E20 Petrol to enhance farmer income, energy security and LiFE goals: CII

About 85% of India’s fuel needs are met by imports. The use of petrol with a 20% ethanol mix in India would result in significant cost savings for the nation.

The goal of 20% ethanol in gasoline would benefit the country’s agricultural and transport industry.

The introduction of E20 fuel today will enhance both farmer income as well as the country’s energy security. The CII National Bioenergy Committee, that promotes sustainable transportation fuel to meet net zero emission target, views the launch as part of the Government’s firm commitment for the ethanol blending programme, energy security and also for meeting goals under LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment).

Mr Tarun Sawhney, Co-Chairman- CII Bioenergy Committee & Vice Chairman and Managing Director of (TEIL) Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd, said, “The launch of E20 fuel by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi significantly before the previously envisaged launch date is yet another example of the firm commitment towards the ethanol blending programme, energy security and environmental change by the Government. Most importantly, the impact that this will have in enhancing farm incomes for sugarcane and grain farmers across our country is most notable and laudable.”

Bioenergy is today the largest source of renewable energy, representing around 10% of the global energy supply, and is also an integral part of a circular bio-based economy, often valorizing the waste or residues of other bio-based production processes. Modern bioenergy use in efficient and clean appliances and processes is indispensable for the transformation and decarbonization of energy system, complementing other renewable energy sources and efforts to reduce energy demand. According to Mr Shishir Joshipura, Co-Chairman- CII Bioenergy Committee & CEO and MD, Praj Industries, “The launch of E20 fuels by Hon’ble. Prime Minister is a watershed moment for the ethanol industry and India’s energy transition initiatives. Besides bolstering farmer income by providing an additional revenue stream by selling biomass, it will create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in rural communities.  As sustainable climate action, E20 EBP will curb GHG emissions to facilitate fulfilment of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in addition to helping realize the vision of Energy Independent India by 2047.”

Mr Sawhney also said, “CII also applauds the enormous roles played by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and department of food and public distribution in this achievement and we look forward to partnering with the Government in facilitating the bio energy agenda for the nation.”

The CII – CRISIL Report titled “Bioenergy: Transitioning to a Sustainable Tomorrow” highlighted the ethanol blending program as a key focus area of the government to achieve Aatmanirbharta in the field of energy. Due to the sustained efforts of the government, ethanol production capacity has seen six times increase since 2013-14. The achievements over the last eight years under the Ethanol Blending Program & Biofuels Program have not only augmented India’s energy security but have also resulted in a host of other benefits including the reduction of 318 Lakh Metric Tonnes of CO2 emissions and foreign exchange savings of around Rs 54,000 crore. As a result, there has been a payment of around Rs 81,800 crore towards ethanol supplies from 2014 to 2022 and a transfer of more than Rs 49,000 crore to farmers, said the report which was released by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Government of India at the 11th Edition of the CII’s flagship event – “The Bio-Energy Summit ”  on 12th January 2023.

Releasing the report at the CII Bioenergy Summit on 12 January, Shri Hardeep Puri, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs, had shared the government’s plans of a phased roll-out of E20 (20 percent ethanol blending in gasoline). The fuel will be available as part of a pilot project at select outlets. The roll-out will give a boost to the government’s plans of achieving the level of 20 percent ethanol blending in the overall petrol supply in the country by 2025-2026. The time target for achieving this has been preponed from 2030. The 10% blending of Ethanol in gasoline was achieved five months ahead of the target and the country has saved over Rs 40,000 crores on imports on that account.

The government is adopting several initiatives and next-generation infrastructure for energy transition and security. To ensure a smooth supply of green energy, the government has announced an allocation of Rs 35,000 crore in the country’s 2023-24 Budget. The government aims to achieve a complete 20% blending of ethanol by 2025, and oil marketing companies are setting up 2G-3G ethanol plants that will facilitate the progress.

In line with the ethanol blending roadmap, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/UTs at the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 in Bengaluru, Karnataka as a move towards cleaner transportation and cutting down on pollution.

The government is committed to implementing ethanol-blended petrol (EBP) programme throughout the country except in the Union Territories of the Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. As part of the programme, oil marketing companies (OMCs) sell petrol blended with 10% ethanol at present, which will be increased to 20% by fiscal 2025.

The genesis of this transformative push is the National Biofuel Policy of 2018, which put the spotlight on ethanol, with the target of 10% blending with gasoline set for 2022 and 20% blending set for 2030. In fact, after considering the rapid pace of advancement of Phase 1, the government has since revised the 20% target to fiscal 2025.

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