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Biofuel production and implications for land use, food production and environment in India

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Author Info

  • Ravindranath, N.H.
  • Sita Lakshmi, C.
  • Manuvie, Ritumbra
  • Balachandra, P.

Abstract

There is a large interest in biofuels in India as a substitute to petroleum-based fuels, with a purpose of enhancing energy security and promoting rural development. India has announced an ambitious target of substituting 20% of fossil fuel consumption by biodiesel and bioethanol by 2017. India has announced a national biofuel policy and launched a large program to promote biofuel production, particularly on wastelands: its implications need to be studied intensively considering the fact that India is a large developing country with high population density and large rural population depending upon land for their livelihood. Another factor is that Indian economy is experiencing high growth rate, which may lead to enhanced demand for food, livestock products, timber, paper, etc., with implications for land use. Studies have shown that area under agriculture and forest has nearly stabilized over the past 2-3 decades. This paper presents an assessment of the implications of projected large-scale biofuel production on land available for food production, water, biodiversity, rural development and GHG emissions. The assessment will be largely focused on first generation biofuel crops, since the Indian program is currently dominated by these crops. Technological and policy options required for promoting sustainable biofuel production will be discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 5737-5745

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:10:p:5737-5745

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Keywords: Biofuel Food security Environment;

References

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  1. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Marie-Hélène Hubert & Beyza Ural Marchand, 2012. "Food for Fuel: The Effect of U.S. Energy Policy on Indian Poverty," CESifo Working Paper Series 3910, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Algieri, Bernardina, 2014. "The influence of biofuels, economic and financial factors on daily returns of commodity futures prices," Discussion Papers 164963, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  3. Pradipta Halder & Javier Arevalo & Liisa Tahvanainen & Paavo Pelkonen, 2014. "Benefits and Challenges Associated with the Development of Forest-Based Bioenergy Projects in India: Results from an Expert Survey," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 100-111, March.
  4. Kamal Soundararajan & Elspeth Thomson, 2013. "Asia and European transport biofuels stalled at the same place?," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 247-263, September.
  5. Geraldes Castanheira, Érica & Grisoli, Renata & Freire, Fausto & Pecora, Vanessa & Coelho, Suani Teixeira, 2014. "Environmental sustainability of biodiesel in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 680-691.

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