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Waste to Energy case in Lok Sabha & Delhi HIgh Court

Written By Gopal Krishna on Sunday, December 13, 2009 | 9:26 PM

Despite repeated failures, on December 11, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (formerly Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources) said that it is planning to set up five pilot projects on energy recovery from solid municipal waste and providing assistance of Rs two crore per megawatt for this programme. “Our Ministry is implementing a programme for setting up five pilot projects on Energy recovery from municipal solid waste,” said Farooq Abdullah New and Renewable Energy Minister in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

“Central financial assistance up to Rs 2 crore per megawatt with a limited of Rs 10 crore per project be provided for power generation projects from municipal solid waste,” he added.

A FICCI report has suggested that 23,425 tonnes of solid waste are generated every day in 22 major cities across the country.

In the Delhi High Court, the waste to Energy case came for hearing on December 11, 2009 wherein the petitioners (Sukhdev Vihar Residents Welfare Association & others) pointed out the polluting nature of the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Incineration technology and how both the central government and the Delhi government has misled the court. The court has issued notices to the respondents.

Notably, unmindful of the potential public health disaster, these projects are being pushed as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. These projects illustrate the nature of carbon trade fraud.

Although it is established that Indian garbage is not suitable for energy generation industry conferences on "Waste to Energy" such as the one organised by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) continue to harp that it is possible to generate energy from every form of waste, be it industrial, domestic or livestock.

Refusing to learn from Timarpur blunder, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is made baseless claims saying it will generate 28 mega watts (MW) of power from treated solid waste at the South Asian Regional Meet of International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

MCD has announced that it will implement two ambitious projects on a public-private partnership. There are currently two projects in the pipeline, one where 2,000 tonnes of solid waste will be converted into 16 MW of power. In the other project, 1,200 tonnes of solid waste collected at the Corporation’s Ghazipur landfill site will be converted into 12 MW of power. MCD’s claim that with its segregated garbage collection plan in place, no malba or plastic waste gets mixed with the solid waste is unreliable.

In another related development, Power distribution company BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with East Delhi Waste Processing Company Limited (EDWPCL) on October 29, 2009 to buy electricity from Delhi’s first waste to power initiative. The agreement entitles the discom to procure 49 per cent of the total electricity generated at the under-construction plant. Power generated from the Ghazipur renewable energy power plant is expected to electrify around 4,000 homes, each having a load of 2.5 kW.

“Under the terms of the agreement, BYPL will procure 49 per cent of the 10 MW electricity that will be generated at the Ghazipur renewable energy power plant. BYPL will procure power at a competitive tariff rate of Rs.3.668 per kWh, determined by a competitive bidding process,” said BYPL CEO Ramesh Narayanan.

The agreement allows the promoters to sell the balance 51 per cent electricity through a suitable open access mechanism. The power plant processing around 1,200 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated in the national Capital daily is expected to be commissioned around the Commonwealth Games.

The power plant at Ghazipur will be the second such project in the city that will utilise the city’s solid waste to generate clean and renewable electricity. The other project is coming up at Okhla. Together the two projects will generate 26 MW of electricity by cumulatively processing around 2,600 tonnes of solid waste daily.

Claims such as "there are over 400 such successful examples in US alone” and the amount of gas generated from a 10 MW municipal solid waste power plant yields the same reduction in greenhouse gases as planting around 1.19 lakh trees or removing 83,000 cars from the road for a year
are false.
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