WBA news

2024 February 08

WBA leads bioenergy advocacy work at India Energy Week 2024

Date: 8 February 2024
Location: New Delhi, India


The India Energy Week (IEW) 2024 was held in the tourist resort town of Goa early February.

It had an impressive attendance of almost 35 000 delegates and the event was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. Organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and supported by Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPPI), the event was held at the ONGC Training and Research Institute in South Goa.  

The event included a sprawling exhibition space with more than 350 exhibitors and had numerous plenary sessions and side events focussed on the current and future energy mix of the country. Even though the event obviously had a significant presence of oil and gas companies – either as speakers, exhibitors or participating delegates – there was a sizeable contingent from the bioenergy sector as well. These include bioethanol producers, biogas companies, traders etc. The World Bioenergy Association representatives included Dr Christian Rakos (President), Bharadwaj Kummamuru (Executive Director) and Benjamin Klooss (Consultant, Camberwell Energy).


Key Highlights 

Clean Cooking Session 

WBA participated at a Spotlight session on Clean cooking fuels: social justice and sustainability. India has launched numerous programs to provide clean and affordable energy although most of the initiatives were in promotion of LPG cylinders. Dr Christian Rakos shared perspectives of WBA on the role of densified solid biomass in gasification cookstoves which were based on the active Working Group on Green Cooking organized by WBA. The intervention was complemented by representative from KOKO Networks – a leading deployer of ethanol cookstoves in Africa. During the exchange, Dr Christian quoted that “Biomass is not the fuel of the past, but the fuel of the future” and expressed belief that the time is ripe for the alternative fuels to become mainstream and can be the highlight of the energy transformation.  

Figure 2 Dr. Christian Rakos at a clean cooking session with moderator Anish De Global Head - Energy & Natural Resources, KPMG and Sagun Saxena, co founder at KOKO Networks

Dr. Christian Rakos at a clean cooking session with moderator Anish De Global Head - Energy & Natural Resources,
KPMG and Sagun Saxena, co founder at KOKO Networks

WBA also engaged with various stakeholders – national and international on topics related to clean energy, biofuels, biogas, as well as the critical challenges for the rapid deployment of the bioenergy technologies in India. WBA had very exciting discussions and expressed interest to extend collaboration to mitigate climate change and work on pathways to a sustainable future. 

Figure 3 WBA delegation meeting with Ambassador of Netherlands to India H.E. Marisa Gerards and her delegation

WBA delegation meeting with Ambassador of Netherlands to India H.E. Marisa Gerards and her delegation 

Global Biofuels Alliance  

The Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) was launched by India at the G20 in New Delhi in 2023 with the aim of boosting supply and demand for biofuels. It is a multi-stakeholder alliance of governments, international organizations and industries, to drive the deployment of biofuels around the world. The WBA was invited to participate at a breakfast discussion organized by the MoPNG along the sidelines of the IEW 2024 on 08th February. After introductory remarks delivered by Shri Pankaj Jain, Secretary, MoPNG, WBA shared our experiences with a brief overview of WBA activities, the global development of liquid biofuels and the need for collaboration as India moves towards meeting ambitious mandates. We expressed our willingness to join the Alliance.  

 The Global Biofuels Alliance is a multi stakeholder platform promoting biofuel deployment 

Bilateral engagement with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) 

On 10th February, the WBA visited the MNRE office at Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan in New Delhi for a bilateral engagement. We discussed with Dr. Gaurav Mishra (Scientist F) and Dr. Sangita Kasture (Scientist G) on the challenges and opportunities for bioenergy development in the country. After brief introductions, WBA presented our activities while the MNRE shared their priority areas of work currently. It was generally agreed that there were mutually beneficial synergies to explore between WBA and MNRE in the topics of pellets, agro biomass, capacity building, carbon markets, technology transfer etc. 

Media engagements  

WBA was also busy in numerous media engagements including interviews with CNBC, Money Control and participated at the Global Business Summit organized by Times Now Group.  

Media article on Money Control: Link
CNBC Interview: Link  


 Left: Dr Christian Rakos at the Times Group Global Business Summit in New Delhi, India (Source: LinkedIn)
Right: Dr Rakos interviewed by CNBC at IEW 2024 

Bioenergy roundtables  

Further to our engagements, we also organized two bioenergy roundtable discussions in Goa and Delhi to engage with the local stakeholders in the biomass to energy value chain. A summary of the roundtables is available here: Link