Aligned with the vision of sustainable mobility, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) conducted an International virtual Conference on the theme “Sustainable Mobility: Ethanol Perspective” to commemorate the World Environment Day 2022. The programme was graced by Mr. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India and Shri Kaushal Kishore, Hon’ble Minister of State Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Government of India along with a distinguished panel of leaders from the automobile industry and conservation ecologists. The Conference also witnessed the unveiling of the microbial report on the in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab.
In the opening session of the conference Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM gave the welcome remarks and said, “SIAM is highly conscious and committed towards furthering sustainable mobility by promoting environment, social and economic imperatives. This year’s World Environment Day is being celebrated on the theme ‘Only One Earth’. It is our moral duty to protect and preserve Mother Nature for future generations.”
While addressing the audience in the special session of the conference Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution highlighted ethanol as transport fuel and linkages with environment protection including food production & distribution.
Emphasising on need for sustainable fuel and appreciating efforts of SIAM, Hon’ble Minister Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “Our government is working in 4 ways towards sustainable mobility. India recently achieved 10% ethanol blending target 5 months in advance, saving Rs. 41,000 cr worth of fuel imports for the nation. Our next target is to achieve 20% ethanol blending and it is projected to be completed by 2025. This is a great step towards reducing our fuel imports and carbon emissions across the nation. We have reduced Carbon mono oxide emissions by 35% this year. We all need to work unitedly towards conserving our nature. We are also developing new ways to use ethanol to reduce emissions for the betterment of the environment.”
On this occasion, Shri Kaushal Kishore Hon’ble Minister of State Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Govt of India, said, “Expanding the green cover across the nation should be our major responsibility towards the environment. Apart from plantations, our major focus should be on green fuels and the use of renewable energy resources for our homes, offices, and public places. We as a society need to work aggressively towards restoring our ozone layer which will eventually reduce global warming across the world. The auto industry needs to aggressively take up initiatives to reduce harmful emissions.”
Mr Ashwath Ram, Chairman, SIAM Sustainability Mobility Group & Managing Director, TATA Cummins, and Cummins India, said, “In this decade of decarbonization, our future would be safe if we adopt a sustainable lifestyle and live by the motto of Mahatama Gandhi, “Earth provides enough to sustain every man’s need ,but not every man’s greed. We are inclined to the 5-pathway strategy given by our Hon’ble Prime Minister called as Panchamrit for tackling climate change and fostering sustainable mobility, which includes decarbonizing the economy.”
Mr Rajender Petkar, Co-Chairman, SIAM Sustainable Mobility Group and President & CTO Tata Motors Ltd, said, “We all will rededicate ourselves as agents of positive change and carry forward the message far and wide, ensuring sustainability for our mother earth. Our conversations will go a long way in terms of ensuring sustainability as an important cornerstone for all living beings on the planet. This is the decade of decarbonisation. The Indian auto industry is committed to ensure social and economic sustainability.”
The technical part of virtual conference was divided into two sessions i.e., “Technical Session-1: Changing land scape of sustainable fuel” and “Technical Session-2: Policy and regulatory regime for sustainable fuels”. The conference witnessed active participation from several speakers having domain expertise including senior Government officials, CEOs of automobile companies, and experts from the automobile and R&D sector.
Moderating the session on Sustainable Fuels, Mr Som Kapoor, Partner & Future of Mobility Lead, E&Y, discussed the need of promoting the alternative fuels to drive towards a sustainable future.
Mr R Ramaprabhu, Chairman, SIAM Sub-Group on Fuels and Head (Fluids Technology), PD, Mahindra & Mahindra presented status of Sustainable Clean fuels and showcased the opportunities and challenges of using ethanol as a blending agent with fuel.
Mr Eduardo Uziel, Counsellor, Embassy of Brazil, talked about International & national trends of ethanol blending for automobile fuel drawing a comparative study between Brazilian & Indian fuel technology. Throwing light on the national imperative for Ethanol blending in India and also talking about the Trends in Production & Commercialization, Mr Atul Mulay, President (Bio Energy) PRAJ Industries, emphasised on the usage of alternate fuels and focussed on commercial aspect of ethanol production and blending.
Moderating the 2nd technical session on Policy and regulations, Mr Parikshit Luthra, Dy. Editor and Bureau Chief, CNBC TV18, emphasised on sustainable tomorrow.
Talking about the Policy and regulatory changes, Mr Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary (Refinery), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India, said, “Due to the biofuel initiatives, many clusters are coming up across the country for the production of biogas, bio plastics, etc. We are looking towards the bio refinery complexes coming up across the country. This will provide clean alternative energy in future. With the relentless efforts of all stakeholders, it was great achievement towards vision of 10% ethanol blending target. With the help government and stakeholders, we have reached ethanol distillery capacity of 700 cr litres today and likely to reach 1200 cr litres for 20% blending by 2025. Ethanol is not only for reducing emissions for environment but also it is strategic towards decarbonizing the economy.”
Mr Subhash Kumar, ETAC Member & Ex CMD ONGC, discussed about the Energy Transition & Role of Alternate Fuels for Future Mobility. Adding to the conversation, Dr Anjan Ray, Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum, emphasised on Policies and regulatory regime for sustainable fuels, further discussing the challenges & opportunities.
Presenting the perspective, Dr SSV Ramakumar, Director, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, talked about Sustainable Fuels and challenges for achieving the target of carbon neutrality by 2070 and the Role of Ethanol in the transition. Mr C V Raman, Chairman, SIAM Emission & Conservation Committee and CTO, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, showcased the potential of alternate fuels and also talked about Technology agnostic Approach to achieve Carbon Neutrality in Indian Context.
The program focused on the automotive industry’s commitment to adopt environment-friendly policies aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and COP-26 goals for achieving the target of carbon net neutrality by 2070.
Over the years, SIAM has been engaging with governments, corporates, and stakeholders in an effort to address environmental issues, aligning with SIAM’s objective of Building the Nation Responsibly.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Prashant K. Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM, apprised the participants about the importance of the conference and said that it is a part of SIAM larger vision of ethanol roadmap for low carbon mobility. He profusely thanks Hon’ble Ministers, moderators, speakers, and all participants. He also informed about the SAIM special event on biofuels on the eve of ‘World Biofuel Day’ falling on 10th August 2022.