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Biofuels National Policy

  • Date Submitted: 11/27/2012 08:45 PM
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Policy Brief

36

Biofuels in India: Future Challenges

P. Shinoj, S.S. Raju, Ramesh Chand, Praduman Kumar and Siwa Msangi
Introduction
Biofuels are globally considered sustainable and ecofriendly source of energy to enhance national energy
security and decrease dependence on imported fossil
fuels. During the past one decade, Government of
India (GoI) has initiated several measures to augment
production and use of biofuels. The National Biofuel
Mission launched in 2003 is the frontrunner of such
efforts in the country. The ‘National Policy on Biofuels’
released in 2009, foresees biofuels as a potential means
to stimulate rural development and generate employment
opportunities, as well as aspires to reap environmental
and economic benefits arising out of their large-scale use.
T he Policy aims at mainstreaming biofuels by setting an
indicative target of their blending up to 20 per cent with
petrol and diesel in the transport sector by the year 2017
(GoI, 2009). It is categorically mentioned in the Policy
that the program is to be carried out based solely on
the non-food feedstocks that are raised on degraded or
wastelands not suitable for agriculture, thus avoiding a
possible conflict between food security and fuel security.
Bioethanol produced from the sugar cane molasses and
biodiesel produced from the non-edible oilseed crops
like jatropha and pongamia are currently being promoted
for commercial use. Though very well conceived in its
scope and aims, India’s national biofuel program faces
considerable challenges in its implementation. This brief
presents the current status, discusses the future prospects
and examines the critical constraints and impediments in
the path of development of this program. It also offers
suggestions and alternative policy options so as to enable
the program achieve its objectives.
Food versus Fuel Debate
O ne major reason why biofuels have attracted so
much attention in recent years among the...

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