Oct 05, 2012
Biofuels lead to carbon reductionBack
Agriculture|Kyoto|Africa|CoAL|Industrial|Projects|Promethium Carbon|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|SECURITY|Sustainable|Africa|Europe|South Africa|United States|Electricity Grid|Energy|Energy Costs|Food|Products|Renewable Energy|Renewable Energy Sector|Harmke Immink|Karolina Euler|BIOFUELS|Renewable Energy Technologies
© Reuse this
However, the firm states that care should be taken to ensure the sustainability of the fuel source, be it biomass, biogas or bioliquid.
South Africa has a significant carbon footprint, as the country’s electricity grid is coal based.
Fostering the country’s renewable energy sector, using renewable energy as far as possible, being energy efficient and conducting a fuel switch to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and related products, will reduce CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile, the biggest challenge to South Africa’s implementation of bioenergy projects on a commercial scale is regulatory barriers, says Promethium Carbon director Harmke Immink.
The voluntary Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) framework under the Kyoto Protocol that encourages developing countries to implement emission-reduction projects to earn certified emissions reduction (CER) credits is one way to overcome this, she adds.
The CDM framework states that emission-reduction projects can earn CER credits, each equivalent to 1 t of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.
The CDM stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions.
Further, business associations that lobby for the responsible changing of regulations and the commitment by government to establish a low-carbon economy in South Africa are also ways to deal with CO2 emissions.
While biofuels for energy purposes reduce fossil-fuel consumption and reduce emissions, the main advantage of biofuels, compared with other renewable energy technologies, is the option to produce transportation fuels, says Promethium Carbon carbon adviser Karolina Euler.
The use of the CDM framework would assist in the adoption of commercial bioenergy projects in South Africa, however, as in most cases, bioenergy needs government support or funding to be economically viable. This is evident in Europe, where energy crop cultivation and end-user subsidies exist and in the US, where bioethanol is more expensive than mineral fuel.
In South Africa, the Biofuels Industrial Strategy, released by the former Department of Minerals and Energy in 2007, excluded maize as a feedstock, owing to such food security concerns. Grain sorghum, sugar cane and sugar beet were identified instead as possible feedstocks for local bioethanol production.
In the US, however, recent drought has caused maize and food prices to rise, which has sparked renewed interest in the country’s biofuels production debate.
Newswire Reuters reports that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation increased pressure on the US in August to change its biofuel policies, which incorporate maize as a feedstock, because of the danger of a world food crisis, arguing the importance of growing crops for food over their use for fuel, at times like these.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Biofuels News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.