Roadmap for Biodiesel Industry in India

Is an alternative fuel capable of powering our vehicles the same way diesel does in terms of performance, mileage, engine life etc, and protect our environment too?

the answer is YES! Such an alternative named biodiesel already exists in the market. it’s derived from plants, edible & non edible oil seeds, farm residues, residual cooking oils etc. biodiesel can power our vehicles without causing damage to the environment. Thanks to the ever-evolving technology and Government efforts to promote alternative fuel industry, biodiesel is paving its way gradually into the Indian markets. It can be a game changer fuel that will go a long way into shaping country’s energy security policy, as government has greater plans of harnessing biodiesel to meet the energy security need of the country.

Why India needs biodiesel?

India is aiming for a carbon free growth and lower its dependency on imported fossil fuels. India meets more than 80% of its fuel needs through imports. domestically produced crude oil meets Only 17.9 % demand of the total demand. Thus, the country is promoting biofuel mainly to bring down its import bill.

Road transport sector accounts for 6.7% of India’s GDP. And this sector is the biggest consumer of diesel. Currently diesel serves 72% of transport fuel need while petrol, LNG, CNG and other resources combined meet rest of the demand. It makes a great case for alternative fuels. Biodiesel being a highly untapped resource has a huge potential to fill the gap. an estimate suggests that through coordinated efforts, biodiesel can replace nearly 40% of the diesel demand in next coming years.

Indian government plans to promote the use of biodiesel across the sphere in coming decades. National biofuel policy, 2018 aims to achieve a blending rate of 20% ethanol in petrol and 5% biodiesel in diesel by 2030. If things move as planned, the country could save up to 200 billion rupees by 2030.

As biodiesel is produced from renewable resources like feedstock, plants, oil seeds, farm wastes, etc. promoting use of biodiesel can help generate huge employment opportunities in rural India besides helping farmers with additional income.

Use of biodiesel can help India fulfil its global climate commitment. As biodiesel emits 85% less carcinogenic compounds as compared to conventional diesel fuel. It helps reduce emission of carbon monoxide, sulphate, particulate matter and other pollutants significantly.

Promoting the use of biodiesel is also in line with various government policies and initiatives like make in India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Also, it provides a great window of opportunity for the government to integrate it with its ambitious targets like doubling farmer income, generating employment, reducing import bill by creating a sustainable model of energy security, socio-economic welfare and championing the environmental cause.

Road ahead

Gradually, India is realising the immense potential of biodiesel as a fuel. Recently India’s petroleum secretary said that India will gradually transition from using fossil fuel towards clean energy resources. he said that the government’s idea is to reach a level in major cities, where diesel run vehicles will be ultimately eliminated and replaced by affordable and accessible alternative fuels.Petroleum secretary’s statement holds a great significance with regards to alternative fuels including biodiesel. as it marks a policy shift in favour of clean fuel technologies, that the government is trying to bring in. apart from incentivizing the biofuel production from farm to industry level, the government is also focusing on developing an eco-system for biofuel industry. So that the constraints like affordable technology, R&D, accessibility of biomass which is a major roadblock in the development of biodiesel industry, etc can be resolved in an efficient way.

Going forward, biodiesel industry has a really promising outlook in the years ahead. Both in terms of need and demand. All that it needs at the moment is the removal of the roadblocks that are hampering its growth and sustainability. Removing these obstacles through a policy push and ground level support, would accelerate the growth of biodiesel industry in the long run.

India’s alternative energy domain is expanding at a faster pace than earlier. The government is also paying special attention to this sector according to it the status of the sunrise industry. Union govt. and has put in place a formal policy to support and encourage more and more players to step into the alternate fuel industry. Given the expertise and the ability of its leaders with an aggressive business expansion strategy, Nexus biodiesel is well placed to gain a strong ground in the clean fuel domain very soon.

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