back to top
Saturday, May 25, 2024
34 C

Ethanol Dependency may Produce Other Environment Distortions. Explore Smart Options like Green Hydrogen



Complex challenges require a whole system approach to make sure the solution doesn’t trigger unforeseen consequences. In keeping with this philosophy, climate change scientists recently joined hands with biodiversity researchers to call for a global policy approach that takes an integrated view of measures to mitigate climate change. The crux of their argument is the problem cannot be dealt with by treating emissions and biodiversity as discrete subjects. They are interrelated and human activities that undermine the climate and lead to biodiversity loss are mutually reinforcing.

This lesson needs to be internalised by GoI in dealing with the challenge of simultaneously improving India’s abysmal air quality and phasing out environmentally damaging agricultural policies. To illustrate, the national policy on fuels aims to blend petrol with ethanol. The target is to increase the ethanol blend from the current level of about 5% to 10% and push it even higher in the second half of the decade. Niti Aayog this month produced a report on the subject. It’s an avoidable idea as ethanol production is heavily reliant on sugarcane, a highly water-intensive crop unsuited to large tracts where it’s grown. A litre of ethanol from sugar requires 3,000 litres of water.

Sugarcane and paddy are two crops that together use 70% of the country’s irrigation water. Policy distortions here have led to rapid depletion of water tables in vast tracts. Moreover, sugar consumption in the country appears to have plateaued, thereby catalysing a big push towards ethanol-blended petrol. Instead, it will make more sense to focus on incentivising R&D in green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy and is a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. In India, a coalition of industrial and energy firms, India H2 Alliance, is working on a transition blueprint. An effort like this needs GoI’s support.

This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India and was originally posted on

Aabkari Times Editorial Team
Aabkari Times is a monthly news magazine on Liquor, Excise and Alcohol allied industry; being published since 2009 by the expertise of retired excise dept. associates and alco-bev industry professionals as our editorial team. Our magazine contains different new alco-bev strategic and new brand launch articles as well as news on recent govt. policies, trends on alcohol industry and other important data relevant to the distilleries and industry at the mass.

Subscribe to our magazine

━ more like this

Oil Marketing Companies Seek Bids for Ethanol Supply in ESY 2023-24

In ESY 2023-24, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are seeking bids for the supply of approximately 66 crore litres of Denatured Anhydrous Ethanol. Bidders are...

Haryana’s New Excise Policy to Raise Liquor Prices, Introduce Tracking System

The Haryana government has given the green light to a comprehensive excise policy for the fiscal year 2024-25, slated to take effect from June...

Radico Khaitan Unveils Last Three Bottles of Rampur Signature Reserve at Hyderabad Airport Duty-Free

Radico Khaitan proudly marks its entry into Hyderabad Airport Duty-Free, unveiling the last three bottles of the globally acclaimed Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single...

Karnataka Government Elevates Liquor Retail with Premium Boutique in Bengaluru

The Karnataka government has inaugurated a high-end liquor boutique in Bengaluru, located at Basaveshwara Nagar, marking a significant step in enhancing the state's retail...

New Year Cheers : A State-by-State Look at India’s New Year Liquor Surge

As the revelry of New Year's Eve subsides, India witnesses a notable surge in liquor sales, indicating a vibrant start to the year. Here's...