The Future of Biofuels in an Electrifying Global Transportation Sector: Imperative, Prospects and Challenges

Deepayan Debnath, Madhu Khanna, Deepak Rajagopal, David Zilberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Low carbon alternatives are an imperative for decarbonizing the transportation sector. There is growing interest in electrification of transportation but even with aggressive growth in sales, a significant share of transportation is expected to rely on liquid fuel by midcentury. Biofuels are appealing as low carbon fuels but those produced from food crops generate a food vs. fuel dilemma. We discuss the prospects for expanding biofuels, while mitigating the competition with food production though a transition to second generation biofuels from biomass as well as the potential for biotechnology to transform the agricultural sector globally to increase crop productivity and make biofuels and food production complementary. We highlight the role for policy, technological innovations, and institutions to achieve increased food and biofuel production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-582
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • Biofuels and bio-products
  • Biotechnology
  • Carbon mitigations
  • Electric vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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