Bioethanol Current Affairs - 2020

First Meeting of Consultative Committee of Ministry of Petroleum

The first meeting of Consultative Committee of Ministry of Petroleum was chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

Highlights of the meet

The committee announced that Government of India is working towards a transformative change in energy sector. It is planning to increase share of Natural gas in the energy sector from 6.2% to 15% by 2030. The committee has given a strong policy thrust to support Natural Gas enabling infrastructure.

Also, the contribution of biofuels and its usage are to be increased. The committee pointed out already existed government measures to increase the use of biofuels

Government measures of Biofuels

GoI introduced Ethanol Blended Programme to reduce dependency of oi imports, address environmental concerns and to boost agriculture sector. Government re-introduced administered price mechanism, amended Industries (Development and Regulation) act, 1951, reduced GST rates of ethanol from 18% to 5%.

Current Scenario

Today in India, oil public sector units like Indian Oil Corporation are establishing Ethanol bio-refineries. Around 12 such refineries in 11 states are being established. Currently, the biofuels are produced in accordance with National Biofuel Policy, 2018. It targets 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030. Under SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation), 5000 Compressed Bio Gas Plants are to constructed by 2023. The initiative aims at generating 15 million metric tonnes of biogas per annum

Implementation Updates: National Biofuel Policy

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas notified a new National Policy on Biofuels in June 2018. On a written reply at the opening session of Lok Sabha on November 18, 2019, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas provided its implementation steps.

Government measures and achievements

  • The percentage of Ethanol in Ethanol blended petrol has been increased from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 4.22% in 2017-18
  • GoI has procured 180 crore litres of ethanol against the target of 225 crore litres for the year 2018-19
  • The total Ethanol production capacity of the country is 355 crore litres per annum.

Current Government schemes on Biofuels

  • The Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable scheme aims at establishing 5000 compressed bio gas plants across the country by 2023.
  • The Oil Marketing Companies that are part of the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme can sell blended petrol with maximum ethanol percentage of 10%.

Salient Features of the Policy

  • The Biofuels will be categorized as Basic Biofuels and Advanced Biofuels.
  • Government will provide incentives, viability gap funding and off-take insurance for advanced biofuels. Advanced Biofuels are derived from non-food feedstocks. They are also known as second-generation biofuels.
  • According to the new policy, B-molasses, damaged food grains, sugarcane juice and surplus food grains can be used for ethanol production
  • A supply chain will be set up for the production of biodiesel. It is to be produced from non-edible oil seeds, short gestation crops and used cooking oil
  • The Policy defines the roles and responsibilities of all the ministries and other concerned departments that are involved in production and supply of Biodiesel.