Could Russia become a biofuel superpower?

This is a bit of a long shot but reading this report in the UK’s Daily Telegraph about Russia using big a good harvest as a foreign policy tool, got me thinking about the possibility of it becoming a biofuel superpower.

While the trust of the article is about a record wheat harvest, this paragraph sparked that thought.


Experts believe that Russia has huge potential for growth – millions of acres of farmland lie fallow and vast expanses of fertile land have never been farmed at all.



There would be hurdles to overcome, notably around the concepts of title and separations between the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government, but it might be a country that could develop a crop-based biofuels industry.


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4 Responses to Could Russia become a biofuel superpower?

  1. David B. Benson 2 October, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    Could.

    How do we encourage it?

  2. Pradeep 3 October, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Experts believe that Russia has huge potential for growth – millions of acres of farmland lie fallow and vast expanses of fertile land have never been farmed at all.

    I wonder what this will do to the organic carbon trapped in the soil.

    As an obligatory “Red Dawn” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dawn) reference, we might as well see history (not)emulating fiction.

  3. Simon Robinson 6 October, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    How about no-till sewing? It might take several years for the crops to overcome the local flora, but it would enable crops to be planted without disturbing the soil very much. That could help to make a big difference to the amount of carbon dioxide released. Of course it would need to be state funded at first (but that shouldn’t be impossible,given the amount of oil and gas that the country sits on).

    I’ve not seen Red Dawn, but I’ve heard about Trofim Lyenko (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trofim_Lysenko) on the In Our Time Podcast by Melvin Bragg. It’s available on iTunes and you can download the latest show here http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/ . I don’t think that planting land with boifuel crops would be any more disastrous for farming than some of his methods.

  4. David B. Benson 11 October, 2008 at 12:52 am #

    “Farming Makes a Comeback in Russia”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,583314,00.html

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