India needs its own alternative energy model spanning untapped renewable energy sources to bring down fuel import burden, Minister for State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, said.

Renewable energy is “clean and new order of energy” and can supplement fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum products.

Alternative fuels Municipal solid waste, biomass such as agricultural waste and ethanol are important renewable resources that have to be tapped. While the base load has to come from traditional fuel sources, alternative fuels can cater up to 40 per cent of the demand, he said at an interaction organised by BusinessLine on Saturday with chief executives from leading companies, including multinationals from manufacturing and energy sector, and diplomats.

The event, Breakfast with BL , moderated by BusinessLine Editor R Srinivasan, is a platform for business and opinion leaders to interact informally with policymakers.

Preventing pollution Pradhan said “if we convert existing biomass as part of renewable energy network, just agricultural waste and urban waste to energy projects will add about ₹1 lakh crore to the new economy.” The waste-to-energy cycle will prevent pollution from burning biomass and the pollution hazard of dumping urban waste.

Nagpur recently started using municipal solid waste for energy production.

There is a need for more such plants to reuse waste to make energy.

There is also a policy in place for ethanol-blending of petrol, biodiesel and to support ethanol production from agricultural waste.

In a pilot project in Delhi, Compressed Natural Gas fuels mopeds that deliver pizzas. The technology is from an Iranian company, he said.

Dependent on imports India is dependent on imports for 75-80 per cent of its energy requirement, including traditional fossil fuels, and increasingly on natural gas. But renewable energy resources can help bring down the fuel import burden.

As part of its effort to tackle climate change, India has committed to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2025, which is a target unmatched by any other country.

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