India has recently announced the formation of the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA), with India, the US, and Brazil as the founding members. The alliance aims to bring together 19 other countries to support the development of biofuels.
Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, can be extracted from plant-based substances. Ethanol can be derived from sugarcane, corn, rice, and bamboo, while biodiesel can be made from animal fat, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and even restaurant grease. India is particularly interested in biofuels as it seeks to reduce its dependence on expensive oil imports from the Middle East and other regions.
By blending ethanol with petrol and biodiesel with conventional diesel, India has already saved a significant amount in imports, amounting to ₹73,000 crores in the past nine years. This move not only saves money but also helps the country become self-reliant in meeting its energy needs.
India is committed to developing its biofuel sector further, as evidenced by the National Policy on Biofuels (2018) and its subsequent amendment in 2022. The country has set ambitious targets, such as blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2026 and blending 5% biodiesel in conventional diesel by 2030.
Apart from the economic benefits, biofuels also contribute to reducing pollution. Vehicles account for 40% of India’s pollution, and biofuels, particularly ethanol, burn cleanly and reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
While India has made significant strides in biofuel production, there is still room for growth. Currently, India produces only 10 billion litres of ethanol, while it needs 17 billion litres to achieve its targets. Additionally, India plans to install 5,000 plants for compressed biogas in the country, indicating the need for support and resources.
The formation of the Global Biofuel Alliance can provide the necessary technical expertise, access to international funds, and collaboration for the development of biofuels. An example of such an alliance is the International Solar Alliance, which has facilitated the financing and mentoring of solar projects.
With biofuels playing a crucial role in achieving the global net zero emissions targets by 2050, collaboration and collective efforts are essential. The Global Biofuel Alliance could be instrumental in accelerating the adoption of biofuels and driving the transition towards cleaner energy sources.
– [Title: India’s Ambitions for Biofuels and the Global Biofuel Alliance](source article)