India launches 20% ethanol blended petrol to make deep emission cuts

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India today took a big step forward towards reducing carbon monoxide emissions by 50 percent in some sectors when its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched 20 percent ethanol blended petrol in 11 domestic cities.

The launch was part of an “India Energy Week,” inaugurated by Modi in the south Indian city of Bengaluru today. Thirty oil ministers from across the world, 30,000 delegates, 1,000 industry exhibitors and 500 conference speakers are at the three-day event “to discuss the challenges and opportunities of India’s energy future,” according to the government’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

“Reductions in carbon monoxide emissions were observed with E20 fuel – 50 percent lower in two-wheelers and 30 percent lower in four-wheelers,” according to a joint study by the Indian Institute of Petroleum, the Automotive Research Association of India and the Indian Oil Corporation. The study provided valuable inputs into today’s E20 launch.

India’s cost of petroleum imports in the fiscal year 2020-21 was $ 551 billion. A successful E20 fuel distribution programme can save up to $ 4 billion a year, according to an expert committee report of the government, “Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India: 2020-2025.”

India hopes to complete 20 percent blending of ethanol with petrol throughout the country’s fuel distribution network by 2025. The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, said during the inauguration today that India has already pledged to cut down emissions by one billion tons by the end of 2030 and to become net-zero in emissions by 2070.

Modi said India offered a major opportunity for foreign investors in the energy sector. “India is the best place in the world for your investment today,” he told the large gathering.

WAM/Krishnan Nayar