On the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released the report of the Expert Committee on Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025.
According to the report, 20% ethanol blending is within reach. The report further lays out an annual plan for the gradual rollout of E20 ethanol in the country. It suggests specific responsibilities of Union Ministries, State Governments and vehicle manufacturers for the production, supply and gradual rollout of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025.
Immense benefits can accrue to the country by 20% ethanol blending by 2025, such as saving Rs 30,000 crore of foreign exchange per year, energy security, lower carbon emissions, better air quality, self-reliance, use of damaged foodgrains, increasing farmers' incomes, employment generation, and greater investment opportunities.
The inter-ministerial committee was headed by Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog. The committee had representatives from the Ministries of Petroleum; Food and Public Distribution; Road Transport and Highways; Heavy Industry; and Indian Oil Corporation and Automotive Research Association of India.
The E-20 roadmap proposes the following milestones:
- Raise pan-India ethanol production capacity from the current 700 to 1500 crore litres
- Phased rollout of E10 fuel by April 2022
- Phased rollout of E20 from April 2023, its availability by April 2025
- Rollout of E20 material-compliant and E10 engine-tuned vehicles from April 2023
- Production of E20-tuned engine vehicles from April 2025
- Nationwide educational campaign
- Encourage use of water-sparing crops, such as maize, to produce ethanol
- Promote technology for the production of ethanol from non-food feedstock.
Other recommendations include expediting regulatory clearances for ethanol distilleries through a single-window mechanism, unrestricted movement of denatured ethanol all over the country, tax incentives for blended fuel and petrol vehicles.