Changing how we move
India needs clear research and development plan to scale up ethanol production.
India's Growing Import Dependence and Bioenergy Potential
- High Import Dependence and Energy Security: India's FY2023 import dependency on oil is 87.3%, costing 25.8% of imports.
- Resource availability: Biomass provided up to 20% of India's total primary energy supply in the past decade, mainly for households.
- Role of the Global Biofuel Alliance: India's G20 presidency formed the Global Biofuel Alliance, aiming to harness biomass as clean bio-energy.
Progress in Ethanol Blending
- Future Goals: Plans to increase blending to 20% (E20) by FY25-26 are accelerated, demanding substantial investments and feedstock.
- Challenges in Reducing Petrol Demand: A NITI Aayog report projects a 45% growth in petrol demand by 2030, necessitating solutions beyond blending.
- Chase the alternatives: Electric vehicles (EVs) face mineral and component challenges, making biofuels and flex-fuel vehicles viable alternatives.
Scaling Up Ethanol Production and Addressing Tradeoffs
- Focus on First-Generation Ethanol Production: India predominantly relies on first-generation ethanol production, primarily from food crops like sugarcane and grain.
- Reducing Petrol Consumption: Policy should prioritize reducing overall petrol consumption and private demand through strategies like EV promotion.
- Promoting Biofuels: A well-planned transition strategy can not only reduce the import bill but also aid the automotive industry's EV transition.