Bioenergy from Agricultural Residues

Residue-Based Bioenergy Production in India

Abstract:  The potential of agricultural residues to contribute to India’s energy supply has been the subject of numerous technical analyses and estimates.  This project addresses two key information gaps in the current state of knowledge.  First is the need for more spatially explicitly information regarding potential energy production as compared to potential energy demand.  Prior estimates have mainly produced national aggregate estimates but both potential energy production from residues and the demand for electricity in rural areas is highly heterogenous.  Using secondary data on crop production and population estimates are made for energy production and demand at a 5 arc-min resolution scale for all of India.  The second gap is regarding the markets for agricultural residues.  A significant use of residues for energy production in rural India can only occur if residue markets are favourable (in terms of price, price volatility, security of supply, etc.).  Conversely, extensive use of residues could result in spillover effects on other users of residues.  However, markets for residues have not been extensively researched and documented.  In this project a survey of ~300 rice mills in Bihar, India is used to understand how residues are disposed of, the current customer base for residues, contracts and price formation and the impact that selling residues to power generators has on the market.

UBC Post-Doctoral Fellow: Reza Kowsari

UBC Students: Jacob Cosman, Vikas Menghwani, Brianne Riehl

External Collaborators: Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy Bangalore

Funding: International Development Research Centre