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India to join international collaboration on clean energy technology

The Union Cabinet apprised of India joining as a member of the Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP).

The Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme is a unit that functions under the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to their website, Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF) is one of the IEA’s transportation-related technology collaboration programmes.

Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) are several diverse technology initiatives that encourage technology-related activities that support energy security, economic growth and environmental protection.

The AMF offers an international platform for co-operation to promote cleaner and more energy-efficient fuels and vehicle technologies.

In an official press release, the Government said that India has been associated with the IEA since 2017.

The main goal of India’s association is to introduce advanced motor fuels and alternate fuels into its market.

India aims to bring down harmful emissions and attain higher fuel efficiency in its transport sector. The AMF TCP also provides an opportunity for fuel analysis and the ability to identify new and alternative fuels.

The research and development work in AMF TCP is carried out within individual projects called Annexes. The Annexes in AMF enable members to cooperate in groups that share common interests and to learn and grow as they interact and share different perspectives.

Over the last few years, more than 50 Annexes have been initiated under the AMF TCP.

Several fuels have been covered in previous Annexes such as reformulated fuels (gasoline and diesel), biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel, etc.), synthetic fuels (methanol) and gaseous fuels.

The release said the benefits of being an AMF TCP member are shared costs and pooled technical resources. The collaboration will also help reduce the duplication of efforts and strengthen national research and development capabilities.

The partnership will lead to information exchange about best practices, network of researchers and linking research with practical implementation. The country also plans to start research in other areas of interest including advanced biofuels and other motor fuels, to reduce fuel imports.

The AMF says its mission is to provide scientific information and technology assessments that allow citizens and policymakers to make informed and science-based decisions about options involving the use of advanced fuels for transportation systems.

Its activities relate to research and development and the deployment of advanced motor fuels. It examines transport fuel issues, considering production, distribution and end-use related areas.

The USA, China, Japan, Canada, Israel, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand are some of the other member countries of the AMF TCP.

According to the AMF, India’s economy is the seventh largest in the world, currently valued at US $2.5 trillion. The International Monetary Fund estimates that India will grow at 7.4% in fiscal year (FY) 2018–2019.

The demand for energy is growing, especially in the transport sector. However, domestic crude oil production can meet only about 17.9% of the demand; the remainder must come from imported crude.

By 2022, the Government intends to reduce the import bill by 10%. In 2009, it prepared a roadmap to reduce import dependency in the oil and gas sector. India’s five-phase strategy includes:

  • Increasing domestic production
  • Adopting biofuels and renewables
  • Adopting energy-efficiency norms
  • Improving refinery processes
  • Substituting demand

Since 2014, the Government intervened and encouraged the use of biofuels through structured programmes, such as the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme and the Biodiesel Blending Programme.

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