What are biofuels? Can biofuels be the answer to India’s energy security? Critically evaluate with respect to the recent National Policy on Biofuels. (10 minutes, 250 words)



6 thoughts on “Biofuels”

  1. Biofuel is any fuel that is derived from biomass that is, plant or algae material or animal waste. Since such feedstock material can be replenished readily, biofuel is considered to be a source of renewable energy , unlike fossil fuel such as petroleum , coal etc.
    Biofuel as an answer to energy security in India.
    India imports 80% of its domestic crude oil requirement. Development in bio fuels in India can reduce its import dependency, which often becomes limiting factor in our foreign policy.
    Since the national policy on biofuel 2018 expand the scope of raw material for ethanol production by alloying the use of sugarcane juice sugar beet etc, it has open the scope for India to move towards energy security. It has primary tried to address supply side issue.
    This policy has open the ways for reduction in the cost of production of biofuel and improve affordability by consumer. Thus, encouraging the people to move towards clean energy.

    1. Good answer but, incomplete.

      First two parts are excellent. However, you have not mentioned the concerns about using food crops for making fuel that may affect the food security in India and other environmental effects.

      5 /10

  2. Biofuels are any liquid fuel derived from biological materials such as trees, agricultural wastes, crops or grass.
    Biofuels can be the answer to India’s energy security as it has been shown in the recent National policy on biofuels.
    The main reasons behind this policy was to cut pricey oil import and save foreign exchange.
    The policy intended to:
    1. allow for a wider variety of raw materials to be used as inputs to produce ethanol that is mixed with petrol.
    2. Feedstock for biofuels includes sugarbeet, corn, damaged foodgrains, potatoes, solid wastes.
    3. encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil, short gestation crops.
    Therefore we can say biofuels in India are of strategic importance and can play a great role in India’s energy security.

    1. Average answer. You ave not addressed last two parts of the question.

      Second part asks you to check how far these fuels can ensure energy security in India which is lacking energy resources, especially clean energy sources.

      At the same time concern of food security concerns are also there. Use of agriculture fields to produce fuel input will affect the food supply.

      See other points mentioned by Viraj below.

      3/ 10

  3. Fuel which is made from plants and crops like sugercame, suger beet, corn , damaged foodgrains, potatoes are known as biofuels. It is renewable type of fuel.

    Recently ministry of new and renewable energy placed national biofuels policy. Policy encourage the production of biofuels from surpluse production of sugarcane, damaged foodgrain, potatoes and municipal solid waste.India imports 83% pretroleum product. For India it is crucial to diversify the generation source of petroleum and oil. Biofuel being more cleaner fuel can aid to that and reduce import bill. Study shows that one cr litre of E10 biofuels saves 28 cr foreign exchange.
    With the policy target of 5% blending in petrol and diesel India aim to invest RS 4000 cr for infrastructure creation of biofuels. Also policy aim to strength the supply chain and distribution of biofuels. the
    However they are major concern which need to be seriously address.
    1. Supply for production of biofuel need be consistent which is agriculture dependent.
    2. Initial capital investment is high
    3. It leads to monoculture practise of single crop.
    4. Production of bio fuel required intense use of water.

    For India’s energy security production of biofuel rightly aimed. Further India needs to explore more option and policy initiatives on the line of countries like Brazil, China, Japan and south Korea.

    1. Good answer. You have covered almost all the parts of the question.

      In the second part of the question you need to explore how far the biofuels can meet India’s needs. You have the points written but are not very clear.

      link between climate change and agricultural decline (affecting food security) will add more weight to your answer.

      keep it up

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