Indian National Biodiesel Promotion Plan Given a 'Quiet Burial'

colorful indian diesel truck photo

photo by mr.gears via flickr

Citing concerns about rising global grain prices, as well as potential land-grabs by large energy firms , a groups of Indian ministers has quietly shelved the National Mission on Biodiesel, The Economic Times reports. The program would have devoted 4 million hectares of land for cultivation of crops such as Jatropha, for the production of biodiesel, as well as investing $322 million.

The GoM [group of ministers] has recommended that the national mission on biodiesel of the ministry of rural development need not be pursued further," an official source close to the development said. The GoM, chaired by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, even rejected a modified proposal of the department of land resources (in the ministry of rural development) to launch the mission with reduced area and cost (for biofuel plantation).

Private Investment Continues
Considering that several firms are already doing a good deal of research and cultivation of Jatropha in India—recently Hindustan Petroleum announced it was expanding Jatropha cultivation—it remains to be seen what effect this development has on overall biodiesel production in India.

Less than a month ago, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh said that as part of a National Action Plan on climate change that a gradual shift towards renewable energy, in particular solar power, was needed.

via :: The Economic Times and :: Biofuels Digest
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