1. Agriculture World

Bioethanol can Transform the Face of Rural India, says Nitin Gadkari

After the development of flexi engines, the current production of 400 crore litres of bioethanol is expected to increase to 4,000 litres. Gadkari sees bioethanol made from molasses, sugarcane juice, rice, and corn as a less expensive and more sustainable alternative.

Shivam Dwivedi
Farmer in his Sugarcane Field
Farmer in his Sugarcane Field

For decades, we have been concerned about the depletion of natural resources, as well as the resulting pollution and global warming caused by the use of fossil fuels. And the only solution is to use renewable and environmentally friendly resources, such as biofuels, to power automobiles and machinery.

In his keynote address, Gadkari revealed the status of the much-touted Flexi engines, which he described as electric hybrid engines that can run on 100 percent ethanol, 40 percent electricity, or even entirely on petrol in an emergency. He stated that the major automobile companies are already developing Flexi engines, but that it would take 6 months due to Euro VI engine compliance.

However, bioethanol production is not a new venture for India. Gadkari, on the other hand, associates bioethanol production with agricultural diversification toward the energy and power sectors, farmer empowerment, and rapid rural employment.

After the development of Flexi engines, the current production of 400 crore litres of bioethanol is expected to increase to 4,000 litres. Gadkari sees bioethanol made from molasses, sugarcane juice, rice, and corn as a less expensive and more sustainable alternative.

When discussing other initiatives in this area, Gadkari brought up some interesting facts about the production of bio-LNG and bio-CNG. He explained that 5 tonnes of rice straw, which causes hazardous levels of pollution when burned during the winter, can also yield 1 tonne of bio-LNG. Green hydrogen, a biofuel made from sewage water and solid waste management, is also being produced and used in a variety of industries. Toyota's first green hydrogen car in India will be unveiled on March 18th.

Furthermore, 250 Indian start-ups have been enlisted in the work of developing energy-efficient electric scooters, which the Minister believes will significantly improve the transportation experience for working-class people. These pollution-free scooters are priced at Rs 70,000 and have a range of 70 kilometres at a speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

Gadkari also drew attention to ongoing major infrastructure projects such as road construction in the North East and green express highways connecting major cities across the country. He aspires to make the world's automobile industry the best in terms of job creation and revenue generation.

In her closing address, Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Government of India, echoed Gadkari's goals of sustainability, peace, and growth in India with Great Powers. She emphasized the complementary relationship between Indian ethos and a new perspective to pave the way.

With international agreements such as the Strategic Partnership with Denmark, the International Solar Alliance, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, India is at the forefront of climate change initiatives (CDRI). These contribute to the stability and harmony of the neighbourhood as well as the surrounding area.

The rapid progress of railway projects connecting Bangladesh's Sittwe port, Nepal, and Myanmar was emphasized. In addition, inland water projects with energy grids in Myanmar, Bhutan, and Bangladesh were highlighted to demonstrate India's growing involvement in the region.

Lekhi also described the Ganga Mekong project as a unifying and powerful force for India in the Indo-Asian Pacific region, in addition to strengthening ties with the multipolar world, including the United States, Japan, and the European Union. She emphasized self-reliance as the spirit of India's international ties with a middle-path approach, the need for a strategic economy, and human-centric globalization.

The summit's presenting partner is Kyndryl. Capgemini is a co-powering partner. GfK is the intelligence partner, Samunnati and Paxfaul are associate partners, and ET Edge Insights is the summit's knowledge partner, brought to you by ET Edge Unwired.

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