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December 22, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The global commitment to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, as evidenced by over 100 countries at COP28 in Dubai, places India at a crucial juncture regarding its ethanol blending target. Despite the noteworthy increase in Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) from 1.6% in 2013-14 to 11.8% in 2022-23, the 20% target by 2025 faces challenges due to low sugar stocks and an anticipated sugarcane production shortfall. The government’s shift towards grain-based ethanol, indicated by the authorization of agencies like NAFED and NCCF for maize procurement, signals a strategic transition with potential economic ramifications.

About Ethanol:

  • Ethanol is an organic compound, primarily produced through yeast fermentation of sugars or chemical processes like ethylene hydration.
  • It finds applications in beverages, fuel blending, industrial solvents, medical uses, and serves as a chemical feedstock.

Ethanol Blending Program (EBP):

  • Government initiative to promote renewable and eco-friendly ethanol in petrol, aiming to reduce imports, conserve foreign exchange, and enhance sugar industry value addition.
  • Achieved the targeted 10% ethanol blending and progressing towards the National Policy on Biofuels’ 20% blending by 2025-26.
  • Utilizes various feedstocks, with government policies effectively increasing ethanol supply to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).

Significance of Ethanol Blending:

  • Reduces fossil fuel dependence, enhancing energy self-reliance and protecting against global market fluctuations.
  • Positively impacts the environment, lowering harmful emissions, meeting climate goals, and improving air quality.
  • Supports farmers by creating new markets for crops, particularly benefiting sugarcane and corn producers.
  • Strengthens energy security, providing a diverse and domestic energy source.
  • Generates economic benefits, creating jobs, investments, and innovations in the ethanol industry.

Limitations of Ethanol Blending:

  • Feedstock availability and cost challenges, potential conflicts with food security, and variation in conversion efficiency and yield.
  • Infrastructure and distribution complexities, vehicle compatibility and performance concerns, and the need for adequate technological adaptations.

Government Steps to Boost Ethanol Blending:

  • Differential pricing for ethanol from various sources.
  • Interest subvention schemes to encourage distillery setup and expansion.
  • Tax relief, including lower excise duty and GST rates for ethanol.
  • Incentives for E20-compatible vehicles.

Further Recommendations:

  • Production Boost: Encourage feedstock diversification and support 2G and 3G biofuels. Incentivize new distillery setups and modernization for increased capacity. Promote regional production to optimize logistics and minimize transportation costs.
  • Policy and Market Mechanisms: Gradually raise ethanol blending mandates beyond the 20% target. Facilitate long-term contracts with oil marketing companies for price stability. Invest in research and development for advanced ethanol production technologies.
  • Technological Advancement: Upgrade infrastructure for efficient ethanol supply chain management. Collaborate with automobile manufacturers to ensure vehicle compatibility. Implement stringent quality control standards for ethanol production and blending.
  • Public Awareness and Education: Conduct awareness campaigns to educate consumers on ethanol blending benefits. Ensure transparent labeling at petrol stations for informed consumer choices.


India’s strides in the Ethanol Blending Program over the past decade have significantly enhanced energy security, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to farmer income. While challenges persist, the government’s proactive measures and ongoing initiatives position India favorably in achieving its ethanol blending targets. Continued focus on technological advancements, policy refinement, and public awareness will be crucial to sustaining and expanding the positive impact of ethanol blending on India’s energy landscape.

Mains Question:

  1. India’s Ethanol Blending Program has made significant strides, contributing to energy security, environmental benefits, and farmer income. Examine the challenges faced by the program and discuss the government’s strategies to overcome these challenges. Evaluate the significance of ethanol blending in achieving India’s renewable energy goals and suggest measures for further improvement. (150 WORDS)


December 22, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: