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INDIA’S AMBITIOUS BIOFUEL PLANS AND THEIR IMPACT



  Jun 27, 2024

INDIA’S AMBITIOUS BIOFUEL PLANS AND THEIR IMPACT



FAQs

What are biofuels and why are they important?

Biofuels are renewable energy sources derived from organic materials, such as plant biomass, vegetable oils, and animal fats. They are important because they provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help diversify the energy supply.

How has India become a major biofuel producer and consumer?

India has implemented coordinated policies, received high-level political support, and utilized its abundant feedstocks to rapidly become a significant biofuel producer and consumer. The National Policy on Biofuels, first released in 2018 and updated in 2022, has set ambitious targets and frameworks for biofuel production and consumption.

What are India’s biofuel targets?

India aims to achieve 20% ethanol blending in gasoline by 2025-26, moved up from an initial target of 2030, and 5% biodiesel blending by 2030. These targets are part of India’s broader strategy to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

What progress has India made towards these targets?

India has nearly tripled its ethanol production over the past five years, achieving close to 12% ethanol blending in gasoline by 2023. The country’s ethanol is primarily produced from sugar cane, maize, and surplus rice stocks. To diversify feedstocks, India has implemented separate pricing for maize-based ethanol and supports ethanol production from agricultural residues such as cotton stalks, wheat straw, rice straw, bagasse, and bamboo.

How does the updated National Policy on Biofuels support these targets?

The updated policy includes measures such as guaranteed pricing for ethanol, long-term contracts, and technical standards. Financial support is provided for building new biofuel facilities and upgrading existing ones. This policy framework aims to ensure a stable and predictable environment for biofuel production and investment.

What other biofuel opportunities is India exploring?

India is also looking to expand the use of biodiesel and biojet fuel. The government has set a 5% biodiesel target by 2030, which will require nearly 4.5 billion litres of biodiesel per year. The government has also announced blending targets for biojet fuel, aiming for 1% by 2027 and 2% by 2028 for international flights leaving India.

What challenges does India face in achieving its biofuel targets?

India faces challenges such as keeping production costs in check, ensuring the sustainability of feedstocks, and expanding the fleet of vehicles capable of higher ethanol blending levels. Encouraging the use of flex-fuel vehicles and retrofitting older vehicles are part of the strategy to overcome these challenges.

How is India contributing to global biofuel deployment?

India launched the Global Biofuels Alliance in 2023, aiming to accelerate the deployment of sustainable biofuels globally. The Alliance focuses on developing new and existing markets, accelerating technology deployment, and establishing performance-based sustainability assessments.

What impact can India’s biofuel initiatives have on global efforts?

India’s leadership in biofuel production and its active role in the Global Biofuels Alliance can significantly boost global biofuel deployment. By sharing its successful policy frameworks and technological advancements, India can help other countries increase their biofuel production, contributing to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels.

How do biofuels fit into India’s overall energy strategy?

Biofuels are a key component of India’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. They complement other renewable energy sources and provide a sustainable solution for reducing emissions from the transport sector. By diversifying its energy mix and enhancing energy security, India aims to lead by example in the global transition to sustainable energy.


SRIRAM’S


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