India will soon announce a new policy to
promote biofuels as part of efforts by the world's third-largest emitter of
greenhouse gases to cut imports of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, a
government minister said on Thursday 10 August 2017.
The government aims to
develop a biofuel economy worth 1 trillion rupees ($15.6 billion) in the next
two years, Oil Minister Dharmendra
Pradhan told a conference on renewable energy on Thursday.
India's top three
state-owned oil companies have pledged a combined $2 billion to carry out
research to develop biofuel technologies and the government has pledged to
guarantee a return on their investments, Pradhan said.
"The roadmap to
lower crude oil imports is connected to biofuel," Pradhan said. India, the
world's third-biggest oil consumer, aims to cut its crude imports by 10 percent
New Delhi also plans to
lower its carbon footprint by raising the use of natural gas in its energy mix
to 15 percent in the next three to four years, up from 6.5 percent currently.
The government has
already asked state oil companies to set up ethanol plants at 12 locations over
the coming year.
Energy consumption in
India is expected to grow as the government aims for economic growth of 8-9
percent this fiscal year through March 2018, against around 7 percent in
Indian Oil Corp, the country's top
refiner, plans to enhance the capacity of its biofuel refineries to 100 tonnes
a day from about 12 tonnes a day in the next two years, Chairman Sanjiv Singh told
reporters at the conference.
IOC runs three biofuel
plants with an investment of about 30 billion rupees and is looking to increase
the number of such plants, Singh said.
India needs private
investment in the sector and once the cost of production comes down, the
country could see some private sector participation, Singh said.
minister Nitin Gadkari said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
cabinet could soon consider allowing the use of alternative fuel methanol in