Besides enhancing India’s energy security by reducing import dependency on fuel, the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme also boosts farmer incomes and the agriculture sector.
According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, ethanol blending led to the payment of over Rs 40,600 crore to farmers in the course of the last eight years.
In this period, EBP also led to a forex impact of over Rs 41,500 crore and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of 27 lakh MT.
The ‘National Policy on Biofuels’ notified by the government in 2018 targeted 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by the year 2030. However, with encouraging results through this initiative, the target of 20 per cent ethanol blending was advanced from 2030 to 2025-26.
A ‘Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25’ was also released by the Prime Minister in June 2021, which lays out a clear pathway for achieving 20 per cent ethanol blending. This roadmap also mentioned an intermediate milestone of 10 per cent blending to be achieved by November 2022.
However, the target of 10 per cent blending under the programme has been achieved in May 2022, much ahead of the targeted timelines of November 2022.
Currently, the ethanol economy in India is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore, which is being targeted to reach over 2 lakh crore. India wants to follow in the footsteps of countries like Brazil that have been using ethanol in their transport industry for more than 60 years and have a compulsory blend of 27 per cent ethanol in petrol.
The ethanol supply under the EBP programme, which was only 38 crore litres in ESY 2013-14, has increased to 173.3 crore litres during ESY 2019-20 and 302 crore litres during ESY 2020-21, government data showed. This increase in ethanol supply has helped achieve approximately 8.1 per cent blending in ESY 2020-21, an increase of 61 per cent, up from the 5 per cent blending achieved in ESY 2019-20.