The Ethanol Blended Petrol Program
The Indian government is determined to boost ethanol production and supply for the Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme, particularly during surplus seasons. Policy revisions have resulted in a significant rise in molasses-based distilleries’ capacity, soaring from 215 crore liters in 2014 to an impressive 811 crore liters over the past 9 years.
GS-03 (Environment and Ecology)
Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme:
- The Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme was launched in 2003 to promote the use of renewable fuels and reduce India’s dependence on imported energy.
- The government aims to increase the blending of ethanol in petrol from 5% to 10% by 2022 and eventually to 20% (E20) by 2030.
- The program is implemented based on the National Policy on Biofuels, ensuring a systematic approach.
- Oil marketing companies (OMCs) are responsible for procuring ethanol from domestic sources at government-fixed prices.
- Initially, ethanol production relied on sugarcane, but the program has now expanded to include other sources like maize, bajra, and fruit and vegetable waste.
- This expansion benefits farmers by allowing them to sell surplus agricultural produce and supports ethanol production in the country.
- Ethanol blending refers to the process of combining at least 99% pure ethyl alcohol, derived from agricultural products, with petrol.
- The advantages of ethanol blending include its renewable nature, lower vehicular emissions due to enhanced combustion, and reduction in the country’s carbon footprint.
- Ethanol blending can potentially save billions of dollars in annual auto fuel imports and provide additional income to farmers.
- The Ethanol Blended Petrol Program represents India’s commitment to a sustainable and self-sufficient energy ecosystem, with a focus on both environmental and economic benefits.