Aiming to help farmers dispose of their surplus stock and reduce India’s oil-import dependence, Union Cabinet has approved a national policy on biofuels.
‘The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like wheat and broken rice, and rotten potatoes,” an official
One of the important features is that the policy categorises biofuels as ‘Basic Biofuels’ viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and ‘Advanced Biofuels’ – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
Besides, some of the expected benefits includes, one crore lit of E10 saves Rs.28 crore of forex at current rates. The ethanol supply year 2017-18 is likely to see a supply of around 150 crore litres of ethanol which will result in savings of over Rs 4000 crore of forex.