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India Can Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence, Cut Import Bills By USD 29 Billion Through Biogas Adoption: Report

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), underscores the environmental advantages of expanding biogas projects, including waste management, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and enhanced renewable energy production

India Can Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence, Cut Import Bills By USD 29 Billion Through Biogas Adoption: Report
According to the report's author Purva Jain, an energy analyst at IEEFA, "Biogas has the potential to replace natural gas and other high-emission fossil fuels

New Delhi: Replacing natural gas consumption with biogas and biomethane incrementally to 20 per cent by 2030 can help India cut liquefied natural gas import bills by USD 29 billion between financial years 2025 and 2030, according to a new report. The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), underscores the environmental advantages of expanding biogas projects, including waste management, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and enhanced renewable energy production.

Also Read: Rich Over-Emitting Nations Owe India USD 1,446 Per Capita Until 2050 As Compensation: Study

According to the report’s author Purva Jain, an energy analyst at IEEFA, “Biogas has the potential to replace natural gas and other high-emission fossil fuels. By eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) and impurities like hydrogen sulfide, its methane content can be upgraded to 90 per cent, making it calorifically equivalent to natural gas.

This upgraded biogas, known as biomethane, is pipeline-ready and can be integrated into gas grids as a non-fossil gas, she said. Ms Jain said,

By adopting appropriate production methods and addressing methane leaks during production, upgrading, and supply stages, biogas can offer India a cleaner alternative to its reliance on imported natural gas.

Despite its clear advantages, the biogas sector has struggled to gain traction in India. The report identifies several reasons for this, including the absence of a comprehensive market ecosystem, pricing challenges, complex approval processes, and fragmented government support.

Also Read: India Is Doing Its Best In Reducing Carbon Footprint: Lesotho Envoy

Ms Jain said the government has begun to address these issues. In 2021, various types of support were consolidated under the National Bioenergy Scheme.

Moreover, the introduction of the GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme as an umbrella initiative of the government will help in this consolidation. It covers the entire gamut of schemes/policies promoting organic waste conversion to biogas or compressed biogas (CBG).

The report also highlights recent policy developments, such as revising the compressed biogas rate in response to global gas price increases and plans to mandate natural gas marketing companies to procure five per cent compressed biogas.

These measures have reignited private sector interest in compressed biogas, with companies like Reliance Industries Limited and the Adani Group showing strong enthusiasm.

However, the report emphasises that the government must do more to fully unlock biogas’s potential in India. This includes encouraging increased investments and private sector involvement, improving market viability for CBG and biogas slurry, increasing financial access for biogas plant development, and promoting feedstock mapping for input availability.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that energy crops are not used for biogas, as this can lead to indirect land use changes, as seen with ethanol and biodiesel in Brazil, which can have a detrimental impact on climate and the environment through increased carbon emissions. Ms Jain said,

A key step will be to guarantee the offtake of CBG by various natural gas-using industries to expedite the achievement of decarbonization goals. The introduction of take-or-pay arrangements will be a significant move in this direction.

Also Read: Gas Authority Of India Targets Net-Zero Emissions By 2040: Chairman Manoj Jain

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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