The Union Cabinet has cleared the National Biofuel Policy, and set an indicative 2017 target to blend 20 per cent sugarcane-extracted ethanol with petrol, and non-edible oil with diesel. In the absence of a clear road map ahead, the National Biofuel Coordination Committee headed by the Prime Minister faces an uphill task.

Business Standard / New Delhi September 18, 2008, 0:09 IST

Ibrahim Hafeezur Rehman

Emphasis on promotion of biofuels can be useful for solving rural energy problems.

Shastry V. Mallady

MADURAI: A bio-diesel plant, with a capacity to produce 1,000 litres a day, has been sanctioned for the State by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. Southern Railway is likely to buy the product from the plant.

The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology took the initiative and got clearance for the Rs.75-lakh plant at a meeting held in New Delhi last week, said S. Vincent, Member Secretary of the council. Steps are being taken to educate farmers on the benefits of

Sujay Mehdudia Owing to political instability at the Centre NEW DELHI: With international crude oil prices touching a whopping $147 a barrel, the search for alternative sources has intensified. However, the political uncertainty over the India-U.S. nuclear deal has delayed the announcement of a bio-fuel policy, outlining incentives for those undertaking such activity. Although Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar declared last month that the government would come out with a new bio-fuel policy by July second week, this now looks a distant dream.

Maulik Pathak / Ahmedabad July 10, 2008, 0:20 IST With oil flowing past $145 a barrel, leading companies in the country have lined up plans to explore opportunities in jatropha cultivation and prospects of biofuel. The companies are flocking to Gujarat, which has earmarked 1,900,000 acres in the Narmada region for the crop cultivation. The companies, including Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries and Tata Chemicals and the Essar group, are carrying out research and trials for producing oil from the cash crop in the state.

Energy expert and Planning Commission member, Kirit S. Parikh spoke to Outlook ... Excerpts: The debate over food versus fuel has made biofuel a dirty word...

Fuel From The Fields: A Balance-Sheet What are biofuels? Made from renewable sources, biofuels promise a viable, eco-friendly substitute to fossil fuels. Can be made from a variety of crops like maize, sugarcane, beetroot, palm oil, jatropha-anything that is rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Typically, blended with petrol or diesel. Why are they controversial? Countries like the US are diverting their corn and maize crops to produce biofuels, thus contributing to the tight foodgrain position and spiralling global prices. What are the types of biofuel?

The Directorate of Open and Distance Learning of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, is currently offering twenty one certificate courses for the benefit of farmers, entrepreneurs and self-help groups. Course details