This is one reform initiative that is set to be a big positive change in the use of fossil fuel to run countrys transportation sector.
The central government has proposed to advance the deadline for blending 20 per cent ethanol in petrol from the earlier announced 2030 to 2024.
The use of 20 per cent doped petrol or E20 decreases the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons emissions significantly, compared to normal gasoline in two-wheelers and four-wheelers. The increased blending will also reduce use of polluting fossil fuel in the country.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has already notified the use of E20 and issued mass emission standards for the same.
Now it is up to the oil companies and automobile companies to build capacities for both production and use of E20. The next two years would also give sugar mills time to convert excess sugarcane or sugar for producing higher quantity of ethanol required for blending with petrol.
The government had earlier fixed a target of 10 per cent ethanol blending by 2022 and 20 per cent by 2030. But the plan now is to directly migrate to 20 per cent as the level of blending is successively being used in a few countries such as Brazil.
This is akin to taking the emission standards vehicles directly from BS-IV stage to BS-VI skipping one stage to ensure that vehicles turn less polluting sources.
“The guidelines are now in place to use E20. Refineries would take some time to build capacities for this level of blending. The E20 use should become a reality by 2024,” said a top oil ministry official not willing to be named.
The initiative would help in making Indian cities more breathable till the full electrification of transportation sector happens. We are taking India in select league of countries using E20 for their entire transpiration sector, the official added.
Avenues to use excess sugar to producing ethanol would provide alternative revenue stream to sugar farmers while giving higher amount of bio fuels for use by the automobile sector that will help in green initiatives of the government.
Apart from facilitating adoption of green fuel, E20 blending would also cut down India’s crude oil import bill which stands at a whopping Rs 8 lakh crore. This is also expected to boost the ethanol economy.
The use of 20 per cent ethanol blended petrol will also test the ability of vehicles to use this bio fuel.
Auto companies will come out with compatibility studies of vehicles for using the bio fuel that will help in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons. Vehicles will also display their compatibility by wearing a clear mark through a sticker.