Sugar is produced by pressing out the juice from sugarcane & then boiling it into crystals. This process was developed in India around 500 BC. The sugarcane cultivation is believed to have originated in New Guinea, and was spread along routes to Southeast Asia and India. Brazil and India are the largest producer and producer-consumer of sugar respectively. India is the second largest producer of sugarcane next to Brazil. In 2008, the production in Brazil was 645,300,182 tonnes & India was 348,187,900 tonnes. India contributes about 12% of world sugar production and has annual sugar production capacity of 23 million tonnes with a total investment of $11000 million. Presently, about 4 million hectares of land is under sugarcane production. The average yield is around 70 tonnes per hectare. India now has 453 working sugar factories with an average capacity of 3500 TCD (tonnes crushed per day). There has been an increase in the volume of free international trade in sugar, which provides an excellent means of increasing exports. In India over 45 million tonnes of sugar is being traded each year. Sugar production is not the only business of the Indian industry, but it also has a diversified business of power generation and ethanol production. The country has been producing about 1.7 billion liters of alcohol utilizing 75-80% molasses, which is a by-product of sugar production in the country. In 1993, Molasses and alcohol-based industries were decontrolled, but currently are being controlled by state governments.

The Government on India is proposing to introduce mandatory blending of ethanol in transport fuels to the extend of 5%.This means that the major transport fuel providers like IOC,BPCL and other will have to ensure that 5% of the petrol they sell will be mixed with 5% ethanol.The US is the biggest user of mandatory blending which has recently come under harsh criticism.The reasons given for supporting blending is that it reduces the requirements of fossil fuels which leads to lower carbon emissions,improves energy security and reduces pollution.However none of these advantages are seen in real life.In fact it has the massively negative consequence of increasing food prices which leads to the starvation of the poor globally.The Corn Industry in the USA has become a major lobbying force which makes the US government persist with the policy resulting in sharp increase in corn prices to the detriment of consumers.

Algae Based Biofuels have been hyped in the media as a potential panacea to our Crude Oil based Transportation problems. Algae Based Biofuels as a Green Investing Opportunity is still some years away as the technology is still quite nascent.Despite a lot of hoopla and a number of IPO’s with synthetic biofuels as business,large scale commercial production and profits are still some time away.However the promise of this technology to revolutionize the Fossil Fuel powered Transportation Sector is Huge.Large Oil and Gas is already positioning itself in a small way to take advantage of this opportunity.Shell has been the biggest investor in Biofuels with a $12 Billion tie up with Brazilian Sugar Giant Cosan.The advantages of Algae Biofuels are being propagated by strong backers like Bill Gates ,Rockefeller family and Exxon Mobil.The main advantages of algae based biofuels are Efficient Land Usage,Reduction in Global Warming affect and ability to be directly used in vehicles and aircraft.However Algae Biofuel Technology is still quite immature despite startups like Solazyme,Algenol,Sapphire Energy and Synthetic Genomics having made impressive strides.

Pseudo Green company Codexis which makes enzymes for use in the pharma and biofuel industry managed a strong performance on Friday to close up 8% higher from its IPO prices of $13. Like the other green IPO A123 Systems this company does not have great financials with losses in the last 2-3 years and prospective […]