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Rajasthan Became the First State to Implement the Biofuel Policy

  • 02 Aug 2018
  • 5 min read

Rajasthan has become the first state to implement the National Policy on Biofuels unveiled by the centre in May 2018.

Key Highlights

  • The desert state will focus on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative fuels and energy resources.
  • As per the state government:
    • A biodiesel plant of the capacity of 8 tonnes a day had already been installed in the State.
    • The state government would promote marketing of biofuels and generate awareness about the same.
    • The State Rural Livelihood Development Council would also encourage women’s self help groups to explore the scope for additional income through the supply of biodiesel.

Background

  • In order to promote biofuels in the country, a National Policy on Biofuels was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in 2009.
  • Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as it augers well with the ongoing initiatives of the Government such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill Development and offers great opportunity to integrate with the ambitious targets of doubling of farmers income, import reduction, employment generation, waste to wealth creation.
  • Biofuels programme in India has been largely impacted due to the sustained and quantum non-availability of domestic feedstock for biofuel production which needs to be addressed.

National Policy on Bio Fuels

  • The Policy categorises biofuels as:
    • Basic Biofuels- First Generation (1G) 
    • Advanced Biofuels- Second Generation (2G) 
  • The Policy focuses on Expansion of the scope of raw materials for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane Juice, sugar containing materials like sugar Beet, sweet sorghum, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • With a thrust on Advanced Biofuels, the Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.
  • Roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries/Departments with respect to biofuels has been captured in the Policy document to synergise efforts.

Benefits

  • Reduced Import Dependency on crude oil through increased supply of ethanol. It will also result in the savings of forex.
  • Cleaner Environment through reduction in the rate of crop burning and reduction in green house gases due to the conversion of agricultural residues/wastes to biofuels.
  • Health Benefits-Prolonged reuse of Cooking Oil for preparing food, particularly in deep-frying is a potential health hazard and can lead to many diseases. Used Cooking Oil is a potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.
  • Municipal solid waste management (MSW)-Using available technologies which can convert waste/plastic, MSW to drop in fuels has the potential to provide around 20% of drop in fuels.
  • Employment Generation -One 100klpd 2G bio refinery can contribute 1200 jobs in Plant Operations, Village Level Entrepreneurs and Supply Chain Management.
  • Additional income to Farmers -By adopting 2G technologies, agricultural residues/waste which otherwise are burnt by the farmers can be converted to ethanol and can fetch a price for these waste if a market is developed for the same.
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