ICCT in the media

Will India’s biofuel push threaten food security? A look at ‘real’ cost of green fuels

(The Federal — 10/11/21)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to manufacture biofuels from sugarcane, rice, corn and other crops and blend 20% ethanol in petrol and diesel by 2025 has been criticized for ignoring food security in an attempt to cut oil import bills… The government is banking on present food stocks, which shows surplus availability, to employ technology and generate biofuels from food grains. However, the 2018 National Policy on Biofuels had clearly laid emphasis on generation from grasses and algae; cellulosic material such as bagasse, farm and forestry residue besides straw from rice, wheat and corn.

“India has a real opportunity here to become a global leader in sustainable biofuels policy if it chooses to refocus on ethanol made from wastes,” said Stephanie Searle, fuels program director at the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Manufacturing biofuels from refuse or crop residue will serve dual purpose of effective waste management and reduced air pollution, said Searle.