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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/5367

Title: Biofuels and sustainability in Africa
Authors: Amigun, B
Musango, JK
Stafford, W
Keywords: Biofuels
Climate change
Environmental footprint
Renewable energy
African sustainability
Sustainable energy
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Amigun, B, Musango, JK and Stafford, W. 2011. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol 15(2), pp 1360-1372
Series/Report no.: Workflow request;5712
Abstract: The combined effects of climate change, the continued volatility of fuel prices, the recent food crisis and global economic turbulence have triggered a sense of urgency among policymakers, industries and development practitioners to find sustainable and viable solutions in the area of biofuels. This sense of urgency is reflected in the rapid expansion of global biofuels production and markets over the past few years. Biofuels development offers developing countries some prospect of self-reliant energy supplies at national and local levels, with potential economic, ecological, social, and security benefits. Forty-two African countries are net oil importers. This makes them particularly vulnerable to volatility in global fuel prices and dependent on foreign exchange to cover their domestic energy needs. The goal therefore is to reduce the high dependence on imported petroleum by developing domestic, renewable energy. But can this objective be achieved while leaving a minimal social and environmental footprint? A fundamental question is if biofuels can be produced with consideration of social, economic and environmental factors without setting unrealistic expectation for an evolving renewable energy industry that holds such great promise. The overall performance of different biofuels in reducing non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions varies when considering the entire lifecycle from production through to use. The net performance depends on the type of feedstock, the production process and the amount of non-renewable energy needed. This paper presents an overview of the development of biofuels in Africa, and highlights country-specific economic, environmental and social issues. It proposes a combination framework of policy incentives as a function of technology maturity, discusses practices, processes and technologies that can improve efficiency, lower energy and water demand, and further reduce the social and environmental footprint of biofuels production thereby contributing to sustainable development.
Description: Copyright: 2011 Elsevier. This is the Post print version of the work. The definitive version is published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol 15(2), pp 1360-1372
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136403211000362X
ISSN: 1364-0321
Appears in Collections:Sustainability science
Environmental management
Sustainable energy futures
Environmental and resource economics
General science, engineering & technology

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