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Oil minister Puri bats for global biofuels alliance amid energy crisis

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Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri

India will use its G20 presidency to push for an international biofuels alliance, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri has said.

“India is the fifth largest producer of biofuels in the world. We have decided to use our presidency of G20 to form a biofuels alliance,” the minister said at an event on November 29.

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India takes over the presidency of the group of 19 nations and the European Union on December 1. These countries account for 85 percent of the global GDP, 75 percent of international trade and two-thirds of the world population.

India’s plans to set up a biofuels alliance mirror International Solar Alliance launched by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 to bring clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.

“We have enough countries in the world which are producing biofuels, so if you get the ecosystem around it, in terms of the standards, the flexi-fuel engines… I think we are on our way to setting up an international alliance,” Puri said addressing a gathering at KPMG’s Enrich 2022 event on “Dealing With Energy and Resources Trilemma”.

At the national level, the oil and petroleum ministry plans to set up 12 bio-refineries to produce fuel from items including crop stubble, plant waste and municipal solid waste.

‘Green hydrogen has arrived’

Puri also emphasised that green hydrogen is no more the “fuel of future” but it has already arrived. He added that a big amount of money is coming in startups for green hydrogen.

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“Green hydrogen will succeed if the place of manufacturing and the point of consumption are in close proximity,” the minister said.

Green hydrogen is generated from electrolysis of water, with the entire process run on renewable energy. In the industry, the colour is assigned based on the source of electricity that is used to generate the hydrogen molecule. Brown hydrogen is for coal, grey for natural gas and blue if it is produced from natural gas with a process of steam methane reforming.  ​

With climate change becoming a threat to the world, India aims to accelerate the energy transition and pledges to become a net-zero economy by 2070.

“India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, hopes to convert the current global oil challenges from the Ukraine crisis into an opportunity to secure affordable energy,” Puri had said a day after the European Union failed to agree on a Russian oil price cap earlier this month.

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