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Societies should be livable workable, and sustainable for all with an important focus on ecology and environment : Nitin Gadkari, Minister at CII’s BioEnergy Summit
Sep 23, 2021

Speaking at the CII BioEnergy Summit, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport and Highways said “India is one of the fastest growing economy leading through sustainable and climate neutral development. The Government of India strongly believes that society should  be livable,  workable and sustainable for all with an important focus on ethics, ecology and environment.

Minister Gadkari said that the infrastructure development and an investor-friendly ecosystem for domestic manufacturing has greatly fueled the demand for the transportation sector. India today consumes about 30 percent of the world's oil and petrol diesel needs and is heavily import dependent, with a spend of over 160 billion $ per year.  He added that India is the world's 3rd largest emitter of CO2.  This has a huge impact on the economy, environment and human health. He calls for a shift from fossil fuel to more green and clean energy.  He said agriculture is our real strength and can be diversified to produce energy.  

Minister Gadkari, envisaging a strategic role for biofuels in the Indian energy basket, advocated for a five-phase strategy - adopting biofuels and renewables, implementing energy efficiency norms, improving refinery processes, increasing domestic production and achieving import substitutions.  

Mentioning about the recent announcements  on advancing of the target year for 20% ethanol-blending to 2025, 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030,  E-20 Gazette Notification to sell EBP  from April 1, 2023 and BIS specifications for E12 & E15, reduction of GST on biodiesel from 12 percent to 5 percent, Hon’ble Minister said that these give  an indication the importance that government attaches to biofuels and alternative source of energy.

Praising Brazil for managing efficiently and effectively blends of ethanol and also flex engines, the Minister said that brazil has made 27 percent of fuel blend mandatory since 2015 which has successfully substituted 3.29 billion barrels of gasoline.  As per a report from December 2020,  83 percent of total light vehicle fleet in Brazil are the flex fuel cars.

He added that with the surplus sugar rice and maize, India can completely transform the fuel landscape by introducing a circular economy of ethanol, which will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and also divert the additional income towards farmers, increasing per capita income, GDP and agriculture growth.

Minister further said that the government is committed to reduce the logistic cost by promoting and adopting clean and green technology to save ecology and environment and is rapidly shifting public transport fleet on green fuels like bio CNG, Ethanol, Methanol electricity and green hydrogen .

The National Hydrogen Energy Mission has been announced  to establish hydrogen-based energy ecosystem , development of technology and research on production on green hydrogen from non-conventional sources .

He added that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is in talk with the automakers for flex engines and will soon announce a policy to encourage automobile manufacturers to produce such engines. Minister Gadkari further said that he recently launched the first ever agriculture tractor run on bio CNG and its economics  allows huge saving for Farmers.

For production and dispensing of hydrogen government is developing low cost electrolyzer technology as India is a highly cost conscious market and there are huge expectations of rapid reduction in the cost of electrolyzers, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Marcos Pontes, Hon’ble Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations,  Government of Brazil said that the  40 percent of Brazil’s Energy is from renewable and bioenergy is about 16% of their energy grid. Majority of the cars now are on Flex fuel.   He expressed keen interest to take forward the existing partnership with India by  sharing  technologies  and by working with private companies.

Mr Tarun Sawhney, Co- Chair, CII National Committee on Bio energy commenting on the  theme of summit    “Farm-2-Fuel : Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Self Reliant India”, said that with the growing importance of energy for developmental goals across all economies, the need for energy security has led towards exploration of sustainable sources of energy.  Bioenergy as part of the energy portfolio, has expanded to nations as an accessible, reliable, sustainable, economically viable, and resilient energy.

Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said that both Bazil and India are stepping ahead on the sustainable energy roadmap and both countries have huge scope of collaborate and working together.  The CII Bio-Energy Summit 2021 aims to engage all stakeholders to promote bio-energy in the country; facilitate technology exchanges, R&D and help create conducive ecosystem to attract investments.

 23 September 2021

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