What are Green Fuels that PM Modi talked about in his speech in UN?

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York on Sep 27, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Jaffer/IANS)
Reassuring the country’s commitment to abide by the Paris Climate Agreement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced for the first time during his Independence Day Speech delivered on August 15, 2019, that India will produce 175 GW of non-fossil fuel or what can be called as bio-fuels. He urged the nation to bring about a behavioral change in all levels in order to deal with climate change in a sure and steady way. He pledged that India’s target of non-fossil fuels will be more than doubled to 450 gigawatts.

PM’s vision about bio-fuels

Stating that bio-fuels can steer India’s growth in the 21st century, PM Modi said bio-fuels can also help us reduce our dependence on crude oil. Some of the benefits of using bio-fuels include contributing to a cleaner environment, boosting up the rural employment, and generating additional income to farmers. The PM also drew our attention to the fact that the country could save about Rs. 4,000 crores by mixing ethanol with petrol and the move had also benefitted farmers. Some of the measures highlighted by the Prime Minister in the lines of contributing to a greener environment include increasing the use of CNG in public transport, manufacturing BioCNG from trash, and reducing the need to import CNG.

PM explains about Biofuels

The topic of biofuels is important from the point of view of science as well as alternative energy sources. Biofuel can be produced from crops, garbage left-overs, and crop-residue. The production of biofuel can transform the quality of people’s lives both in the rural and urban regions. Increasing the use of biofuels can help increase the income of the farmers, create new avenues for employment, protect the nation’s wealth and also contribute to a greener environment. PM visualizes the move towards biofuel as a measure to empower the villages, promote cleanliness, pave the way to modern urban development, reduce air pollution in the cities, and support a plethora of green initiatives.

Indian government and biofuel initiatives

Efforts to produce ethanol from sugarcane started during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s governance. However, since the project was launched by the previous government, the scheme was not given the right momentum. After the BJP government took charge of the central government after the 2014 elections, the ethanol blending program was initiated and the scheme operates today in more than 25 states and union territories of India. This project not only helped farmers but also saved about Rs. 4000 crores in foreign exchange.

All about green fuels

Other than sugarcane, the other sources to produce biofuels include spoiled crops, bamboo, grass, crop residue, cow dung, recycled edible oil, crop stubble, solid waste, and many others. The government initiatives to produce bio-diesel from the used cooking oil discarded in households, commercial kitchens, restaurants and other food processing plants can be used to produce bio-diesel that can make a cleaner, renewable and cheaper fuel. The government has recently announced that the state-run marketing companies will produce bio-diesel from the used edible oil. Bio-diesel can be mixed with any type of diesel. It is non-toxic and bio-degradable. The government’s initiatives in the lines of bio-diesel is a measure to decrease our dependence on oil imports and find alternative sources of greener fuels.
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