- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, to advance the date by which fuel companies have to increase the percentage of ethanol in petrol to 20%, from 2030 to 2025.
- The policy of introducing 20% ethanol will take effect from April 1, 2023.
What are the benefits?
- By blending 20% ethanol by 2025, the country would be saving around 30,000 crores in foreign exchange per year.
- This would also result in increased energy security.
- By blending ethanol we could also lower the carbon emissions resulting into better air quality.
- Apart from this, this would bring a boost to the farmers income as the damaged food grains can be used efficiently.
- Overall India would be in a self-sufficient position in terms of energy security.
- Transport of Ethanol from surplus to deficit states incurs additional movement and also burns fossil fuel.
20% ethanol blending would also require changes in the working of engines which would finally increase the cost of the auto mobile.
- This is not the case in 10% ethanol blending which does not require any major changes in the engine.
A major challenge would be in the sustainability in the agricultural sector because increased ethanol blending will lead to increased production of water intensive crops.
- And also there are chances that this may lead to a threat to the food security as the food grains might be diverted to blending.
- In the wake of this new policy the demand for ethanol would increase substantially in the country.
Currently India produces about 4.25 billion liters of ethanol from both molasses-based distilleries and grain based distilleries.
- This demand must be met without harming the sustainability in agriculture and also the food security.
Source: THE HINDU.
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