A review of sustainable development of bioenergy in Africa: An outlook for the future bioenergy industry

Ambali A. ; Chirwa P.W. ; Chamdimba O. ; van Zyl W.H. (2011)


The paper reviews the progression in biofuels development in Africa focusing on the current situation, promising feedstock options, potential markets, environmental concerns and existing opportunities. The paper highlights the gradual development of biofuels in Africa through the first generation and the prospects of second generation lignocellulosic feedstocks which offer a better option because of the absence of competition with food security. However, it is argued that the limited uptake of these innovations is in part due to poor planning and financing arrangements. Suggestions are advanced on how some of the challenges and opportunities can be exploited including policies that can promote the development of pro-poor biofuels in order to protect the interest of local farmers while addressing environmental concerns about carbon footprint in the promotion of biofuels and preservation of biodiversity. It is also argued that the vast underutilized land in sub-Saharan African present opportunities that can be realised from the carbon markets through the clean development mechanism. The paper concludes with a call to facilitate the process of developing modalities for instituting PES including procedures of the CDM that can accommodate developing countries. © 2011 Academic Journals.

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