10 December 2004 – The Indian government has said that it plans to ask captive power producers to use non-edible bio-diesel for generating electricity, in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil oils.
A M Gokhale, secretary, Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources, said at a seminar on Clean Development Mechanism: “About 25 000-30 000 MW of electricity is generated by captive power producers, half of which is by diesel generating sets. We are planning to ask these industries to use non-edible vegetable oils for producing electricity.”
He added that there are about 400 species of plants like jhatropa and pangomia that produce oil. While some of these plants are edible, the majority of them are unfit for human consumption and can be used for generating power.
Gokhale said that the government was also currently working to encourage the use of other renewable sources of energy, including wind power. India ranks highly in global terms of installed wind energy capacity. The present generating capacity is 3000 MW and that is expected to increase to 4500 MW by the end of 2005.