Biofuels in Asia - An analysis of sustainability options

Mar 2009

The purpose of this report is to provide an objective and comprehensive regional analysis summarizing the benefits and risks of biofuels development in Asia, and examining the distribution and use of biofuels through the lens of global climate change; biodiversity conservation; energy alternatives; food security; economic development; and local livelihoods. This report does not undertake a detailed evaluation of biofuels in comparison to other clean energy supply options for power generation and transport.
The primary focus of this report is on liquid biofuels for transport applications, and to a limited extent the report also assesses applications for power generation in decentralized contexts. The report examines first generation fuels derived from grains (e.g., corn, wheat, rice), starches (e.g., cassava), oil crops (e.g., oil palm, coconut, soy, and rapeseed), sugarcane, sweet sorghum, and non-food plants such as jatropha and pongamia; second-generation fuels (cellulosic ethanol) produced either from agricultural residue or from dedicated “energy crops” such as grasses and fast growing trees; and third-generation fuels, primarily focused on biodiesel produced from microalgae.
The report is intended to serve as a resource for decision-makers in the focus countries and to contribute to the ongoing national and international dialogue on biofuels development. It is not intended to offer prescriptive measures for countries, but rather to identify priority areas that may benefit from greater attention at the national, regional, and international levels. The report will also be used to inform the planning process for possible future activities funded by USAID that may address these challenges. It is hoped that the report will help inform the decision-making of other US Government agencies, multilateral development banks, and USAID partners.


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