Biomass power plants in crisis
Even as the demand for power is shooting up in the State, almost all biomass power plants have gone out of business as the activity has become unviable. Of the 40 plants with a combined capacity of 190 MW, only seven are operational now.
Three plants, with a capacity of 12 MW, are located in rice-rich East Godavari district, where there is no dearth of paddy husk, the main ingredient to run the plants.
However, none of these three plants is functional now as there is a huge gap between the input costs and the price being offered by the AP Transco, the sole purchaser of biomass power. All the plants were set up between 2001 and 2005 when the non-conventional energy movement was at its peak.
There were no restrictions on the sale of power in the initial days but the situation changed after the AP Transco entered the scene and made power purchase agreements mandatory.