The aforesaid actions helped to increase ethanol procurement by PSU OMCs from 38 crore litres during ESY 2013-14 (December, 2013 to November, 2014) to 172.42 crore litres in ESY 2019-20, thereby achieving average blend percentage of 5.0%. Ethanol blending target for ESY 2021-22 is 10% and which is to progressively increase to 20% by ESY 2029-30.
India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world continues to experience a high and increasing demand of crude oil and petroleum products. Traditionally fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in the transportation sector. However, biofuels have gained significant attention in recent years as they have been considered as viable alternatives offering significant economic and environmental benefits.
The Government of India (GoI) and the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are aggressively promoting blending of 10 % ethanol in Motor Sprit (petrol) with a view to reduce the carbon footprint and conserve foreign exchange by reducing import of crude oil. For the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2019-20, ethanol supplies of 172.42 crore litres could be effected by suppliers to Public Sector OMC’s as against the requirement of 511 crore litres enabling average 5% ethanol blending in petrol. The Government has plans to gradually increase the blending percentage to 20% by the year 2028 for which the ethanol requirement is expected to be around 900 crore litres. OMC’s have invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for procurement of 457 crore litres of ethanol from various feed stocks sourced from Sugarcane (Sugarcane Juice, Sugar Syrup, Sugar, B-Heavy & C-Heavy Molasses) and also from Grains (Rice procured from Food Corporation of India (FCI), Maize and Damaged Food Grains) for ESY 2020-21 against which OMCs have received offers for 330 crore litres only.
Government has emphasized on achieving energy security of the country with a target of reducing import dependence i.e. usage of fossil fuels by 10% from 2014-15 levels by the year 2022. This target it to be achieved by adopting a five pronged strategy which includes, Increasing Domestic Production, Adopting Biofuels & Renewable, Energy Efficiency Norms, Improvement in Refinery Processes and Demand Substitution. This envisages a strategic role for biofuels in the Indian Energy basket. The growing concern about the import dependence for fuel requirement in tandem with environmental pollution issues have driven the need for biofuels that have superior environment benefits and are economically competitive with fossil fuel.
In order to promote biofuels in the country, first National Policy on Biofuels was made by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during the year 2009. Globally, biofuels have caught the attention in last decade and it is imperative to keep up with the pace of developments in the field of biofuels. This National Policy on Biofuels -2018 builds on the achievements of the earlier National Policy on Biofuels and sets the new agenda consistent with the redefined role of emerging developments in the renewable sector. This policy aims to bring in renewed focus taking into context the international perspectives and National scenario.