SIAM organises 2nd edition of International Symposium for Thriving Eco-Energy in Mobility

  • Industry News
  • Feb 06,24
The conference, themed "Nature Based Solutions: Road to Decarbonisation," is aimed at promoting alternative fuels under the SIAM initiatives of Jaivik Pehal (Bio Initiative), Gas Gatisheelta (Gas Based Mobility) and Harit Hydrogen (Hydrogen Mobility).
SIAM organises 2nd edition of International Symposium for Thriving Eco-Energy in Mobility

In alignment with the Indian Government’s drive towards alternative fuels in the country, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) organised the 2nd edition of the International Symposium for Thriving Eco-Energy in Mobility (ISTEM) on February 1, 2024 at Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The conference, themed "Nature Based Solutions: Road to Decarbonisation," is aimed at promoting alternative fuels under the SIAM initiatives of Jaivik Pehal (Bio Initiative), Gas Gatisheelta (Gas Based Mobility) and Harit Hydrogen (Hydrogen Mobility). It witnessed participation from national and international stakeholders in the alternate fuels economy, including leading global OEMs, Oil Marketing Companies, Gas distributors, ethanol producers, Hydrogen powertrain players, and technology providers, among other dignitaries and industry representatives. 
The event began with a special session on ‘Sustainable Solutions: Pathways to Decarbonisation - Exploring Nature-Based Solutions for Mobility in Amrit Kaal’.

In his opening remarks, Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM and MD & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles said, “India has a strong ambition in fighting climate change, and the country is leading the way. Aligned with the Government's decarbonising efforts, SIAM has launched initiatives like ISTEM for decarbonised mobility, and professional stakeholders are interacting on a previously unheard scale. Building on this success, we have intensified our efforts, and I am confident that the automobile industry will collaborate to promote sustainable mobility through knowledge transfer, technical development, and the adoption of alternative fuels.”

Chief Guest HE Ambassador Kenneth Félix Haczynski da Nóbrega, Ambassador of Brazil to India said,” The launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance was one of the historic achievements of India’s G20 presidency. It will consolidate biofuel technologies for the decarbonisation of economies. Without scaling our bioenergy, the world will not reach its climate goals.”

Adding his thoughts, Mandava Prabhakar Rao, President, Indian Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA), said,” Biofuels have many benefits, including empowering farmers in India. They are being transformed from ‘anna data’ to ‘urja data’. The manufacturing of biofuel is leading to savings in foreign exchange for the country. The journey so far has been transformative, and as we move forward, let us champion the cause of biofuel adoption.”

It is heartening to see the emergence of Global Bio-Fuel Alliance in the wake of enormous collaborative work done amongst Ethanol producers represented by ISMA, Auto OEMs as members of SIAM and Brazilian Union of Ethanol producers represented by UNICA. It is noteworthy that SIAM and UNICA signed an MoU to promote Ethanol Blending in the Transportation sector, to realise the vison of Government of India to reduce the Carbon Emission Intensity by 45% by 2030.

Yukihiro Ezaka, Executive Vice President, Japan Automobile Manufacturer Association (JAMA) shared his thoughts and said, “In order for zero-emission vehicles to spread in large numbers, it is essential to take comprehensive measures to promote them. The whole world must come together as one in the pursuit of carbon neutrality.”

Speaking during the session, Eric de Seynes, President, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA),” We totally consider our responsibility as motorcycle manufacturers, and we see ourselves as part of the solution. We want to leverage every technology to achieve the target of carbon neutrality.”

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd said,” The path towards a 
greener future will require all of us, and unless each one of us does its part, we can't achieve the goal. India is an energy-hungry economy with plans to 5 become trillion-dollar economy, which will propel energy requirements. We have to fulfil these requirements, and the energy transition has to be just and equitable. All forms of energy will have a place in the energy bouquet of India, and they will coexist to achieve our goal of net zero by 2070.” 

Later, the event hosted a session on the ‘Potential of Hydrogen as a Future Fuel- Developing Green Hydrogen as the Lynchpin of Clean Mobility’. 

In this session Rajendra Petkar, President & CTO, Tata Motors Ltd said,” India has to become independent in the energy sector. There are hopes with hydrogen, and we have solar energy available that we can harness and convert into Hydrogen. Hydrogen is a zero-carbon energy carrier, clean, with no toxic emissions. It fits well where direct electrification is not feasible, is abundantly available, and can play a substantial role in energy security and export opportunities as well.”

Participating during the session, R K Malhotra, President, Hydrogen Association of India added,” The world today is grappling with a climate emergency, and if we continue like this, we are heading for a disaster. We have to reinvent the energy basket, and there will have to be decarbonisation efforts as well. Most of the oil majors are spending on hydrocarbons, and they are on track to energy transition, looking at hydrogen and related infrastructure. Many corporates have announced targets of net zero much ahead of it. I see big hope for hydrogen as a fuel for the future.” 

Nitin Seth, CEO, New Mobility, Reliance Industries said, “The transport sector has a role to play in decarbonisation, and multiple types of vehicle technology will contribute, reducing the use of fossil fuels. We have to think about what we can do in terms of hydrogen. It is a very good fuel for the future, especially in the transportation sector. Even at INR 300 per KG cost, Hydrogen will be a viable solution for CV segment w.r.t. traditional fossil fuels”. Additionally, he also mentioned that their hydrogen-based trucks have been running for around 1 lakh KM without any safety issues.

Further, Nitin Jirafe, Vice President (India Engine Business), Cummins India added, “Hydrogen ICE provides a credible path for the early decarbonisation of the commercial vehicle industry. We are committed to accelerating the development of the hydrogen economy. Support is required for accelerating the hydrogen economy such as including H2ICE in policies like FAME and PLI and more collaborations and partnerships between government and industry”.

The event later saw industry leaders participating in a session titled “Ethanol as a Key Bio-Based pathway for Sustainability - Driving Sustainable Mobility Forward Through Higher Blend”. 

Speaking during this, Dr Reji Mathai Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) said, “As per our aspirations, we need to be sustainable, and there is a plethora of alternatives, including renewables, that can be utilised. Ethanol scaling up is progressing well, currently at 12%, and we expect to reach 20% by 2025. Going ahead, we are looking at a flex-fuel regime. Also, we have to ensure material compatibility for E20 usage. There is a need for innovative approaches, stakeholder collaboration for faster adoption, and a higher blend of ethanol as the next step”.

Patricia Audi, Executive Director, UNICA shared insights on Brazil’s efforts of decarbonisation and said, “The sugarcane industry is the largest source of renewable energy in Brazil, and ethanol has replaced almost 50% of petrol demand in the country. Ethanol is a cheap, viable, and fast solution for decarbonisation”.

Later, Yashodhan Mankame, Executive Vice President (Business Development Bioenergy), Praj Industries added, “The automobile industry is a crucial pillar of the economy, and the decarbonisation of this sector has become imperative. India has made significant progress in ethanol production, and the industry is growing, with plans for E20 ethanol blending. India aims to increase the percentage of ethanol blending, introduce flex-fuel vehicles, and blend ethanol in diesel, presenting opportunities. Additionally, there's a plan for a global biofuel alliance spearheaded by India, Brazil, and the US, offering opportunities for Indian companies to invest in biofuels beyond India”.

Siddhartha Mitra, Executive Director, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, said "We began with 5% and have now achieved 12.6% ethanol blending, yielding benefits such as forex savings, crude oil substitution, and farmers' empowerment. To enhance ethanol production, the government is focused on diversifying feedstock, and capacity creation is essential. We are committed to promoting ethanol for sustainability."

Talking about Japan’s integrated approach to decarbonisation, Takao Aiba, Chair, International Climate Change Policy Expert Group, JAMA shared,” Japan is steadily reducing emissions with an integrated approach based on four pillars, including increasing fuel-efficient vehicles by auto manufacturers, diversified fuel supply by fuel suppliers, efficient vehicle use by vehicle users, and traffic flow improvement by governments. Carbon emissions are expected to decrease in Japan soon”.

The last session of the inaugural day was themed Role of Biogas in Low Carbon Mobility- Supporting Natural Gas Ecosystem Using Nature Based Solutions. 

Kamal Kishore Chatiwal, Managing Director, IGL said, “Biogas is the most cost-effective gas available, while LNG stands out as another fuel for the future. As manufacturing expands, more models will adopt LNG, gradually replacing diesel. The potential of these fuels is substantial.”

Additionally, Shantanu Gupta, Executive Director, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, shared, “Biogas is the most indigenous energy source for our country, and with it, waste transforms into a useful fuel. There is a demand for organic fertiliser as well that can turn waste into agriculture-friendly manure. Also, compressed biogas promises a multidimensional impact on the rural economy and, more broadly, on the environment”.

Subhash Kumar, Ex-Chairman of ONGC, Member of ETAC, and Adviser to ISMA, said, "When it comes to economic growth, India is the lighthouse. Energy independence and sustainable mobility are poised to be major growth drivers. Biofuels emerge as one of the best alternative solutions from many perspectives as the country boasts one of the highest percentages of arable lands, providing the capacity to scale and build demands".

Over the years, SIAM has actively collaborated with governments, corporations, and diverse stakeholders to champion the shift towards cleaner fuels and innovative technologies. These collaborations are in harmony with SIAM's mission of 'Building the Nation Responsibly' and fostering both sustainable mobility and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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