Power generation from garbage / municipal solid waste (MSW) has been seen as a noble alternative of fulfilling the power needs of cities, and the government is also actively supporting the cause. However, as of now, the 16 MW waste-to-energy power plant at Okhla, New Delhi is the only project in operation in the country for generation of power from MSW, according to the Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Dr Farooq Abdullah.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Dr. Abdullah said that the Okhla MSW-based project commissioned in May, 2012, has so far generated about 24 million units (kWh) of electricity. He added that in the last three years, government has provided financial assistance of Rs 5.00 crore to an under construction waste-to-energy project in the state of Karnataka.
Dr. Abdullah informed the House that the energy recovery projects from MSW are being taken up by the municipal corporations in public private partnership (PPP) mode. Certain private players are being selected and the municipal corporations enter into an agreement to set up such plants. MSW includes household refuse, institutional waste, street sweeping, office wastes, etc. that are collected and dumped by respective municipalities.
Currently, the MNRE is implementing a programme for setting up of five new projects on energy recovery from MSW. The programme provides for capital subsidy of Rs.2.00 crore per MW with upper limit of Rs.10.00 crore per project. Benefits for Customs and Excise Duty concessions are being provided for such projects, and the project developers can also be benefitted by earning carbon credits for such projects.