The Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels which expands the scope of raw material for ethanol blending to allow more feedstocks for its production, with an aim to advance the blending of ethanol in petrol target of 20 per cent and promote its under the Make in India program.
It further seeks to add new members to the National Biofuel Coordination Committee and grant permission for export of biofuels in specific cases.
Till now, only ethanol produced from sugarcane was allowed to be mixed in petrol.
The existing National Policy on Biofuels came up in 2018.
"This amendment proposal will pave the way for Make in India drive thereby leading to reduction in import of petroleum products by generation of more and more biofuels," the government said.
Since many more feedstocks are being allowed for production of biofuels, this hopes to promote the Atmanirbhar Bharat and give an impetus to PM's 'energy independent' by 2047, it said.
Previously, the 2018 policy allowed the use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol on the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
Under the 2018 policy, a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol bio refineries of Rs 5,000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels were also given.
The policy categorises biofuels as First Generation (1G), that produce bio-ethanol from molasses and bio-diesel from non-edible oilseeds.
Second Generation (2G) ethanol can be produced from municipal solid waste and Third Generation (3G) fuels like bio-CNG.
The policy came up with a larger goal to lead to 30 lakh tons of lesser carbon emissions. "By reducing crop burning & conversion of agricultural residues/wastes to biofuels there will be further reduction in green house gas emissions," the government had said.
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