Cabinet amends biofuels policy
GS Paper - 3 (Energy)
The Union Cabinet on 18 May 2022 approved advancing the target of blending 20 per cent ethanol in petrol by 5 years to 2025-26 as well as allowing more feedstocks for the production of biofuels in a bid to cut reliance on imported oil for meeting the country's energy needs. The Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister approved the amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels.
Under the amendment
- One of the amendments is that the government will allow more feedstocks for the production of biofuels.
- The main amendment is for advancing the target of blending 20 per cent ethanol in petrol (20 percent ethanol, 80 per cent petrol) to 2025-26 from 2030. Currently, about 10 percent of ethanol is blended in petrol.
- It will promote the production of biofuels in the country, under the Make in India program, by units located in Special Economic Zones (SEZ)/ Export Oriented Units (EoUs).
- The government has allowed the addition of new members to the NBCC. Permission will be granted for the export of biofuels in specific cases.
- The government is allowed to delete/amend certain phrases in the Policy in line with decisions taken during the meetings of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC).
- These decisions will help India, which depends on imports for meeting 85 percent of its oil needs, to cut reliance on overseas shipments.
- Since many more feedstocks are being allowed for the production of biofuels, this will promote the Atmanirbhar Bharat and give an impetus to Prime Minister's vision of India becoming 'energy independent' by 2047.
- The “National Policy on Biofuels - 2018" was notified by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on 4 June 2018, in supersession of the National Policy on Biofuels, promulgated through the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, in 2009.