R Kulothungan, Senior Vice President, Orient Green Power Ltd.
The power infrastructure has improved in the last decade. How far has that helped the cogeneration (cogen) industry in particular?
Power infrastructure in India had really improved at least by 5- 6 % on an yearly basis, and the installed capacity had peaked up to 320 GW, by now. There has been a tremendous shift in renewable power as the same constitutes of 29% of the total installed capacity, mostly coming from wind and solar.
As far as Cogen Industry is concerned, there were no significant increase in the capacity addition, and the number of cogen plants in operation are almost stable - with close to 525 - for the last few years.
Though India has got the cogeneration potential of 5000 MW, we could achieve capacity of only 3,200 MW, that too with only 2000 MW addition over the last 15 Years.
Changing policies were a long lasting concern of the industry. Your comment on the current situation and the expectation?
There has not been impressive growth in bagasse cogeneration in the last one decade as compared to the renewable sector, and also sustaining the existing capacity is the real challenge. Further, the growth of deployment of bagasse cogeneration has been higher in private sector mills than in co-operatives and public sectors mills. Following are the concerns and major bottle necks of the Industry, which are long lasting and to be addressed to harness the cogeneration potential .
There is a buzz about hybrid technology. Do you think that this will give a boost to the cogen industry?
In general, hybridisation brings in higher efficiency, lower cost of generation and use of alternate source of fuel for sustaining the operation of the cogen units . Technological upgradations like modernisation into super critical boilers, higher operating pressure etc., are being incorporated in the world even for conventional cogeneration.
With the above and further improvements on the efficient use of fuels with lower Moisture, ensuring complete burning are also likely to boost the cogen industry in India.
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