Bio-gas in India: Reviewing the Situation

So I have come to an interesting point in my research. There are a lot of people in India. A lot. 1.252 billion people to be exact – a statistic I have used in previous posts. With such huge impacts, it is hard to imagine that India’s sanitation and energy issues – crises of not only a country, but a country of 1.252 billion people – is not being address by a correspondingly large effort. This large effort, by the India government has been embodied in the attempt to implement Bio-gas for over 30 years.

indiaoverpopulation1-jpg

The NBMMP, the Indian Government National Biogas and Manure Management Programme, plans to have distributed around 110,000 new biogas plants in 2014 and 2015. Although it could be said that this is relatively tame in comparison to the already installed 4.25 million (to be fair some of which are questionably operating) plants and the 12.34 million plant potential capacity of India, this is progress.

The MNRE, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the NBMMP have a “target-oriented, top-down approach to biogas diffusion.” While the government program and biogas diffusion in India is lacking in many ways (organization, funding, etc.…), from my research it is apparent that this problem has been noted and there are many people working towards its resolution.

I have come across at least a dozen biogas companies and organizations (ARTI, IBA, Cummins) and many papers citing the areas necessary improvement to bring the India biogas initiative to fruition. I am beginning to question whether or not my idea is marketable with such  big players already in the game, or whether it might be better to use my resources to tackle a less addressed but equally important issue.

Even with my doubts, as I plunge deeper into the puzzle of addressing sanitation using Biogas, I continue to see ways in which the current methodology can be improved upon. The top down approach, I do believe, is the exact wrong way to go. I theorize a bottom-up approach – a decentralized grass roots movement, is a more effective option – in the sense that a serpent with many heads is much harder to kill than a snake with many tails.

In other news, after examining the current state of bio-gas generation, with companies like Cummins, I have realized that the focus of my project should be on digesters rather than generators, due to the technological expertise and excellence of currently operating generator companies. In short, the generators are not the problem, it is (as all of my research keeps suggesting) the failure of the digesters themselves (and the organization thereof).

Works Cited

Kaniyamparambil, Joshua S. “A Look at India’s Biogas Energy Development Program.” (n.d.): n. pag. McMaster University School of Engineering. McMaster University, Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://msep.mcmaster.ca/epp/publications/student/Joshua%20Samuel%20Kaniyamparambil.pdf&gt;.

Khurana, S.K. “Implementation of National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) during 2014-15 – Additional/Reduction of the Target– Reg.” (n.d.): n. pag. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Indian Government, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 3 Mar. 1. <http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/offgrid-biogas/National-Biogas-Manure-Management-Programme(NBMMP)-12thplan_additional-reduction_target.pdf&gt;.

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