Vijayawada

No takers for biogas plants in Krishna district

File photo of a biogas plant at a dairy farm in Lakshmipuram in Veerulapadu mandal of Krishna district.   | Photo Credit: V_RAJU

There has been a steady decline in the demand for biogas plants in Krishna district, a fact that has not gone down well with officials of the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) here.

Despite best efforts to promote this form of energy that can provide clean cooking fuel besides meeting thermal and small electricity needs of dairy farmers, general farmers and even individual households, especially in the rural pockets, there don’t seem to be many takers.

Back in 2012-13, the Energy Development Corporation was successful in persuading farmers that it would help them improve organic manure system based on bio slurry from biogas plants in rural and semi-urban areas. The result was that 300 farmers set up biogas plants during this period across Krishna district.

“Generating biogas from animal dung is an age-old practice, but the new concept is to generate electricity from the gas, an effective way to end the woes of inflated power bills. Moreover, it will also mitigate drudgery of women engaged in other livelihood practices besides improving sanitation by linking sanitary toilets with cattle dung biogas plants,” says Srinivasa Rao, District Manager, NREDCAP.

Subsidy

The Union Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, through the NREDCAP, extends a subsidy of nearly 40% on each unit. A unit holder, usually a farmer or a dairy owner, gets back the invested money within two years of the commencement of operations at the plant.

Water and cow dung or any form of farm slurry is mixed in 1:1 ratio and pumped into the digester of the plant and biogas results from anaerobic fermentation of organic materials. Preparation of the input material, results in fermentation and methanogenesis, followed by conversion of the biogas to renewable electricity and useful heat with cogeneration/combined heat and power.

“More importantly, biogas plants help in combating climate change, as they prevent emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) such as carbon di-oxide and methane in to the atmosphere,” says Mr. Rao.

For apartments

The department wants apartment-dwellers also to opt for small-size digesters as an answer for their electricity needs and other energy sources. “But for some reason, there has been a decline, perhaps due to the changing lifestyle. People in villages seem to have gotten used to comforts and they don’t like to deal with cow dung or any other slurry any more,” rues Mr. Rao.

“There is a clear decline in dairy farming as farmers don’t find it remunerative. Indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers by tenant farmers in agricultural lands has also contributed to the disappearance of compost units in villages,” says Chennupati Vazeer, who operated a dairy farm at Lakshmipuram in Veerulapadu mandal of Krishna district in the past but had to shut it down.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:15:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/no-takers-for-biogas-plants-in-krishna-district/article26869540.ece

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