India achieved an average ethanol blending rate of 11.60% in the first four months of the 2023-24 supply year that started from November, falling short of the government’s target of 15% for the entire year.

More on the news 

  • The government aims to achieve a 20% ethanol blending rate with petrol by the 2025 supply year.
  • From November to February, India supplied 1.8 billion liters of ethanol, sourced from both sugarcane-based molasses and grains.
  • In December of the previous year, the government banned the use of sugarcane juice and sugar syrup for ethanol production in the 2023-24 supply year. Despite this, the government believes the ban won’t hinder the blending target.
  • Private sector data indicates that around 57% of the contracted ethanol supply was delivered by sugar mills and distilleries between November and February.
  • Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) opened a tender for 8.25 billion liters of ethanol supply. Around 69% of this quantity (5.62 billion liters) was bid for in the first offer.
  • Of the 5.62 billion litres, around 2.69 billion litres of ethanol was to be supplied by the sugarcane industry, while the balance of 2.92 billion litres was come from grains.

Ethanol Blending Program

  • EBP was launched in 2003 to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.


  • By blending ethanol with petrol, India aims to reduce reliance on volatile global oil prices and ensure consistent fuel supplies.
  • Ethanol’s cleaner burning nature fosters improved air quality and combats climate change.
  • Increased demand for feedstock crops like sugarcane and corn generates additional income opportunities for farmers.

Significance of Ethanol Blending:

  • Lower dependence on imported oil translates to significant cost savings on foreign exchange.
  • Utilizing sugarcane for ethanol production can provide farmers with additional income opportunities
  • Ethanol supports complete combustion, leading to notable reductions in carbon monoxide emissions. 
  • Provides a vital market for domestically produced crops, bolstering the agrarian economy.

Challenges of Ethanol Blending

  • Most ethanol production relies on water-intensive crops like sugarcane or rice. The reliance on these crops poses challenges, especially during times of supply disruption or price fluctuations.
  • Growing crops solely for biofuels can divert land from food production, potentially raising food prices and even leading to scarcity.
  • If domestic production doesn’t rise adequately, meeting ethanol blending targets may require increased imports, contradicting the aim of reducing dependence on imported fuels

Initiatives of Government towards Ethanol Blending

  • “Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25” was released 2021 which lays out a detailed pathway for achieving 20% ethanol blending.
  • Pradhan Mantri G-One (Biofuel-Environment Friendly Crop Residue Prevention) Scheme”2019 aims to provide financial assistance to integrated bio-ethanol projects for setting up second generation ethanol projects in the country.
  • National Policy on Biofuels” in 2018, its objective is to reduce the import of petroleum products by fostering domestic biofuel production.
  • COP26 summit in Glasgow in 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to an ambitious five-part “Panchamrit” pledge, including reaching 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity, generating half of all energy requirements from renewables, and reducing emissions by 1 billion metric tonnes by 2030.
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