This paper investigates the development of domestic and international demand for Indonesian palm oil, in line with national biofuel mandates and established export markets. Domestic demand for palm oil for (i) achieving biodiesel targets and (ii) meeting food and industrial uses will reach 20 million tonnes by 2025, equivalent to 61% of Indonesian production in 2014.
Thus, it is possible for Indonesia to be self-sufficient, reaching the biodiesel targets without increasing plantation areas. However, to meet both domestic and international demand, a total 51 million tonnes of crude palm oil will be needed in 2025. This requires additional land of up to 6 million hectares with current yields. The expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia has led to debates related to deforestation, threatened biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. We show that increasing agricultural yields could serve the purpose, benefiting biodiesel production while reducing the need for new land.
Therefore, we recommend that the ambitious Indonesian biodiesel mandates are pursued in combination with a strategy for increased productivity in palm oil production, utilization of degraded land to contain greenhouse gas emissions, and use of palm oil biomass residues for energy production.