Biofuel Policy

Global Biofuel Alliance can power India’s energy transition drive, but must have time-bound targets


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Biofuel and its applications, India's Biofuel program, GBA and ISA

Mains level: Global biofuel alliance, Biofuel Industry, significance In particular for India, India's Biofuel programme


What’s the news?

  • The upcoming 14th Clean Energy Ministerial and Eighth Mission Innovation (CEM14/MI-8) conference, scheduled to take place in Goa from July 19-22, 2023, will witness the establishment of the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA).

Central Idea

  • The prospected establishment of the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) led by India during its G20 Presidency, with support from Brazil and the United States, aims to foster international collaboration and cooperation to promote the acceptance and utilization of biofuels. It seeks to leverage the transformative potential of biofuels in economic growth, rural development, energy self-sufficiency, reduced air pollution, and the global transition to clean energy.

What is Biofuel?

  • Biofuel is derived from biological sources, such as plants, agricultural crops, organic waste, or animal by-products.
  • It is a renewable energy source that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels.
  • The production and use of biofuels aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability.

Key types of biofuels

  • Bioethanol: This is an alcohol-based fuel primarily produced by fermenting sugar or starch crops, such as sugarcane, corn, or wheat. Bioethanol is commonly used as a blend in gasoline for transportation purposes.
  • Biodiesel: Biodiesel is produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking oil. It can be used as a direct replacement for or blended with conventional diesel fuel in vehicles.
  • Biogas: Biogas is a mixture of gases, primarily methane, produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic waste materials such as agricultural residues, food waste, or sewage. It can be used for electricity generation, heating, or as a vehicle fuel.

Key Objectives and Initiatives of Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)

  • Developing robust markets for biofuels and facilitating global trade in biofuels.
  • Promote policy coordination, share concrete policy lessons, and provide technical support to national biofuel programs worldwide.
  • Collaborate and complement- existing regional and international agenciesenergy transition initiatives, such- Clean Energy Ministerial Biofuture Platform, the Mission Innovation Bioenergy initiatives, and the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP).
  • By leveraging synergies–maximize impact and accelerate the biofuel industry’s growth.

India’s Biofuel Program India’s and significant strides in recent years

  • Ethanol Production: In 2020-21, India produced 4.08 billion liters of ethanol, resulting in a blending rate of 10.02%. This led to a reduction of 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and significant savings in forex.
  • Blending Targets: The current target for 2022-23 is to achieve a blending rate of 12%, with the ultimate goal- 20% by 2025.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) Program:
  • India actively promoting CBG as a clean fuel derived from waste through the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) program. As of 46 CBG plants established so far, and around 16,164 tonnes of CBG have been sold.
  • The goal- install 5,000 CBG plants across India by 2024, contributing- waste management -reducing pollution.
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF):
  • India conducted its first commercial passenger flightdomestically produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend– commitment to decarbonizing the aviation sector.
  • The establishment of the Bio-Aviation Turbine Fuel Program Committee by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas further advances the development of sustainable aviation fuel in the country.

Inspiration behind GBA: International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  • The ISA jointly initiated by India and France in 2015.
  • The ISA- significant contributions to combating climate change through widespread adoption of solar energy solutions.
  • Facilitated- solar project development – initiatives like the Solar Finance Facility, SolarX Grand Challenge, Solar Technology Application Resource Centres, and the ‘One Sun One World One Grid Initiative.
  • The GBA aims to replicate the success of the ISA by promoting the utilization of biofuels and reducing India’s reliance on foreign oil.


  • The GBA is poised to revolutionize the global biofuel industry. India’s leadership in the G20 Presidency highlights the importance of biofuels in achieving energy independence, reducing carbon emissions, and fostering a clean energy transition. The GBA’s detailed roadmap, ambitious targets and initiatives will pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.

Also read:

India plans to export Solar Power

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