Cabinet approves National Policy on Biofuels - 2018

Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the National policy on biofuels 2018.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has recently approved National Policy on Biofuels 2018, following are the Salient Features of the policy:

What is National Policy on Biofuels - 2018 ?

1) In a bid to provide appropriate financial and fiscal incentives, the policy divides biofules in two categories:
1.1) Basic biofuel: First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel.
1.2) Advanced biofule: Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc.
2) The scope of raw material used in ethanol production has been expanded to allow use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.

3) The policy also suggests to use surplus food grains for ethanol production, this will ensure appropriate price for farmer's produce during the surplus production phase.
4) A viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore, to be spent in 6 years is also suggested. 2G ethanol Bio refineries will attract higher purchase price and tax incentives as compared to 1G biofuels.
5) Bio-diesel production supply chain mechanisms from non-edible oil-seeds, used Cooking Oil and short gestation crops is also encouraged under the new policy.
6) In a bid to synergies efforts of different ministries/departments concerned with biofuels, their roles and responsibilities are captured in the Policy document.

Benefits of National Policy on Biofuels - 2018

150 crore litres of ethanol production is expected in 2017-18, this can save Rs.4000 crore of forex.

Biofuels generates lesser CO2 on burning than traditional fossil fuels; additionally waste agricultural residues are to be used in Biofuels production that will reduce crop burning to further decrease CO2 emission.

Municipal Solid Waste will be utilised in generating Biofuels, one ton of such waste has the potential to provide around 20% of drop in fuels.

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