Dr. Ramachandra T.V.

 Energy Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science
Centre for Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas (ASTRA), Indian   Institute of Scienc
Abstract   Introduction    Objectives    Study Area    Methodology    Results and Discussion    Conclusion    Acknowledgement    References    Home   PDF
Citation: Ramachandra T.V., 2007. Geospatial Mapping of Bioenergy Potential in Karnataka, India. Journal of Energy and Environment (JEE), 6(1): 28-44.


Biomass energy is an important energy source for a majority of the world's inhabitants and continues to be a major source of energy and fuel in developing countries. Self-reliance in energy supply is a vital factor in the development of any region. In order to meet the growing demand for energy, it is imperative to focus on efficient production and uses of biomass energy to meet both traditional (as a heat supplier) and modem fuel (electricity and liquid fuel) requirements. This production of biomass in all its forms for fuel, food, and fodder demands environmentally sustainable land use and integrated planning approach. It's relatively easy access and simple end-use technologies explain this widespread use despite poor efficiencies. With this extensive utilization of bioresources, there is a need for critical evaluation and assessment of the remaining bioresources at micro-level. Energy from biomass holds promise in the Indian conditions as it encourages self-reliance through efficient use of indigenous resources and employment of simpler technologies consistent with minimal possible hazards.  It meets about 75% of rural India’s energy needs.  While, in Karnataka, non-commercial energy sources like firewood, agricultural residues, charcoal and cowdung account for 53.2%. Bioresource availability is computed talukwise based on the compilation of data on the area (land use) and productivity of agriculture and horticulture crops, forests and plantations. Talukwise mapping of bioenergy potential for Karnataka using Geographical Information System (GIS) is carried out to find out the status of bioresources in a taluk, which would help the decision makers in planning for energy at disaggregated level. Using the data of bioresource availability and demand, bioresource status is computed for all taluks in Karntaka. The ratio of bioresource availability to demand gives the bioresource status. The ratio greater than one indicates bioresource surplus zones, while a ratio less than one indicates scarcity. Bioresource availability analysis shows that horticulture constitutes the major share at 43.6%, followed by forests (39.8%), agricultural residues (13.6%), animal residues (3.01%) and plantation (0.15%).  Based on the bioenergy status and land use pattern, feasible management and technical options have been discussed, which help in optimising the available bioenergy and in building a sustainable energy society.

Key words: Bioenergy, Biomass, Demand, Status, Potential, GIS.
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