The Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative, launched by the Government of India in 2018, is a significant step towards promoting cleaner and greener fuel for the transportation sector. With the aim of reducing carbon emissions and dependence on imported crude oil, SATAT focuses on boosting the production and availability of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) in the country. This article explores the key points and recent developments under the SATAT initiative.
Under the SATAT initiative, CBG is produced from diverse sources across the country, including agricultural residues and organic waste. This approach not only reduces the burning of agricultural residues but also contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By utilizing these sustainable sources for CBG production, India can effectively curb its natural gas imports and move towards a more environmentally friendly transportation system.
The SATAT initiative aligns with India’s commitments under the COP-21 (Conference of the Parties) agreement. By promoting the use of CBG as a clean fuel, the initiative actively supports the country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. The large-scale adoption of CBG in the transportation sector plays a crucial role in achieving India’s sustainability goals.
Recognizing the importance of the SATAT initiative, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided financial aid of $2 million in December 2019. This support enables the implementation of the scheme and accelerates the establishment of CBG plants across the country. The ADB’s investment further validates the significance of CBG as an alternative fuel for sustainable transportation.
One of the key benefits of utilizing CBG as a transportation fuel is a significant reduction in the country’s dependency on imported crude oil. By promoting the production and utilization of CBG, the SATAT initiative enhances India’s energy security and reduces its vulnerability to fluctuations in global oil prices. This shift towards a cleaner and domestically sourced fuel also helps in achieving a more sustainable energy mix.
To ensure the smooth implementation of the SATAT initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, leading oil and gas marketing companies, and technology providers. The MoU covers the establishment of 900 CBG plants, with letters of intent already issued for an additional 600 plants. This brings the total number of CBG plants under the initiative to 1,500, contributing to a significant increase in CBG production capacity.
In September 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) revised its priority sector lending guidelines to include CBG as a priority sector. This revision allows loans to be granted for setting up Compressed Bio-Gas plants, promoting investments in the CBG sector. The inclusion of CBG in the priority sector lending framework further supports the growth and development of sustainable energy projects, including the installation of solar power plants for grid-connected agriculture pumps.