Agrinergy developed and implemented its first CDM projects in the sugar sector and has a particularly strong track record in this industry.
CDM project opportunities in the sugar sector largely relate to CO2 mitigation:
- Firstly, through the combustion of sugar cane biomass residues (bagasse) to produce steam and electricity, sugar mills can reduce their own use of fossil fuels. Furthermore, by exporting electricity to the grid, sugar mills can displace fossil fuel consumption by coal, oil and gas power stations.
- Secondly, sugar mills can install bio-ethanol production equipment and produce bio-ethanol from sugar cane and molasses. This bio-ethanol can be used as a transportation fuel and hence displace use of gasoline and MTBE.
In addition to CO2 there are also opportunities for the reduction of CH4 (methane) emissions through treatment of distillery effluents. Agrinergy is conducting on-going research into this sector.
Agrinergy has a very strong track record in bagasse cogeneration projects – the companyregistered the first bagasse based power project and is developing and managing a wide range of similar projects in India and Thailand.
Agrinergy has also been on the forefront of methodology development in the sugar sector.
GHG emissions and biomass
Agricultural biomass residues and other renewable sources of biomass are CO2 neutral – this is because the CO2 emissions that are given off when the biomass is burned are equal to those that are taken up by the crop during its growth.
This is not the case for non-renewable biomass – e.g. the burning of wood from trees that will not be replaced. There is ongoing work on the development of CDM projects that will replace the use of biomass from non-renewable sources with renewable biomass, and this is an important and to-date neglected CDM area.
Finally, the combustion of biomass can also mitigate CH4 (methane) emissions. This mitigation opportunity arises where in the situation where the project does not operate (the baseline scenario) the biomass would decompose anaerobically (in the absence of air).
GHG mitigation opportunities related to biomass use arise from the generation of steam and electricity and a reduction in the dumping and anaerobic decay of biomass residues. Potential CDM biomass related projects include:
- The use of biomass to generate electricity instead of fossil fuels
- The use of biomass for cogeneration
- Fuel switching from a fossil fuel to biomass.
In addition to sugar cane residues, renewable biomass can include rice husks and palm oil processing residues.
Examples of Agrinergy’s project portfolio in sugar and biomass include Coimbatore based RSCLfor whom Agrinergy developed a CDM project for grid based bagasse cogeneration. Agrinergy is now developing a similar project with BHL, the largest sugar producer in India at eight of its plants. Another focus is the development of biomass based projects where rice husk based power plants have been developed, an example of this is the project undertaken with Agarwal Vidhyut in Chhattisgarh.