In 2018, the Government of India announced the National Biofuels Policy with the aim of increasing the use of biofuels in the energy and transport sectors.
By Tarun Sawhney,
India’s Need to Shift to Compress Biogas (CBG)
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and energy consumption is expected to increase rapidly.
In 2018, the Government of India announced the National Biofuels Policy with the aim of increasing the use of biofuels in the energy and transport sectors. Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as they fit well with the ongoing initiatives such as Make in India, Atmanirbhar Bharat and present great opportunities to integrate with the ambitious goals of doubling farmers’ incomes, reducing fuel imports, generating employment in the countryside, waste to wealth creation and especially sustainable development, etc.
Impact on agriculture, economy and environment
CBG is a highly purified biogas consisting of more than 90% methane with a high calorific value, making it a perfect green renewable car fuel. It produces 20-60 percent less emissions compared to fossil fuels. Not only can it help ensure a cleaner environment, but it can also reduce our reliance on imported liquefied natural gas, saving forex reserves. Generated from the sources of bio-waste such as agricultural waste, cattle manure, filter cake (a by-product of the sugar cane sugar production process and commonly referred to as press mud). MEB can also help farmers on a large scale, by increasing their incomes, improving infrastructure development leading to rural development, job creation among other things – making it a classic case of sustainable development.
Gaps to be filled
The government is proactively working to increase production of CBG under the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative, which envisions a target production of 15 million metric tons (MMT) of CBG by 2023-24, from 5000 factories. However, India’s biofuel program has been largely affected by the persistent and quantum availability of domestic raw materials for biofuel production, which needs to be addressed.
The government could plan and allocate the necessary resources to develop a merchant market for CBG certificates that will be used for carbon reduction as part of national carbon accounting standards (CBG carbon scores). Reintroducing the subsidy for at least the first 200 projects, realistic pricing and a reduction in VAT on plants and equipment needed to make CBG could be some of the key steps to further the production of this biofuel in India. to stimulate.
CBG is also being considered to produce green hydrogen and could be used as a replacement for natural gas through pipelines for domestic use. As a car fuel, both CBG and CNG can be sold from the same stations with no appreciable difference between the two fuels. If necessary, OMCs can also set up a new shopping station at the factory gate to sell it. Furthermore, it can be integrated with city gas distribution networks (CGD) to boost supply to residential and retail users in existing and emerging markets. In addition to retailing through OMC service stations, it can also be injected into CGD pipelines for efficient distribution and optimized access to cleaner and more affordable fuel.
MEB has enormous potential and its application as a future fuel can help reduce our import dependency and our position as a sustainable circular economy.
In addition to the above, the bio-fertilizer generated after the production of CBG can be a valuable fertilizer / manure can be used profitably for promoting natural agriculture and improving soils and productivity.
(The author is Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd. Opinions are personal and not necessarily those of FinancialExpress.com)
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