Press Releases

  • TERI-USEPA initiative highlights opportunities for the 28-nation international partnership in making methane a clean energy source

    3 March 2009

    Rapid growth in the livestock, agro and food processing industry has resulted in the generation of large quantity of wastes. This has led to significant methane emissions. In India, one of the major efforts to reduce the emissions is through the utilisation of these wastes for biogas production for thermal and power generation applications. A major initiative 'Methane to Markets' by US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) focuses on methane recovery and its use as a clean energy source. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), as a part of this initiative organised a two- day workshop that addressed issues associated with the implementation of methane capture projects, thus benefiting the environment, and improving the energy scenario. Present on the occasion were Dr R K Pachauri, Director- General TERI, Dr Prodipto Ghosh, Former Secretary, MOEF and Distinguished Fellow, TERI, Mr Kurt Roos, Team Leader-Agriculture methane programs, USEPA and Dr Nitin Pandit, President, International Institute for Energy Conservation.

    While welcoming the guests, Dr R K Pachauri said, "There are enormous opportunities for us to take methane to the market. We need to ensure that wastes should be captured for economic and commercial benefits. We need to use natural resources as productively and efficiently as possible. This nation has an enormous potential to use methane due to abundance of livestock and agricultural activities. I hope this workshop will show us a way to tackle this challenge of methane emissions and will lead to process of sharing of science and technologies for common benefit."

    The workshop identified the areas of intervention for methane recovery and facilitated collaboration and cooperation between various stakeholders for development of methane recovery projects. Around 100 participants from research and academic institutions, NGO, Government agencies, industries and financial institutions participated in the forum. Experts and speakers from USEPA, UK Renewable Energy Association, research and academic institutions in Sweden, Finland, Thailand, China, Nepal and India, Ministry of new and renewable energy, FICCI, technology suppliers and companies dealing with CDM projects stressed on various important issues

    Elaborating on the USEPA initiative, Mr Kurt Roos ---- of USEPA said, "The programme is voluntary and based on international partnership. Since its inception, we now have 28 countries partnering with us. The partnership takes place in four major sectors— oil and gas, coal mines, landfill and agro- industrial wastes. These sectors have technologies readily available for commercial use. We aim to effectively utilise methane for generation of energy thereby reducing its emissions that is contributing to climate change."

    The workshop covered the following topics essential to the sectors:

    • Technologies for methane production and capture
      The session covered the available technologies, both indigenous and imported for controlled and efficient production of methane from livestock and food processing wastes. It helped in assessing the availability of suitable designs for different scenarios based on the efficiency, economics and other infrastructure requirements.
    • Application of methane for energy use
      It identified various opportunities for utilisation of methane for thermal, power and transport applications that would reduce the dependency on the conventional fuels.

    • Financial support and CDM benefits for methane recovery and use
      The session stressed on various financial schemes that supports implementation of methane recovery systems in India. CDM opportunities are higher for methane recovery and reuse projects. Various case studies related to this issue was also addressed.
    • Carbon accounting and identifying market opportunities
      The methodology for estimating the emissions from target sectors will facilitate the user industries/farms to assess the benefits that can be obtained by implementing the methane capture and projects.

    The deliberations helped the participants understand the opportunities available in the target sectors for methane recovery and use, technical, financial and policy support available for implementation of such projects. They learnt from experiences in other Asian and developed countries and networked with key stakeholders namely the industries, technology providers, entrepreneurs, manufacturers etc.

    The workshop helped in taking forward various initiatives undertaken at different levels into marketable opportunities. Case studies demonstrating controlled production of methane and utilisation of clean fuel will lead to the long term benefit to the country for efficient management of wastes along with control of GHG emissions.

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