Biofuels in sub-Sahara Africa: drivers, impacts and priority policy areas

Gasparatos, A. and Maltitz, G.P. von and Mathai, Manu and Willis, K.J. (2015) Biofuels in sub-Sahara Africa: drivers, impacts and priority policy areas. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 45. pp. 879-901.

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Abstract

There has been a growing interest in jatropha- and sugarcane-based biofuels across Sub-Sahara Africa. Biofuel expansion in the region reflects policy concerns related to energy security, poverty alleviation and economic development. However, biofuels have also been linked to numerous environmental and socioeconomic impacts such as GHG emissions, water availability/pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, poverty alleviation, energy security, loss of access to land and food security to name just a few. Yet there is (a) an insufficient understanding of these impacts (and their synergies) in Sub-Sahara Africa, and (b) a lack of policies that could regulate the biofuel sector and ensure its viability while at the same time preventing its negative impact. The aim of this literature review is to synthesize the current knowledge about biofuel impacts in Africa and to identify priority policy areas that should be targeted for enhancing biofuel sustainability in the continent. The findings of this review indicate that biofuel impacts can be positive or negative depending on several factors such as the feedstock, the environmental/socio-economic context of biofuel production, and the policy instruments in place during biofuel production, use and trade. In most cases there are significant trade-offs but at least part of the negative impacts can be mitigated through careful planning. The incomplete and piecemeal understanding of these trade-offs combined with agronomic, institutional and market failures are currently the most important barriers for the viability and sustainability of biofuel investments in the continent.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biofuels, Sub-Sahara Africa, Sugarcane, Jatropha, Sustainability impacts, Biofuel policies.
Subjects: Social sciences > Economics > Production > Sustainable development
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Depositing User: Mr. Krishnamoorti Chavan
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2018 04:09
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 04:53
Related URLs:
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/301
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.02.006

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