Waste-to-energy can help India deal with the not only the increasing garbage disposal problem, but also address health and economic issues. It provides a largely unexplored potential for the country´s development.
Today, most wastes that are generated in India, find their way into land and water bodies without proper treatment, causing severe water and air pollution. The problems caused by solid and liquid wastes can be significantly mitigated through the adoption of environment-friendly waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies that will allow treatment of wastes before their disposal.
WTE facilities reduce the quantity of wastes, generate clean energy from them, and greatly reduce pollution of water and air, displace need for fossil fuels, and avoid Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, thereby offering a number of social and economic benefits that cannot easily be quantified. In its primitive stage, this segment is attracting interest from both urban authorities and private developers driven by both need and desire. However, much requires to be done to convert the already overdue dream of ¨Swachh Bharat¨ a reality.
?Municipal corporation´s initiative towards implementing WTE and their approach towards partnerships with private companies The Central Government´s ¨Swachh Bharat Mission¨ underlines the urgent need of improving waste management scenario in India where public apathy towards proper waste disposal is a major hindrance.
In India, by and large, municipal authorities are providing solid waste management services. It is also estimated that the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) spend about Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 per tonne on solid waste for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal.
However, ULBs spend less than 5 per cent on final disposal of waste, which shows clear negligence. Landfill sites are exhausted and such ULBs do not have resources to acquire new land. Due to lack of disposal sites, even the collection efficiency gets affected. Further, these local bodies lack technical, managerial, administrative, financial resources, adequate institutional arrangements.
The urban sector in India requires huge investments in developing infrastructure for solid waste management. It requires new management models that promote efficient, effective and good quality basic waste management services on a sustainable basis. Such twin objectives can be achieved through well-conceived, structured and transparently-executed Public Private Partnerships (PPP) arrangements. Various instruments can facilitate development of such PPP Projects:
International PPP experience has shown cost savings and improvement in efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery mainly due to financial and managerial autonomy and accountability in private sector operations. Besides, it brings in new investment and better technologies.
Over the past decade, hundreds of new WTE facilities have been built in the European Union, Japan, China, and over 30 other nations where landfilling is regarded as environmentally undesirable, and energy and land wasteful.
Off late in India, private sector participation has been attempted in door-to-door collection, street sweeping, secondary collection, transportation, composting, power generation and final disposal of waste at the engineered landfill sites. However, the present capacity of municipalities in India to manage the privatisation process is extremely limited.
?Private company´s approach towards partnership with municipal corporations and their thoughts on the prevalent rules and policies in the segment.
?Rationale behind private companies opting for WTE ahead of other renewable energy segments and their approach towards municipal corporations.
With significant capital costs associated new technologies and tighter environmental compliances, higher operating costs associated with non-uniform waste characteristics and frequent maintenance needs, the cost of generated power from WTE plants is bound to be higher than other RE sources.
WTE technology is used extensively in Europe and other developed nations in Asia such as Russia, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. In developed countries, environmental concerns rather than energy recovery is the prime motivator for WTE facilities. Energy in the form of power, bio-gas or heat is seen as a bonus, which improves the viability of such projects.
In India too, though MSW-based WTE projects generate clean power, they are conceptualised to prevent externalities associated with the traditional waste disposal practices followed today.
In addition to energy generation, waste-to-energy can fetch significant monetary benefits to developers. Some of the strategic and financial benefits from the WTE business are:
Scope for growth and expansion of the segment in India, esp. with respect to PPP´s at city/district level.
Under the MSW (Management & Handling) Rules of 2000, all Class I cities have to provide proper treatment and disposal facility for MSW. According to the 2011 census, 468 out of total 4,378 cities are considered Class I, meaning that the population exceeds 100,000. These cities alone contribute to more than 72 per cent of the total MSW generated in urban areas. [Source: Improving Solid Waste Management in India: A sourcebook for policy makers published by World Bank]
As per the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), India produces about 38 million tons of MSW annually. Per capita waste generation in major cities ranges from 0.20 kg to 0.6 kg. Generally, the collection efficiency ranges between 70-90 per cent in major metro cities, whereas in several smaller cities it is as low as 50 per cent.
As per the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, per capita waste generation is increasing by about 1.3 per cent per year. With growth of urban population ranging between 3-3.5 per cent per annum, the annual increase in overall quantity of solid waste is assessed at about 5 per cent.
Among the four geographical regions in India, northern India generates about 30 per cent of all MSW generated in India. Among states, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh generate the highest amount of MSW. Energy recovery from urban and industrial wastes is in its nascent stage of development. There is a potential to recover 2,556 MW of power from solid waste, of which only about 250 MW has been exploited, according to MNRE.
Identify problems faced by the sector and seek suggestion for solutions in order to deal with the same.
There are structural, policy related, regulatory and commercial aspects which are to be addressed to encourage WTE projects in India.
PPP related aspects
Techno commercial issues and suggestions
Intra-state transmission charges and losses:
The relaxation of ¨No Transmission Charges¨ and ¨No Transmission Losses¨ for the use of ISTS network as provided to solar power projects shall be extended to WTE projects as well.
Net metering: The power drawn during shut-down or start-up of WTE projects should be net metered instead of charging as HT industrial consumers, as a promotional measure for WTE project owing to plant being subject to frequent shut-downs for periodic cleaning and maintenance.
To realise the untapped potential of more than 2 GW from WTE projects, road blocks on structural, policy and regulatory aspects need to be removed. Standardisation of bidding documents, capacity building of ULBs and expediting approvals will help in faster PPP implementation. Inter-ministerial coordination between the Urban Development and Power Ministries is the key. Policy driven push for creating separate market for WTE power through RPO and timely tariff visibility will protect viability of WTE projects. Distribution utilities and regulators need to recognise the larger purpose of WTE projects and encourage commercial sale of power from them.
Case study 1 : Biomass Supply Chain Mechanism (Paddy Straw)
Step 1: Harvested crop is baled using mechanized balers Per Baler : 10 jobs per day X 60 days (Harvest Season)= 600 man days
Step 2: Paddy bales are transported to collection centers per Tractor Trolley:
6 jobs X 60 days = 360 man days
Step 3: Paddy bales are stored at fuel collection centers storage, stacking loading unloading: 20 jobs X 60 days=1200 man days
Total man days: 2,160 man days per unit baler (for 12 MW Biomass
Based Power Plant)having 125 Balers
= (number of balers x total man days)/365 days
=(125 X 2,160) / 365
=740 green jobs / day
Source: Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. (PRESPL), Bermaco Group
Case study 2: Biomass Supply Chain Mechanism (Cotton Stalk)
Step 1: Uprooting of cotton stalk from farm field per 3 acre: 10 jobs per day x 180 days (harvest season) = 1,800 man days
Step 2: Processing/shredding of cotton stalk per shredder: 6 jobs x 180 days = 1,080 man days
Step 2: Transportation and storage to storage centre/plant per tractor trolley: 8 jobs x 180 days = 1,440 man days
Total man days: 4,320 man days per unit shredder (for 13 MW biomass based plant) Average jobs created due to biomass (cotton stalk) SCM mehanism for biomass plant having 120 shredders
= (number of shredders x total man days)/365 days
= (120 x 4,320)/365
= 1,421 green jobs/day
Source: Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. (PRESPL), Bermaco Group
Authored by Umesh Agrawal, Associate Director, PwC India and Nimish Vora, Manager - Energy & Utilities, PwC India
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