Bioenergy solutions can be huge boost to economy, says Suresh Prabhu

Speaking at the CII BioEnergy Summit, the union minister for railways, Mr Suresh Prabhu mentioned that the quality not quantity of fuel will decide the quality of life in the coming decades

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Image courtesy: Whybioenergy.com

While addressing the gathering at BioEnergy Summit, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held recently at Delhi, the union minister for railways, Mr Suresh Prabhu said that the quality not quantity of fuel will decide the quality of life in the coming decades. "We need to find an alternative model for growth and development for the country. This will not only ensure minimal GHGs emissions and better air quality but will also further India's contribution in the overall debate of climate change," he elaborated.

"I believe bio-energy solutions can be huge boost to the economy of the country, given they are produced in an economically and sustainable manner. The need of the hour is to emanate innovative ideas to manufacture bio-diesel by efficiently utilizing waste resources and to also judiciously utilize our water and other crucial resources," Mr Prabhu said adding further that Railways have initiated several steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Railways are aggressively moving towards using Renewable Energy resources in its establishments and have initiated massive water conservation initiatives as well, within the Ministry. "We are carrying out water audits, water conservation drives, and also undertaking energy audits in the Ministry."

During his inaugural address, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state, Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry revealed, "Government is working is a concerted manner to further expand the scope of bio-fuel and bio-energy market in India". This, he said, can be achieved only through improved technology deployment, R&D initiatives and undertaking policies at various levels. The fundamental challenge is to establish the economic viability and its commercial usage of bio-fuels as an alternative fuel.

The ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is playing a crucial role in boosting the use of Bio - Energy in India. The Ministry, he said, has introduced minimum support price for ethanol that at present is at the level of 48.50 to 49.50 INR to promote its commercial viability. The ministry is constantly working with the MNRE, MoP, PMO to implement and make this policy a success. At present we have only 1.5 percent blending, and through this support price we will achieve a 3 percent level of blending.

Mr Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, during his special address highlighted the key concern of financing that this sector has been facing. He further added that it is a golden period for the bioenergy sector given the interest from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and from PMO. MNRE along with IREDA has developed a 200 crore fund corpus that could be utilized for bioenergy financing. He also mentioned that MNRE intends to consult bilateral agencies sometime soon to work out mechanisms/schemes to lower cost of capital and enable this sector to get access to low cost financing.

"The Bio-Energy Summit 2015 has emphasized the possibility of the growing demand for energy in India through a range of advanced biofuels. The government has appreciated the various initiatives of the industry and is working proactively and cohesively on policy framework to enable the same. The summit this year focussed on the challenges and opportunities in the deployment of biofuels, commercialization of 2nd generation technologies, and conversion of waste to energy and financing the bio based eco system.

The programme saw 30 national and international speakers from Government, industry and research community and was attended by over 200 delegates." said, Mr Pramod Chaudhari, chairman, CII National Committee on Bio-Energy and executive chairman, Praj Industries and Mr G S Krishnan, chairman, Steering Committee on Bio-Energy Summit 2015 and regional president, Novozymes South Asia.

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