Biofuel Industry News
India launches Global Biofuel Alliance at G20
Sep 28 2023
On the 9th of September 2023, amidst the discussions and concord of the G20 Leaders’ Summit held in New Delhi, India, a significant global initiative was inaugurated. The Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) was brought to life by President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Modi, along with leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, and the UAE. This endeavour marks a significant step in the global struggle against climate change, drawing leaders from around the world to join hands for a sustainable and clean energy future.
The foundation of this Alliance is rooted in the mutual ambition to promote cleaner, greener fuels globally, aiming to achieve collective decarbonization goals. The GBA, which was initiated by India, serves as a platform to encourage advancements in biofuel technologies and facilitate the use of sustainable biofuels worldwide.
The GBA is designed to operate as a central knowledge repository and a hub of experts, functioning as a catalytic entity that enhances global cooperation for the innovation and widespread implementation of biofuels. This initiative mirrors the objectives of the International Solar Alliance launched in 2015, aiming to promote clean and affordable solar energy. The International Energy Agency emphasizes the importance of such ventures, projecting that production of sustainable biofuels needs to triple by 2030 to align with the net-zero emissions goal by 2050.
India, a substantial oil importer and consumer, is transitioning towards increasing its biofuel output to alleviate its reliance on crude imports, which presently stands at about 85% of its total crude requirements. With a goal to attain carbon neutrality by 2070, India is amplifying the use of biofuel across its transport sector and intends to double nationwide ethanol blending in gasoline to 20% by 2025, five years ahead of the initial deadline. Plans to construct twelve bio-refineries demonstrate India's commitment to utilizing diverse raw materials including crop stubble, plant waste, and municipal solid waste to produce fuel.
The GBA, with founding members India, the United States, and Brazil, acts as a beacon to facilitate international collaboration and intensify the utilization of sustainable biofuels, promoting global biofuel trade and offering technical support for national biofuel programs. This alliance brings together nineteen countries and twelve global bodies agreeing to collaborate, including significant entities like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the International Energy Agency, fostering the development and deployment of sustainable biofuels worldwide.
This alliance will act as a conduit for lesson-sharing, policy development, and provision of technical support for national biofuels programs across the globe. It aspires to encourage the creation, acceptance, and execution of universally acknowledged standards, codes, sustainability principles, and regulations to propel the adoption and trade of biofuels. By facilitating a virtual marketplace, the GBA aims to connect technology providers to end users, mapping demand and supply, and aiding industries, countries, ecosystem players, and key stakeholders.
The urgency for a global platform that can tackle the inherent challenges and facilitate wider international cooperation was underscored by India’s Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. He highlighted that while sustainable biofuels hold immense potential, numerous obstacles exist, including feedstock supply issues, technological constraints, policy framework, and financing and investment challenges. Achieving sustainable development goals and mitigating climate change through reduced carbon emissions require addressing these challenges and realizing the vast untapped potential of sustainable biofuels.
India has witnessed substantial progress in its ethanol-petrol blending program, achieving the 10% ethanol blending target ahead of schedule. This success propelled the government to advance the rollout timeline for E20–petrol with 20% ethanol–to 2025-26 from 2030. Currently, India is also exploring the blending of diesel with suitable biofuels and natural gas with biogas.
The launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance represents a significant milestone in the journey towards a sustainable and clean energy future. It is a testament to the collaborative spirit of global leaders, who, through this alliance, aim to make substantial progress in combatting climate change. The initiative invites nations to collaborate and intensify their efforts in the realm of biofuels, bringing forth innovations that not only ensure a stable energy supply but also contribute to climate security. The ongoing global efforts to enhance biofuel technology, its adoption, and its trade signify a promising future where cleaner, greener fuels will power the world, marking a paradigm shift in global energy systems and reducing our carbon footprint, thereby contributing to the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.
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