Stagnating liquid biofuel developments in Russia: Present status and future perspectives

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It is widely acknowledged that Russia possesses enormous biomass resources (Hoogwijk et al., 2005). Its vast areas devoted to agricultural production and plentiful timber resources suggest good prospects for the development of liquid biofuel production. However, no significant advances in this direction have been reported till now. None of the numerous investment projects announced at the heydays of biofuel excitement in Russia (2006-2008) are at the moment commercially operating. There are no specialised plants for the production of bioethanol and biodiesel in Russia. Little is known of the reasons for this discrepancy between biofuel potential and actual development. In investigating this discrepancy, this article analyses national developments and investigates local dynamics through a case-study in the Omsk region. It is found that the reasons for this discrepancy are not related to technological incapabilities, but are to be found in the low policy and institutional priority given to non-fossil fuel exploitation and lack of market opportunities. Sprouts of second generation liquid biofuel technologies can be identified within the state system, but it remains to be seen how strong and how long these will be supported by the Russian state
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3320-3328
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • sustainability
  • energy

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