The SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme is an initiative launched by the Government of India to promote the use of Compressed Biogas (CBG) as a clean and alternative fuel for transportation. Read here to learn more about the scheme.
In addition to natural gas, an initiative called “Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation” (SATAT) has been taken up in India to extract economic value from biomass waste in the form of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) and bio-manure.
Municipal solid waste, sugar industry waste (press mud), and agricultural residue have significant potential for production of the same.
The scheme aims to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels, curb vehicular emissions, promote sustainable agricultural practices, and generate additional income opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs.
What is Compressed biogas (CBG)?
Compressed Biogas (CBG) is a renewable and sustainable fuel produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic materials such as agricultural residue, food waste, animal dung, and sewage.
- The process of anaerobic digestion breaks down these organic materials in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas as a byproduct.
- Biogas mainly consists of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), with smaller amounts of other gases.
- Once biogas is produced, it can undergo further purification and compression to become Compressed Biogas (CBG), which is similar to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in terms of its properties and usage.
- CBG is an alternative fuel that can be used in various applications, primarily as a cleaner and more environmentally friendly substitute for conventional fossil fuels.
Benefits of Compressed Biogas (CBG)
- CBG is produced from organic waste materials, making it a renewable energy source. It helps reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and contributes to the transition towards more sustainable energy options.
- CBG has lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels like diesel and petrol. It is considered a cleaner-burning fuel, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.
- CBG production promotes efficient waste management by using organic waste materials that might otherwise contribute to environmental pollution. It transforms waste into a valuable resource.
- When used as a fuel, CBG produces fewer pollutants, leading to improved air quality and reduced particulate matter emissions, which are harmful to human health.
- CBG can be used as fuel in various applications, including transportation (buses, cars, trucks), industrial processes, and power generation.
- By promoting the use of CBG, countries can reduce their reliance on imported fossil fuels, enhancing energy security and reducing foreign exchange expenditures.
- CBG production can provide additional income opportunities for farmers and agricultural communities. Organic waste materials can be used for biogas production, leading to improved waste management and nutrient recycling.
The adoption of Compressed Biogas (CBG) as an alternative fuel aligns with global efforts to mitigate climate change, reduce environmental pollution, and promote sustainable development.
Initiatives like the SATAT scheme in India (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) are aimed at promoting the production and usage of CBG to achieve these objectives while providing economic and environmental benefits.
SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme
The Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative launched in October 2018 envisages the setting up of 5000 Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants for the production of 15 million Metric tons (MMT) per annum of CBG by 2023-24.
- The scheme is under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Under the SATAT scheme, entrepreneurs shall set up CBG plants, and produce and supply CBG to OMCs for sale as automotive and industrial fuels.
- The initiative aims to produce compressed biogas (CBG) from Waste and Bio-mass sources like agricultural residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), and sewage treatment plant waste.
- PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) is inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential entrepreneurs to set up CBG plants under the SATAT scheme and supply CBG to OMCs for sale as automotive & industrial fuel.
- The CBG Plant Owner shall be responsible for planning, preparation, engineering, and execution of the project, including storage of raw material, operation and maintenance of the plant, maintaining final product output quantity and quality, and managing the by-products & wastes from the plant as per existing central / state norms.
Benefits of the SATAT scheme
As a developing country, India requires more energy to progress as a nation and hence, it is important to meet the growing energy demand responsibly.
- SATAT, by producing CBG from waste, would not only meet the growing energy demand in a responsible and eco-friendly manner but also contribute to India’s commitment to GHG emission reduction.
- The scheme enables better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung, and municipal solid waste.
- Considering the amount of biomass generated in the country, CBG has the potential to replace Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in automotive, industrial, and commercial uses in the coming years.
- SATAT initiative offers an efficient solution for the treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste management and helps in tackling the problem of urban air pollution due to farm stubble burning.
- It will boost entrepreneurship, rural economy, and employment and provide additional sources of revenue to farmers.
- It will also help to bring down the nation’s dependency on natural gas and crude oil imports and act as a buffer against crude oil and gas price fluctuations.
- The decentralized system also provides a huge opportunity to supply CBG in remote locations where affordability and access to modern energy are still a major challenge.
- CBG produced can be integrated with existing Gas networks such as city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets.
- Integrating with the existing Gas network would further ensure efficient distribution and optimized access to cleaner and more affordable fuel.
Other related government initiatives
- Waste to Energy Programme
- Green Hydrogen Mission
- Green Credit Programme under the Environment (Protection) Act
- PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM PRANAM) to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.
- GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) to improve access to clean cooking energy in the country.
The government of India has prepared a road map to reduce the import dependency in the oil and gas sector by adopting a five-pronged strategy which includes:
- increasing domestic production
- adopting biofuels & renewables
- energy efficiency norms
- improvement in refinery processes
- demand substitution.
The roadmap envisages a strategic role for biofuels in the Indian energy basket. Various notifications specifying standards for Compressed Natural Gas, Compressed Biogas, Biodiesel, Ethanol, LNG, and Flex-fuel Methanol combinations have been issued by the Government of India.
-Article by Swathi Satish