Not all biofuels are bad: A rural India case

In UNU Our World 2.0
Volume (Issue): September 17, 2010
Non Peer-reviewed Article
Not all biofuels are bad: A rural India case

Many countries have developed a keen interest in the potential of biofuels and instituted policies to promote their production. India became one of the major biofuel producers in Asia, with its bioethanol production hitting the 1 billion liter mark in 2008, second only after China. The evolving debate on biofuels focuses both on the need to produce energy to meet increasing demands, a well as on how to do so sustainably. Andhra Pradesh state, India has been one of the front-runners in promoting biofuels in India, where 5% ethanol blend was introduced as a part of the national government initiative to promote biofuels in 2005. As this case shows, depending on various factors — on the way an initiative is designed (e.g., public-private partnerships and integration into developmental programs), the selection of feedstock (e.g., those like pongamia or jatropha don’t need intensive input) and implementation of appropriate support policies that will help keep farmers from being exploited (e.g., minimum support price for feedstock) — biofuel programs can provide substantial rural benefits.


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