Biofuel Policy

India to launch Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)

Mains level: Not Much


Central Idea

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

What are Biofuels?


  • Biofuels are a type of renewable energy derived from organic materials, such as plants, crops, and agricultural waste.
  • They are considered an alternative to traditional fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, because they areproduced from renewable biomass sources.

There are several types of biofuels, including:

  1. Ethanol: It is a biofuel produced by fermenting and distilling sugars or starches found in crops like corn, sugarcane, and wheat. It is commonly used as a blending component in gasoline and can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, known as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline).
  2. Biodiesel: It is a renewable fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking oils. It is typically used as a substitute for diesel fuel and can be blended with petroleum diesel or used in its pureform. Biodiesel has lower emissions of pollutants compared to petroleum diesel and can be used in conventional diesel engines without any modifications.
  3. Biogas: It is produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic waste materials such as agricultural residues, food waste, and animal manure. It primarily consists of methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas can be used for heating, electricity generation, or as a vehicle fuel after purification.

What is Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)?

  • G20 Priority: The GBA is a crucial priority under India’s G20 Presidency.
  • Learning from ISA: The GBA draws inspiration from the International Solar Alliance (ISA), jointly initiated by India and France in 2015 to combat climate change through solar energy adoption.
  • Objective: This alliance will focus on promoting international collaboration and cooperation to encourage the acceptance and utilization of biofuels.
  • Core Members: The GBA, comprising Brazil, the US, and India, aims to impact the global energy architecture and achieve net-zero emissions.
  • Membership and Endorsement: Other nations can join the GBA by endorsing the foundation document, and membership is open to non-G20 countries.

Focus Areas of GBA

  • Focus areas of the GBA include:
  1. The GBA will focus on strengthening markets and facilitating global biofuel trade.
  2. Concrete policy lessons will be shared, and technical support will be provided for national biofuel programs worldwide.
  3. The alliance will highlight successful cases and best practices in the biofuel industry.

Significance of GBA

  • Addressing OPEC+: The initiative signals India’s focus on reducing dependence on conventional hydrocarbons and calls for increased production by the OPEC+
  • Transformative Opportunities: GBA offer transformative opportunities for economic growth, rural development, energy self-sufficiency, reduced air pollution, and clean energy transition.
  • Adoption of Sustainable Biofuels: The alliance aims to accelerate the adoption of sustainable biofuels.

India’s Biofuel Achievements

  • Milestone Achieved: In the fiscal year 2020-21, India produced 4.08 billion litres of ethanol, achieving a blending rate of 10.02% and resulting in a reduction of 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Goals and Targets: India aims to achieve a blending rate of 12% by 2022-23 and a goal of 20% blending by 2025, requiring an expanded production capacity of ethanol to 17 billion litres.
  • Focus on Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG): India actively promotes compressed bio-gas (CBG) derived from waste through the Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) program.
  • Target Deadline: India aims to install 5,000 CBG plants across the country by 2024.

Biofuel Advancements in Aviation

  • First Commercial Passenger Flight: India conducted its first commercial passenger flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend produced domestically.
  • Program Committee Established: The Bio-Aviation Turbine Fuel Programme Committee has been established to advance the use of SAF in the aviation sector.
  • Blending Targets: India aims to achieve a 1% SAF blend in jet fuel by 2025, requiring 140 million liters of SAF per year, and a more ambitious target of a 5% blend would need approximately 700 million liters per year.

Global response

  • Brazil’s Support: Brazil expressed support for the GBA and its goals to expand and strengthen sustainable biofuels markets.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Focus: Saudi, a major oil producer, has a focus on conventional hydrocarbons and has not favored the GBA.
  • Russia’s Opec+ Involvement: Russia, as part of the Opec+ group, has been implementing production cuts despite fragile global economic recovery.
  • China’s Opposition: China, a major biofuel producer, opposed the India-led initiative and boycotted a G20 meeting on tourism held in Srinagar.


  • The establishment of GBA represents a significant step towards promoting international collaboration and the adoption of sustainable biofuels.
  • India’s achievements in biofuel production and advancements in aviation fuel provide a strong foundation for the alliance’s objectives.

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