On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India had reached 10% ethanol blending in gasoline five months ahead of schedule.
In eight years, the achievement has reduced carbon emissions by 27 lakh tonnes, saved the country Rs 41,000 crore in foreign exchange spending (on oil imports), and increased farmer income by Rs 40,000 crore, the PM said in his address to the Isha Foundation, which is run by spiritual leader Sadhguru, to mark World Environment Day.
The result implies that beginning October 1, consumers would not have to pay an additional Rs 2 per litre pollution tax, as first reported by TOI on May 10. To speed up the process, the Budget suggested an extra tax on unblended gasoline beginning in October.
The extra levy on unblended gasoline was suggested in the Budget for October to encourage the use of cleaner fuel as part of the country’s energy transition and climate action plan.
Modi increased his bet on ethanol in India’s fight against climate change on World Environment Day 2021 by pushing back the deadline for 20% ethanol blending from 2025 to 2025 and establishing a trial project at three petrol outlets in Pune to operate vehicles entirely on the’swadeshi’ fuel.
On that occasion, the oil ministry and government think tank Niti Ayog announced a blending roadmap that included an annual plan for the gradual rollout of ‘E20’ (20 percent ethanol-blended gasoline) by 2025-26. It also established a goal of mixing 5% of renewable energy by 2030.
It also established a goal of blending 5% biodiesel with diesel by 2030.
Under the watchful eye of then-oil minister Ram Naik, the NDA-1 administration of Atal Bihari Vajpayee began blending ethanol. However, due to ethanol supply difficulties and purchase pricing, the scheme stalled during the two UPA administrations. As a result, when the Modi government began its first term in 2014, blending was at 2.3 percent. Separately, state-run gasoline dealers forecast a 571 percent increase in ethanol availability for blending in the current ethanol supply year (ESY) from 67 crore litres in 2014.