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PM addresses the World Environment Day event organized by MoPNG & MoEFCC

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Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the World Environment Day event virtually on June 5, 2021, jointly organized by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas(MoPNG), and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Event’s Theme: ‘promotion of biofuels for a better environment’.

  • Released the report – ‘Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025’ 
  • Launched 3 E-100 pilot project in Pune, Maharashtra
  • 1st EV city to be developed in Kevadia, Gujarat

Points to be noted: 

i.The report is provided by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) and MoPNG, which lays out a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the ethanol sector.

ii.In 2020, the government had set a target of reaching 10 percent ethanol blending in petrol (10 percent of ethanol mixed with 90 percent of petrol) by 2022 and 20 percent doping by 2030. Currently, about 8.5 percent ethanol is mixed with petrol as against 1-1.5 percent in 2014.

iii.In June 2021, the Oil Ministry had issued a gazette notification mandating start of up to 20 percent blending of ethanol in petrol from April 1, 2023. All petrol sold in the country is targeted to have 20 percent ethanol by 2025.

iv.For the 20 percent target by 2023, 10 billion (1,000 crore) litres of ethanol will be required.

-Launched 3 E-100 pilot project in Pune

i.Pilot project: PM launched a pilot project of E-100 dispensing stations at 3 locations in Pune, Maharashtra. for the production and distribution of ethanol across India.

ii.Govt has released the E-20 Notification directing Oil Companies to sell ethanol-blended petrol with a percentage of ethanol up to 20 percent from 1st April 2023, and BIS () Specifications for higher ethanol blends E12 & E15.

Note – E-20 fuel – It is the fuel formed by mixing 20 percent of ethanol with 80 percent of gasoline, whereas E-100 – is the fuel with 100 percent ethanol.

-India’s 1st e-vehicles-only city to be developed in Kevadia, Gujarat

i.The PM stated about the plans underway to develop India’s 1st electric vehicle(EV) city at Kevadia, Gujarat. The city also has the 182-meter statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel popularly known as the Statue of Unity.

ii.The Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA) is empowered to execute development plans and manage tourism in the area around the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) will assist with the project.

iii.Way forward: Women drivers will be given free driving training at the Skill Development Center at Kevadia free of cost and an E-vehicle maintenance workshop and charging station was also planned to be set up there.

Increase in Renewable energy capacity

i.India is one of the top 5 countries in the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity.

ii.The capacity for renewable energy has increased by more than 250 percent in the last 6-7 years and the capacity of solar energy has also increased by about 15 times in the last 6 years.

iii.The country’s forests have also increased by 15 thousand square kilometres in the last few years.

Key points:

i.As part of its commitments to the United Nations(UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in 2015, India plans to reduce its carbon footprint from the 2005 levels by 33-35 percent by 2030.

ii.About 98% of the fuel requirement in the road transportation sector is currently met by fossil fuels and the remaining 2% by biofuels.

iii.India’s net import of petroleum was 185 Mt at a cost of US $ 551 billion in 2020-21.

iv.Change over: Until now, ethanol was being produced in sugar-growing states, but now it was planned to be produced across the country with the setting up of foodgrain waste distilleries and agricultural waste ethanol plants.

v.PM mentioned the benefits and reach of different schemes at the event viz, Swachh Bharat, Saubhagya scheme, Ujjwala scheme, National Clean Air Plan, and Clean and Efficient Energy Systems, Resilient Urban Infrastructure and Planned Eco-Restoration under AatmaNirbhar Bharat Campaign.

Members Present: Union Cabinet Ministers Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Shri Piyush Goyal and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan were also present on the occasion.

What is Ethanol?

It is one of the principal biofuels, which is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration. It has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is used as a chemical solvent and in the synthesis of organic compounds, apart from being an alternative fuel source.

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About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG)

Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Member of Parliament –  Rajya Sabha, Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)