Analysis: National Policy on Biofules, 2018

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Biofuels, being a derivative of renewable biomass resources such as plastic, municipal solid waste (MSW), forestry residues, agricultural wastes, surplus food grains, etc., have huge potential to help the country achieve the above-mentioned goals. During the past one decade, Government of India has initiated several measures to augment production and use of biofuels. The National Biofuel Mission propelled in 2003 is the leader of such endeavors in the nation. The ‘National Policy on Biofuels’ discharged in 2009, predicts biofuels as a potential way to invigorate rustic turn of events and produce work openings, just as tries to receive ecological and financial rewards emerging out of their huge scope use.

The Policy targets mainstreaming biofuels by setting a demonstrative objective of their mixing up to 20 percent with petroleum and diesel in the vehicle division continuously 2017 (GoI, 2009). It is completely referenced in the Policy that the program is to be done dependent on the non-food feedstock that are raised on debased or badlands not reasonable for agribusiness, in this manner maintaining a strategic distance from a potential clash between food security and fuel security. Bioethanol created from the sugar stick molasses and biodiesel delivered from the non-eatable oilseed crops like jatropha and pongamia are right now being advanced for business use.

At present, aside from being exceptionally subject to non-inexhaustible fuel sources, India is likewise to a great extent dependent on imported raw petroleum to satisfy local utilization prerequisites. Moreover, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) unfluctuating crude oil prices in the world market majorly affect developing countries. Under the new 2018 biofuels policy, the raw materials identified for production of biodiesel include non-edible oilseeds, used/waste cooking oil (UCO), animal tallow, acid oils, and algal feedstock, to name a few. There is a renewed focus on developing a suitable collection mechanism to increase UCO supply for biodiesel production while imposing stringent rules to eliminate UCO entry into the food stream.

Salient features of National Policy on Bio-fuels 2018

1. According to the arrangement’s dossier, the administration targets expanding the use of biofuels in the vitality and transportation areas of the nation by advancing the creation of biofuels from local feedstock in the coming decade through this approach. Alongside that, mechanical progressions in the field of biofuels will likewise be supported.

2. MNRE has set a characteristic objective of 20% mixing of ethanol in petroleum and 5% mixing of biodiesel in diesel to be accomplished by 2030. The level of the equivalent at present stands at around 2% for petroleum and under 0.1% for diesel.

3. Diminish Import Dependency: One cr. Lit E10 spares Rs.28 cr. of forex at flows rates. The ethanol gracefully year 2017-18 is probably going to see a flexibly of around 150 crore liters of ethanol which will bring about sparing of over rs.4000 crore of forex.

5. Cleaner Environment: One cr. lit of E10 saves around 20,000 ton of CO2 emission. For the ethanol supply year 2107-18 there will be lesser emission of CO2 of the tune of 30 lakh ton. By reducing crop burning and conversion of agricultural wastes to biofuels there will be further reduction in greenhouse gas emission.

Progress under it

India’s Biofuel Policy 2018 India’s new biofuel policy seeks to achieve a national average of 20 percent blending of ethanol with gasoline and 5 percent blending of biodiesel with conventional diesel by 20301. It is envisioned the targets will be met through: growth in domestic biofuel production, use of multiple feedstock and encouraging biofuel blending to supplement gasoline and diesel use in transportation, as well as in stationary and portable applications.

The new biofuel policy also encourages the use of wastelands for feedstock generation. The local communities from Gram Panchayats (local assembly) and Talukas (an administrative district) will be encouraged to plant non-edible oilseed-bearing trees and crops such as Pongamia pinnata, Melia azadirachta, castor, Jatropha carcus, Simarouba glauca, and Hibiscus etc. for augmenting indigenous feedstock supply for biodiesel production. Also, farmers will be encouraged to grow a variety of different biomass as well as oilseeds on their marginal lands as inter-crops, and as a second crop wherever only one crop is raised under rain-fed conditions.

Critical Analysis

Bioethanol – With rising per capita pay, urbanization, infrastructural improvement and the resultant increment in vehicular thickness, the interest for petroleum in India is dashing – the pace of development sought after has been 8.5 percent for petroleum, 3.0 percent for ethanol for modern and different uses and 3.3 percent for ethanol for consumable use during the five-year time frame 2004-05 to 2008-09. These development rates are relied upon to proceed throughout the following quite a long while. With the administration intending to bring into impact 20 percent mixing of petroleum with bioethanol by 2017, it is essential to envision the interest for ethanol for it, so important measures could be attempted to accomplish the objectives.

Biodiesel-As on account of petroleum, the interest for diesel has additionally been expanding at the pace of 7.5 percent per annum since 2004-05. Request projections for diesel recommend that almost 3.21 million tons of biodiesel would be required for 5 percent mixing constantly 2011-12 (Table 2). To bring this into impact, accepting that jatropha would be the significant feedstock for biodiesel (i.e., 80 % of the prerequisite would be met from jatropha) with a normal seed yield4 of 2.5 t/ha and 30 percent biodiesel recuperation rate, the territory required under the harvest has been worked out to be 3.42 million hectares. An expected region of 26.25 million hectares would be required under jatropha to meet 20 percent mixing objective continuously 2020-21, if the yield and oil substance of jatropha continues as before and that no new unrivaled feed stocks are presented. So far in the nation, just around 0.5 million hectares land has been put under jatropha development and the legislature has not started buying of biodiesel through the assigned buy habitats despite the fact that a MPP of Rs 26.50 per liter was declared a couple of years prior.


The significance of building up a solid biofuel industry to handle the difficulties of vitality security and fuel independence has been broadly recognized in India. Despite the fact that the food versus fuel banter is very significant at the worldwide level, it is to a great extent unimportant to the Indian biofuel creation program because of the nation’s strategy choice not to utilize any palatable feedstock for bio-vitality creation. The National Biofuel Policy has been intended to saddle the different natural, social and monetary advantages emerging out of enormous scope improvement of biofuels in the nation. Notwithstanding, the accomplishment of the program would to a great extent rely upon the status of the partners and the administration hardware to handle the difficulties that the program may look every now and then. It has become clear that bioethanol creation exclusively dependent on sugar stick molasses is neither financially feasible nor reasonable over the long haul. While good government arrangements, incredible support of nearby network and private business people can continue the program in the short-term, it is similarly critical to have a sound long haul methodology available to us.

Author: Sugandha Prakash from JEMTEC School of Law.

Editor: Silky Mittal, Junior Editor, Lexlife India

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