ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Biofuels: Solution for Energy Crisis?

Biofuels are being increasingly viewed as a possible solution for reducing the world dependency on fossil fuels, but their large-scale production has several consequences, unforeseen at present. While the use of biofuels as of now offers comparatively little advantage over fossil fuels, their production entails substantial investments on the part of developing countries in land, labour and capital.

Biofuels: Solution for Energy Crisis?

Biofuels are being increasingly viewed as a possible solution for reducing the world dependency on fossil fuels, but their large-scale production has several consequences, unforeseen at present. While the use of biofuels as of now offers comparatively little advantage over fossil fuels, their production entails substantial investments on the part of developing countries in land, labour and capital.

DANIELA RUSSI

 

B
iofuels are being increasingly looked at by industrialised countries as one of the solutions to offset the excessive dependence on imported fossil fuels. In 2003, the European Union introduced a Directive1 suggesting that member states should increase the share of biofuels in the energy used for transport to 5.75 per cent by 2010. The new European energy strategy established in March 2007 states that within 2020 biofuels should represent 10 per cent of the energy use in the transport sector. This is a very ambitious target, since Europe has not reached 1 per cent yet. The visit by the US president George Bush to Brazil in March 2007 to discuss ethanol production with his counterpart, president Lula showed the great interest of the US in increasing the use of ethanol in the US (Brazil and the US rank respectively the first and second in world ethanol producers). The potential of biofuels was discussed in depth in the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics, held in Delhi from December 15-19, 2006.

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