Mumbai: India has spent about Rs41 crore (Rs410 million) on research and development on alternative fuels during the last three years, junior minister for new and renewable energy, Vilas Muttemwar, said on 25 April.
The ministry has been given the responsibility for preparing the national policy on bio-fuels and setting up of a National Bio-fuel Development Board, he told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament, an official statement said.
The draft policy, aims at promoting the cultivation, production and use of biofuels to partially replace petrol and diesel for transport, has been submitted for necessary approvals, he said.
Volatile crude oil prices have pushed consumers to use more “green” fuels produced from renewable resources. Ethanol and biodiesel are seen as a way to lessen dependence on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gases.
India consumes 40 million tonnes of diesel a year. In 2003, the government announced plans to replace around five percent of consumption with biodiesel from jatropha.