As oil prices continue to rise and with climate change mitigation high on the agenda, targets and strategies for bioenergy are gaining momentum. Bioenergy will likely and inevitably play an important role in the future energy mix as we transition from a fossilfuel economy to an energy-efficient, renewables-based energy system. While governments are making commitments, parts of civil society are raising alarm bells. Rapid expansion of biofuels without adequate concern to risks and side-effects can indeed create many serious problems. However, the current debate seems dominated by extreme viewpoints – from those seeing it as panacea for energy security to others seeing it as potentially causing a global famine and environmental mega-disaster. This paper looks at some of the major concerns and opportunities of bioenergy, and makes innovative recommendations for policies to harness this potential whilst minimizing the downsides.