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

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Sustainable Development of Biofuels: Prospects and Challenges

In the context of shrinking crude oil reserves, rising demand and the resultant rise in prices of petroleum, as well as the concerns about global climate change and energy security, bioenergy is becoming increasingly relevant as a possible and potential alternative to fossil fuels. However, with many developed countries pursuing aggressive policies for encouraging the production and use of biofuels, there are strong apprehensions that as more and more land is brought under biofuel crops, food prices would increase substantially affecting poor consumers, particularly those from low-income net food importing countries. Keeping in view these facts, this paper presents a brief overview of the current state of affairs of biofuels at the global level, with a special emphasis on the ongoing efforts of biofuel expansion in India. It throws light on the various policies at the national and regional levels and also on the implications of biofuels for changes in land utilisation, food security, social welfare and the environment.

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