India’s achievement in Ethanol Blending

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted that, India has achieved 10 percent ethanol blending of petrol, five months before the schedule.

Significance of the blending

  • 10 percent ethanol blending has reduced carbon emission by 27 lakh tonnes. It has saved India’s Rs 41,000 crore on oil imports, in foreign exchange spending.
  • In 8 years, blending has also boosted income of farmers by Rs 40,000 crore.
  • For consumers, this success means that, they are not required to pay an additional tax of Rs 2 per litre pollution tax from October 1, 2022.
  • Union Budget of 2022 had proposed an additional tax on unblended petrol from October 2022. This was decided to speed up adoption of cleaner fuel as part of India’s energy transition and climate action plan.

‘Save Soil’ programme

Save Soil programme was organised by the Isha Foundation, which is led by spiritual leader Sadhguru. This programme was organised for marking the World Environment Day. India’s achievement was announced by PM Modi during this programme.

Background

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised his voice on Ethanol in India’s fight against climate change on the occasion of 2021 World Environment Day. On the occasion, he also advanced the date for 20% ethanol blending, by five years to 2025. He launched a pilot project at three petrol pumps in Pune, to run vehicles on ‘swadeshi’ fuel.

Blending Roadmap

A blending roadmap was prepared by oil ministry in collaboration with Niti Ayog. It was released on the occasion of 2021 World Environment Day. The roadmap presented an annual plan to gradually rollout ‘E20’ (20% ethanol-blended petrol) by 2025-26. It also set a target of 5% blending of biodiesel with diesel by 2030.

Ethanol blending

Ethanol blending was first started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But the programme faced difficulties due to supply constraints of ethanol and its price. Thus, in 2014, blending stood at 2.3%.

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is simple alcohol, which is made from molasses. Molasses is a by-product of sugar industry.

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