India has launched the Global Biofuels Alliance, a collaborative initiative that seeks to define and specify biofuels while fostering international cooperation. The alliance, launched on September 9, has already garnered the support of 19 countries and 12 international organizations.
Union petroleum & natural gas minister Hardeep Singh Puri highlighted the alliance’s objectives, which include establishing clear definitions for sustainable and green biofuels, addressing technical standards, specifications, and testing procedures. The alliance will also create a virtual marketplace for international cooperation in the biofuels sector.
In an interview, Minister Puri emphasized India’s commitment to increasing its biofuel production in the coming years. He noted that India has made significant strides in the production and procurement of biofuels. Over the years, India’s ethanol production and procurement have increased, reaching 12% blending. The country now procures 5.62 billion liters of ethanol and 1 billion liters of biodiesel, totaling 6.62 billion liters.
Minister Puri highlighted the positive impact of India’s biofuel efforts, stating that in the nine years of producing biofuels, the country has saved ₹73,000 crore (approximately $9.8 billion). These savings have enabled the government to allocate ₹76,000 crore (approximately $10.2 billion) to support farmers.
Additionally, Minister Puri discussed the potential benefits of mandating sustainable aviation fuel. A 1% mandate would require an additional 140 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel, benefiting 500,000 farmers. A 5% blending mandate would further benefit 700,000 farmers while reducing toxicity and air pollution.
Regarding the alliance, Minister Puri emphasized that it would not only increase India’s biofuel production but also promote international cooperation through a virtual marketplace. This collaborative effort aligns with India’s commitment to accelerating its energy transition journey and reducing import bills.
When asked about the participation of fossil fuel producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia in the alliance, Minister Puri noted that while the biofuel market is growing, it remains much smaller compared to the fossil fuel market. However, he emphasized that supporting biofuels can lead to cost savings and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Regarding the possibility of lower retail fuel prices, Minister Puri stated that factors like production costs at the source, insurance, and freight costs play a significant role. He also noted that opposition states have not reduced petrol and diesel prices despite the lower excise duty set by the central government.
On the topic of green hydrogen, Minister Puri expressed the importance of prioritizing green hydrogen while acknowledging the interim role of blue hydrogen. India remains committed to advancing its clean energy initiatives and achieving its climate goals.