With increasing demand for energy in long run non-conventional sources of energy will be needed because the conventional sources of energy such as coal, petroleum, natural gas etc, are limited in the world.
Where as, the non- conventional sources of energy such as energy from sun, wind, biomass, tidal energy, and geo-thermal are also renewable, pollution free and eco- friendly.
In order to meet the demand of future, the government of India has also established the department of Non-conventional sources of energy in 1982 and in 1992 the Ministry of Non- conventional Energy Sources was formed for promoting research and development of effective utilization of such renewable energy.
However, in India renewable energy programme has been in a place for a little over two decades during which period the renewable energy industry has taken a number of initiatives that have given a major thrust to the programme.
During 1980, the government created the Commission on Additional Sources of Energy. During the 1990s, the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources initiated the solar thermal energy programme for the fulfillment of heat energy requirements of different applications in domestic, institutional and industrial sector.
The Community and Institutional Biogas Plants Programme were also initiated in 1982-83. Under this programme, biogas is generally used for motive power and generation of electricity.
A component on biogas plants linked with community toilet complexes was added in the year 1993-94, to facilitate onsite treatment of human waste. The Biogasifier programme in India was also launched in 1986.
The Biomass gasification is a thermo chemical process in which fuel gas is formed as a result of partial combustion of biomass such as wood waste, crop residue, agro- industrial wastes etc.
The success of this biogas technology has brought Brown Revolution in India. A national programme on energy recovery from urban municipal and industrial waste also was initiated and many projects for generation of power from urban and industrial wastes were established in the country.
The ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources is implementing one of the world’s largest programmes on renewable energy. The objectives of the programme are:
(i) Increase the share of renewable in the overall installed capacity of power generation.
(ii) Meeting the energy need of rural and remote areas.
(iii) Minimizing the health hazards faced by the rural women from old age practices of cooking with fuel wood.
(iv) Extracting energy from urban and industrial wastes besides ocean, chemical and geothermal sources.
However, the underlying idea of the programme is not to substitute but supplement the conventional energy generation in meeting the basic energy needs of community at large. For this technical back-up units were set up in different parts of the country to provided support to various institutions.
The Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources has taken up special programmes for renewable energy in the northeastern region. A special programme to electrify the Kargil and Ladakh areas districts with 90% as grant from center is also under implementation.