- Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas stated that the ethanol blending has Improved from 1.53% during Ethanol Supply Year 2013-14 to 7.93% ongoing ESY 2020-21.
E-100 pilot projects
- It has been launched at Pune city by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) on June 05, 2021.
- Aim: to enhance fuel choice and facilitate sale of E-100 fuel.’
- The Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel (Regulation of Supply, Distribution and Prevention of Malpractices) Order, 2005 was amended to permit the direct sale of Bio-ethanol (E100) by an oil company for use as standalone fuel or blending with motor spirit, for compatible automobiles to all consumers.
- It has to be in accordance with the standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Notified National Policy on Biofuels - 2018
- It provided an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.
- NITI Aayog "Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25" report outlines the journey for 20% ethanol blending in the country.
India’s Biofuel Economy:
- India is one of the fastest growing economies and the third largest consumer of primary energy in the world after the US and China.
- India’s fuel energy security will remain vulnerable until alternative fuels are developed based on renewable feedstocks.
- The government of India targets reducing the country’s carbon footprint by 30-35% by the year 2030.
- These targets will be achieved through a five-pronged strategy which includes:
- Increasing domestic production
- adopting biofuels and renewable
- implementing energy efficiency norms
- improving refinery processes and
- achieving demand substitution.
- The government of India has proposed a target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 and introduced multiple initiatives to increase indigenous production of biofuels.
What are 1G and 2G biofuels?
- 1G Bioethanol plants utilise sugarcane juice and molasses, byproducts in the production of sugar, as raw material.
- 2G plants utilise surplus biomass and agricultural waste to produce Bioethanol.
- Third generation biofuels - These are produced from micro-organisms like algae.
- Fourth generation biofuels - These are produced from genetically modified (GM) algae to enhance biofuel production.
- The prices of both sugarcane and bio-ethanol are set by the central government.
Benefits of India’s ethanol blending mandates include:
- Reduce Import Dependency: Will saves foreign exchange (forex).
- Cleaner Environment: Reducing crop burning and converting agricultural residues/wastes to biofuels will further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Health Benefits: Prolonged reuse of cooking oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying, is a potential health hazard and can lead to many diseases. Used cooking oil (UCO) is a potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel prevents reuse of UCO within the food industry.
- Solid Waste Management: There are technologies available, which can convert solid waste and plastics to drop-in fuels.
- Infrastructural Investment in Rural Areas: Establishing additional 2G biorefineries across the country will spur infrastructural investment in rural areas.
- Employment Generation: 2G biorefinery can contribute 1200 jobs across plant operations, village level entrepreneurs and supply chain management.
- Additional Income to Farmers: By adopting 2G technologies, agricultural residues/wastes that otherwise are burnt can be converted to ethanol. Farmers can realise an additional revenue source if markets are developed for these residues/wastes.
Major programs supporting the development of biofuels production and use in India include:
- Viable gap funding (VGF) for commercial scale 2G ethanol plants under Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana
- Financial assistance for demonstration scale 2G integrated bioethanol under Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana.
- Grants for research and development from DBT to 5 Centres for Excellence in the Bioenergy area.
- The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 specifically promotes advanced biofuels to achieve a target of 20% blending of biofuels with fossil-based fuels by 2030.
Measures that can improve Bio-fuel economy:
- Currently in India, Biofuel development is centred around the cultivation of Jatropha plant seeds. There is need to develop new feedstock for biofuels.
- To facilitate the blending of biofuels with conventional fuels, there is need to set up advanced biorefineries.
- Research and development should be promoted to support generation of bio-fuel from waste. As it will ensure realizing the goal of waste management and waste to energy.