Minister of New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal held a meeting of top officials on Monday to consider increasing incentives to boost this segment. “We are thinking of a scheme to encourage setting up of biomass plants using agricultural waste, but I cannot say anything more at the moment,” said Santosh Vaidya, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The government already provides financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh per MW for setting up biomass power plants, and Rs 15 lakh per MW for co-generation projects by sugar mills (using sugarcane waste left over after juice extraction). Such plants cost around Rs 4.5-6 crore per MW, while generation expense is around Rs 3.25-4.00 per kwH. They are also entitled to concessional import and excise duties while acquiring equipment, as well as a tax holiday for 10 years.