India Biofuel economy roadmap – Challenges & Prospects

Jan 2021

India Biofuel economy roadmap – Challenges & Prospects
Feature article in IEA Bioenergy Task 39 Newsletter Issue #56

India is one of the fastest growing economies and the third largest consumer of primary energy in the world after the US and China. India’s fuel energy security will remain vulnerable until alternative fuels are developed based on renewable feedstocks. The government of India targets reducing the country’s carbon footprint by 30-35% by the year 2030. These targets will be achieved through a five-pronged strategy which includes: Increasing domestic production, adopting biofuels and renewables, implementing energy efficiency norms, improving refinery processes and achieving demand substitution. This strategy envisages a strategic role for biofuels in the Indian energy basket. The government of India has proposed a target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 and introduced multiple initiatives to increase indigenous production of biofuels.

Feedstock availability and production cost are the key drivers towards sustainable and commercial production and implementation of biofuels in India. A strong focus on technology is imperative for the development of second generation and other advanced biofuels utilizing domestic feedstocks (including agricultural residues/wastes that otherwise are burnt). A collective effort from all involved organizations will lead to effective and full implementation of India’s biofuels blending programme.

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