India's push for a biofuels alliance gains interest

India's proposal for a biofuels alliance to promote cleaner fuel has attracted interest from a number of countries, including Russia and Brazil, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday.

Puri announced last October that India, the world's third biggest oil consumer, would use its G20 presidency to try and set up an international biofuels alliance.

The focus on biofuels is also aimed at helping India's transition to alternative fuels and cutting its import bill, as it aims to achieve its net zero carbon emissions goal by 2070.

"Many, many countries are interested," Puri told reporters at an India Energy Week event in the southern city of Bengaluru.

India's plans to set up a biofuels alliance mirror the International Solar Alliance launched by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 to bring clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.

India imports about 85% of its crude needs, but is gradually building capacity to increase its output of biofuels. It plans to build 12 bio-refineries to produce fuel from items including crop stubble, plant waste and municipal solid waste.

Puri said the proposed biofuels alliance was not just restricted to producers and any country could join.

"It could be for experience sharing or anything... if your question is that it (alliance) is off to a good start, my answer is excellent", Puri said.

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