SUSTAINABILITY CONSIDERATIONS IN BIOFUEL DEVELOPMENT IN SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA
Free (open access)
Volume 11 (2016), Issue 2
128 - 137
S. N. KULSHRESHTHA & E. MUSABA
With the last round of negotiations under the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) now completed, every country would be searching for avenues to meet the targets agreed upon in the COP. Among various options, biofuel development has historically been a preferred option in various countries and Canada (including Saskatchewan) is no exception to it. One of the major motivations of this development is to help the rural communities grow. Results of this study suggest that smaller rural economies in Saskatchewan do not grow under such an initiative, since they have a large degree of leakages. Thus, biofuel development helps more to larger nearby communities than smaller communities. Another aspect of rural development is increased farm level incomes. Both ethanol and biodiesel production activities indicate a favorable impact on farm net income in Saskatchewan. However, in order to develop sustainable biofuel program, some attention needs to be paid to other aspects. Included here are implications of such a development on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and land use changes, water use, subsidization and further stress on international food security. On the water use issue, examination needs to be made both for the feedstock used and production of biofuel. If the feedstock is through irrigated production, biofuel’s desirability on this count is reduced. Estimated GHG emissions from biofuel production studied in a life cycle assessment format, suggest a major reduction is possible, although they are slightly lower if the production of feedstock affects land use changes. Although the issue of food security in the context of Saskatchewan or Canada has not been raised, internationally such concerns could arise depending on the scale of expansion of such production in various countries.
biofuel, greenhouse gas emissions, saskatchewan, sustainable, water use