Global Biofuel Alliance – the Need of the Hour for Sustainable Energy

Biofuel adoption efforts have been ongoing in India for a considerable amount of time now and the government’s initiatives have further bolstered the efforts. The GBA will elevate these endeavours to a global scale.

January 30, 2024. By News Bureau

Last year, at the massive G20 Summit, we witnessed a momentous development in the global energy transition with the launch of The Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA). The alliance aims to drive the energy transition journey of countries across the globe, by empowering the adoption of biofuels and expanding bioenergy access.

Led by the USA, Brazil, and India, which collectively contribute a substantial 85 percent of the world's ethanol production, the GBA debuted with the participation of twelve prominent organisations, including the World Economic Forum, International Energy Forum, and the World Biogas Association, alongside 19 member countries.

GBA's Influence on India's Domestic Landscape
Global alliances like GBA will aid in hastening technological development as well as engineering and design adaptation for the economically viable integration of biofuels in the nation. However, the foundation of all these initiatives and the key to their success will be the development of an efficient supply chain to move the enormous amounts of feedstock from the source to the processing facilities.

The establishment of the GBA is poised to revolutionise India's existing crop composition, traditionally dominated by food crops, leading to enhanced empowerment in rural areas. This shift opens avenues to explore the cultivation of biofuel crops beyond those rich solely in sugar content. The advent of advanced biofuels, derived from lignocellulosic biomass, further broadens the spectrum of possibilities.

The biofuel model will benefit from agricultural waste produced during cropping intervals, presenting an additional income source for farmers. With the encouragement and incentivisation of organic feedstock aggregation, these factors collectively create supplementary revenue streams for farmers across the country. Biofuels, relying on feedstock such as agricultural residue and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), known for their carbon-neutral properties, are anticipated to substantially diminish India's carbon footprint. This increased adoption is expected to not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also promote the efficient management of organic waste in the country.

India's position on the global stage regarding biofuels.
Biofuel adoption efforts have been ongoing in India for a considerable amount of time now and the government’s initiatives like the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme have further bolstered the efforts. Moreover, the ethanol blending of petrol is gradually increasing from 10 percent to 20 percent nationwide. The GBA will elevate these endeavours to a global scale.

Technology enterprises will find pathways to enter global markets, and entities keen on investing in the decarbonisation of the energy sector will have numerous opportunities to engage in this momentous shift in the world's energy landscape. It's accurate to assert that Indian businesses and players in the alternative energy sector have an unprecedented chance to extend their presence beyond the nation's borders. This represents the most favourable opportunity to date for Indian companies in the alternative energy field to expand internationally.

Indian companies will have great opportunities to provide innovative technological solutions for other member nations of the GBA by their investments in energy generation technologies and end use solutions. The engineering and project management companies in our nation can strive to create new assets, and local logistics providers can step up their game to expand the supply chain outside of India.

Looking Ahead
As the collaborative efforts of the GBA gain momentum, India must expedite the development of its feedstock supply chain, which has hitherto been disorganised and unreliable. This bottleneck has hindered the consistent year-round availability of feedstock crucial for successful biofuel adoption. Fostering extensive rural collaborations can help alleviate this challenge and simultaneously generate new sources of income for farmers and agricultural cooperatives.

To bring order to this largely unorganised sector, digital solutions from technology companies can be deployed, introducing a customer-centric approach, and bringing in elements of accountability, transparency, and healthy competition. This unorganised industry stands to benefit significantly from such a shift.

Creating a conducive environment is imperative to attract investments for the expansion of essential infrastructure dedicated to the aggregation, storage, and subsequent processing of biomass into usable biofuel.

- Suhas Baxi, Co-Founder and CEO, BioFuelCircle 
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