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China looks to biofuels to cut oil reliance

pumpCHINA WATCH China plans to up its use of biofuels to help reduce its reliance on petroleum, reports Reuters. It will use 2 million tonnes of bioethanol from non-grain feedstocks and 200,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year by 2010, it reckons.

The non-grain bit is the important part here, as the country grows alert to concerns about rising food prices and the need for arable land for crops:

Beijing’s plan also seeks to move away from corn, now the feedstock for most Chinese biofuel, amid concerns over supply security and food price inflation.

By 2020, China aims to use 10 million tonnes of bioethanol and 2 million tonnes of biodiesel, replacing 10 million tonnes a year of petroleum-based fuel, Chen Deming, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference.

“In the future, all the biofuel production will use non-grain crops,” Chen said.

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