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October 2019

Are long-term waste-to-energy projects feasible in


India?

Aadish Sharma
ShARE IITD

DO WELL DO GOOD
Executive Summary
• About 65% of the electricity consumed in India is generated by thermal power plants
coming from fossil fuels, natural gas.
• Retail residential electricity rates (the amount you pay per kilowatt-hour, or ¢/kWh) have
risen across the nation about 15% over the last 10 years.
• According to the Press Information Bureau, India generates 62 million tonnes
of waste (mixed waste containing both recyclable and non-recyclable waste) every year,
with an average annual growth rate of 4%.
• Converting waste products to energy is a possible alternative that may address the
India’s energy and waste problem in the long term.
• However, there are major challenges associated with conversion of waste into energy
,the compositional characteristics of waste in India are very distinct so effective waste
management is expensive.
• Environmental and health impacts of WTE plants(Incineration). Experiences across the
country indicate that these plants are not able to meet environmental norms.
• Thus, at the present state WTE plants are not proposing promising solutions to shift
from fossil fuels to waste so we need to look for other promising solutions.

economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/69286279.cms 2
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About 65% of the electricity consumed in India is generated
by thermal power plants coming from fossil fuels, natural gas.

Primary sources of energy in India (%)

Chart Title

Coal
Natural Gas
Hydro
Other
renewable

Source: international energy agency,2016 3


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Retail residential electricity rates (the amount you pay per
kilowatt-hour, or ¢/kWh) have risen across the nation about 15%
over the last 10 years.
6
• Lack of government subsidies is cited as the primary
5 cause of the expensive electricity rates in India

• However, the costs related to the importation of fossil


4 fuels also contribute to the inefficiency in energy
generation as well as the high cost of electricity

3 • The demand for energy in the India also increased


despite and alongside the relatively expensive
Column1 electricity rates. In 2016, there was a 10% and 8.7%
2 increase in electricity consumption and peak
demand, respectively.
1 • The estimated total consumption of raw coal by
industry has increased from 462.35 MT during 2006-
07 to 832.46 MT during 2015-16 with a CAGR of
0 6.06%.

Comments
AUCPS-Average Urban Cost Of Power Supply

Source: Ministry of statistics and programme implementation ,GOI


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According to the Press Information Bureau, India generates 62
million tonnes of waste (mixed waste containing both recyclable
and non-recyclable waste) every year, with an average annual
growth rate of 4%.

City-wise Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Metro Mumbai


Cities (1999-2000, 2004-2005, 2010-2011 and 2015- Chennai
2016) Delhi
Waste generation in TPD Kolkata
11000

8700

65006800
5922
5355 5320 5000
4000 3692 3670 4000
3124 30362653

1999-2000 2004-2005 2010-2011 2015-2016

Comments
• According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), there exists a potential of about 1700
MW from urban waste (1500 from MSW and 225 MW from sewage) and about 1300 MW from industrial
waste

Source: Ministry of statistics and programme implementation ,GOI

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Converting waste products to energy is a possible alternative
that may address the India’s energy and waste problem in the
long term

• Waste-to-energy projects will provide an alternative energy source


Energy problem that may help ease the India’s dependence on fossil fuels

• Waste-to-energy projects will provide an alternative way of disposing


Waste problem
excess waste that would be otherwise dumped on open landfills by
reusing it to generate energy

Source: India Energy Information Administration


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However, there are major challenges associated with conversion
of waste into energy ,the compositional characteristics of waste
in India are very distinct so effective waste management is
expensive

Composition of waste generated in different cities(%)

3 5
5 15 15 11 15
15
Domestic

55
Inert
64 50 50 57 50
51
biodegra
dable

non-
40 35 35 35 biodegra
28 27 30 dable

Bengaluru Hyderabad Delhi Indore Patna Bhopal Mysuru

In India, the study of waste has repeatedly shown that the content of high-calorific-value waste is low—most of the fraction is
biodegradable in nature, with low calorific value. Countries that are heavily dependent on waste-to energy (WTE) plants have
high calorific value of waste. The calorific value of garbage in Sweden, Norway, Germany and USA is 2,868–3,824 kcal/kg,
1,912–2,868 kcal/kg, over 2,500 kcal/kg and 1,673–2,629 kcal/kg, respectively—in comparison the calorific value of waste in
India is 1,411–2,150 kcal/kg

Source: CSE,2018
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Environmental and health impacts of WTE plants(Incineration).
Experiences across the country indicate that these plants are
not able to meet environmental norms.

• Incinerator releases a wide variety of pollutants depending on the composition of the


waste, which leads to health deterioration and environmental degradation.
• The significant pollutants emitted are particulate matter, metals, acid gases, oxides of
nitrogen, and sulfur, aside from the release of innumerable substances of unknown
Impacts toxicity.
• The major impact on health is the higher incidence of cancer and respiratory symptoms;
other potential effects are congenital abnormalities, hormonal defects, and increase in sex
ratio. The effect on the environmental is in the form of global warming, acidification.

• In Tajpur Pahadi, located in the nether regions of Delhi’s Badarpur area, lies a large pit
half-filled with grey ash. It stands 28 acres in area and at least 15 meters deep, and if you
look over the edge of the cliff-like drop, pigs and dogs can be seen inside the pit,
scavenging for unburnt garbage to eat.
Experiences • The waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Delhi's Okhla has been worrying residents of Sukhdev
Vihar for a while now.
• The residents are trying to make the authorities relocate the plant so that they are not in
harm’s way. Their efforts got them a small success when their protests made the South
Delhi District Magistrate postpone the hearing to expand the plant.

Source: theprint.in/india/ Copyright ©2019 ShARE. All Rights Reserved 8


Thus, at the present state WTE plants are not proposing
promising solutions to shift from fossil fuels to waste so we
need to look for other promising solutions.

Mechanical and
Thermo-chemical Biochemical
Thermal

Pulverization and
Torrefaction Anaerobic Digestion
Drying

Plasma Techno Fermentation

Gasification

Pyrolysis

Liquefaction

Source: Prescouter 9
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the “3 lenses assessment”
(10= best, 1=worst)
The 3 lenses
Self Assesser
1. Is the story logic?
2. Do we understand the transition between all messages?
Story 3. Are all messages necessary?
4. Are there messages which are overlapping?
5. Are all messages supported by a solid evidence?
6. Can we understand the story if we don’t look at the slides
7. By just reading the story, do we get the main take away and key 7/10 ../10
figures/facts to keep in mind?

8. Is the message formulated in the title of the slide?


9. Is the message crispy ?
Slide
10. Is the message supported by a solid evidence and credible source ?
11. Is the evidence well structured?
12. Are the data robust ?
7/10 ../10
13. Is the slide structure the most appropriate to vehicle the evidence?

14. Is the ppt template of ShARE used?


15. Is there any grammatical or spelling mistakes?
Format 16. Are the colors, font and text size in line with ShARE template?
17. Is the bulleting format respected?
18. Are charts in line with ShARE templates? 8/10 ../10

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