock, including and industrial wastes can be transformed into various forms of fuels that can be used to supply energy. The waste to- energy technologies can be used to produce biogas (methane and carbon dioxide), syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide), liquid biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), or pure hydrogen; and later, these fuels can then be converted into electricity.
This transformation can be facilitated by various physical, thermal and biological methods. These processes have been driven by many technical drivers, such as the need for improved pollution and emissions controls for combustion, advanced non-incineration conversion methods, and hydrogen production enabling other clean technologies, such as fuel cells.
Likewise, the strategic drivers, such as reduction in land filling, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, decreased greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and eligibility for carbon credits and tax incentives has been fueling the energy production from wastes. Despite the technical and strategic drivers, the energy recovery from waste often runs into dry owing to various technological bottlenecks, such as lack of versatility (each system is specific for each type of waste); waste-gas clean-up and conversion efficiency (consuming more energy than producing it). In addition, there are strategic challenges, such as regulatory hurdles, high capital costs and opposition from environmental and citizen groups
In the existing world of mounting energy prices, population growth, and concerns regarding greenhouse-gas emissions, the need for alternative energy and alternatives to landfills and livestock waste lagoons has to increase. Further, bioethanol producers have begun to face the irk of their “environmentally friendly” products relying too heavily on fossil fuels for their production, and they are now using biogas from landfills or feedlots to power their refineries – biogas power for biofuels.
Renewable Energy/Solar/Eco/Green Cities
Urbanization and economic development are leading to a rapid rise in energy demand in urban areas in our country leading to enhanced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Many cities around the world are setting targets and introducing polices for promoting renewable energy and reducing GHG emissions and the countries like Australia and USA are developing the solar cities.
Several Indian cities and towns are experiencing rapid growth in the peak electricity demand. The local governments and the electricity utilities are finding it difficult to cope with this rapid rise in demand and as a result most of the cities/towns are facing electricity shortages. In this context, the “Development of Solar Cities” programme is designed to support/encourage Urban Local Bodies to prepare a Road Map to guide their cities in becoming ‘renewable energy cities’ or ‘solar cities’.
The Ministry has already initiated various programmes in the Urban Sector for promoting solar water heating systems in homes, hotels, hostels, hospitals and industry; deployment of SPV systems/devices in urban areas for demonstration and awareness creation; establishment of ‘Akshya Urja Shops’; design of Solar Buildings and promoting urban and industrial waste/ biomass to energy projects. The solar city programme aims to consolidate all the efforts of the Ministry in the Urban Sector and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner.