Bioenergy in Africa – Time for a Shift?

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Title: Bioenergy in Africa – Time for a Shift?
Abstract: Mankind has always depended on biomass to satisfy its basic needs for heating and cooking. This is still true today, especially for people in developing countriesi. Biomass still provides cooking fuel for 2,4 billion peopleii and a vast majority of African people depend on it for their energy needs. However, the increasing energy demand, the oen non sustainable extraction rates, inefficient production methods and hazardous usages lead to negative health impacts and other social and environmental implications. Simultaneously, several African countries are considered as future strongholds of modern bioenergy production, due to their perceived vast amounts of available land. Bioenergy is one of the major components of a sustainable energy future but as such it becomes a driver for increased land use. As a result, Sub-Saharan Africa is confronted with an increased need for biomass production both domestically and from other parts of the world, whether for electricity, transport or heat purposes. To secure a sustainable development of this resource requires strong local and regional governance. This paper analyses the barriers and conditions to successfully mainstream responsible bioenergy development in Africa and suggests a way forward for a sustainable development of the sector. Furthermore, it focuses on actions that governments and companies can take in order to ensure bioenergy sustainability. It also highlights some examples of positive moves. More comprehensive information on WWF’s global stance on bioenergy can be found in WWF’s Global Bioenergy Position Paperiv.
Subject: bioénergie; biocarburant; biomasse; développement durable; politiques; contexte africain; bioenergy; biofuel; biomass; sustainable development policies; Africa energie context
Publisher: 2IE, Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement
Date: 2010

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