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Punjab to count on biomass projects to resolve paddy straw problem: Minister

Paddy straw lying in a field, ready to be disposed. Photo: bruce lam/Pixabay

Chandigarh, Oct 19 (MNN) Even as Delhi government is promoting the use of biodecomposers to tackle paddy straw problem, Punjab too is looking to set up biomass projects to better utilise the stubble.

Punjab Renewable Energy and Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Verka said on Tuesday that maximum utilisation of renewable energy needed to meet the growing demand for electricity and growing scarcity of natural resources like water and coal etc.

He said that Punjab has taken many steps regarding promotion and generation of solar energy.

Renewable energy projects with total 1,700.77 MW capacity have been set up in the state till date and other projects with 184.12 MW capacity are in the implementation stage.

So far, 815.5 MW ground-mounted solar power projects, 136.1 MW rooftop and 20 MW canal-top solar power projects had been set up.

According to Verka, solar power projects of 729.17 MW generation capacity have been set up whereas 58.75 MW projects are in the pipeline.

Renewable energy projects, including 458.07 MW biomass co-generation power projects and 97.5 MW biomass power projects had been made operational.

A total of 23 bio CNG projects are under construction. These will produce 260 tonnes of compressed biogas (CBG).

Such a project is getting set up in Lehragaga tehsil — the largest CBG project in Asia with a 33.23 tonnes per day capacity — and will become operational in December 2021.

In addition, a bio-ethanol project is under construction at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda district, which will start by February 2023 and consume 500 tonnes of paddy straw per day to produce bio-ethanol.

The Minister appealed to Punjab residents to install solar energy projects in their homes not only to get relief from costly electricity bills, but also to save precious natural resources like coal.

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