and Sustainable Energy Reviews
4, Issue 4 , December 2000, Pages 375-430
doi:10.1016/S1364-0321(00)00002-2 Cite or link
Copyright © 2000
Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Present and prospective role of bioenergy in regional energy system
T. V. Ramachandra, , N. V. Joshi and D. K. Subramanian
Centre for Ecological
Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012, India
15 February 1997; accepted 20 March 2000. Available online 24 August 2000.
Bioenergy is the energy released from the reaction of organic carbon material
with oxygen. The organic material derived from plants and animals is also
referred to as biomass. Biomass is a flexible feedstock capable of conversion
into solid, liquid and gaseous fuels by chemical and biological processes. These
intermediate biofuels (such as methane gas, ethanol, charcoal) can be
substituted for fossil based fuels. Wood and charcoal are important as household
fuels and for small scale industries such as brick making, cashew processing
etc. The scarcity of biofuels has far reaching implications on the environment.
Hence, expansion of bioenergy systems could be influential in bettering both the
socio-economic condition and the environment of the region. This paper examines
the present role of biomass in the region's (Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka
State, India) energy supply and calculates the potential for future biomass
provision and scope for conversion to both modern and traditional fuels. Based
on the detailed investigation of biomass resource availability and demand, we
can categorise the Uttara Kannada District into two zones (a) Biomass surplus
zone consisting of Taluks mainly from hilly area (b) Biomass deficit zone,
consisting of thickly populated coastal Taluks such as Bhatkal, Kumta, Ankola,
Honnavar and Karwar. Fuel wood is mainly used for cooking and horticulture
residues from coconut, arecanut trees are used for water heating purposes. Most
of the households in this region still use traditional stoves where efficiency
is less than 10%. The present inefficient fuel consumption could be brought down
by the usage of fuel efficient stoves (a saving of the order of 27%).
Availability of animal residues for biogas generation in Sirsi, Siddapur,
Yellapur Taluks gives a viable alternative for cooking, lighting fuel and a
useful fertiliser. However to support the present livestock population, fodder
from agricultural residues is insufficient in these Taluks. There is a need to
supplement the fodder availability with fodder crops as successfully tried in
Banavasi village by some progressive farmers.
Author Keywords: Bioenergy; Fuel wood consumption;
Integrated energy planning; Energy efficient devices; Per capita fuel
consumption; Techno economic analyses; Biogas; Wood gasification; Energy
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