May 18 (Renewables Now) - The Indian cabinet on Wednesday approved a biofuel policy that allows the use of more feedstocks and surplus food grains for ethanol production and envisages support for second generation (2G) ethanol biorefineries.
According to the National Policy on Biofuels - 2018, it will now be possible to produce ethanol from sugarcane juice, sugar beet, sweet sorghum, corn, cassava and damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice and rotten potatoes. The policy also allows the use of excess food grains, with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee, to address the risk of farmers not getting appropriate prices during surplus production periods.
The policy further calls for a viability gap funding of INR 50 billion (USD 734.8m/EUR 623.6m) over six years to support 2G ethanol biorefineries, to be provided alongside additional tax incentives and higher purchase price as compared to that for first generation biofuels.
In addition to the positive environment and health effects, the policy pursues benefits such as reduced dependency on imports.
(INR 100 = USD 1.470/EUR 1.247)