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This article appears to be a bit too positive to me, as the biofuels is going through a tough time right now, but as I have mentioned in an earlier post as well, biofuels have a bright future. Unless you believe that all cars will be running on batteries (electric vehicles are not as sustainable either as one might tend to think), you need a replacement for oil for those (almost) billion vehicles on our roads.

Imagine, a billion vehicles. Now open your eyes, it is reality – the world has almost a billion vehicles on its roads. And this can only increase.

According to Dr Alok Adholeya, director, biotechnology & management of bioresources, TERI, “currently almost 70 per cent of India’s crude oil requirement is imported, which is expected to increase to 90 per cent by 2030.” According to Aswathi Muralidharan in an article, “Opportunities in biofuels,” this massive dependence on imports coupled with the price volatility of oil, which has been fluctuating from the current $40 a barrel to $147 a barrel in the recent past, may lead to biofuels playing an important role in reducing our dependence on imports in future.

In this regard, our National Biofuels Policy mandates 20 per cent of all diesel and petrol demand to be met by using plant-based rather than fossil-based diesel by 2017. According to Deepak Desai of Business Brains Consultants, at present, India’s biofuel production is not even enough to cater to 5 per cent of the demand. Agreed. One reason for the pathetic performance on the production side is the lack of teeth for these mandates. Unlike the National Solar Mission which the government of India as well state governments are aggressively pushing forward and doing their best to stick to the mandates and deadlines, the National Biofuels Policy has been a  non-starter.

Still, if you are biotechnology professional or a chemical engineer or an agriculture major, keep your eyes open. This sector could wake up from its slumber and start growing any moment.

Also check out: EAI Consulting for Bio-energy & Biofuels, Bioplastics & Other Biomass-based Value Added Products