Oct 05, 2012
Biofuels lead to carbon reductionBack
Agriculture|Kyoto|SECURITY|Africa|CoAL|Industrial|Projects|Promethium Carbon|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Security|Africa|Europe|South Africa|United States|Security|Electricity Grid|Energy|Energy Costs|Food|Products|Renewable Energy|Renewable Energy Sector|Security|Harmke Immink|Karolina Euler|Security|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 Renewable Energy News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has partnered with Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) professor and founder and CEO of PanAvest Partnership Dr Douglas Boateng to publish a series of books on executive supply chain management aimed at...
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010.
Rwanda has joined a number of East African countries seeking to import electricity from Ethiopia as its demand grows. After it became apparent several generation project it is implementing will not come on stream early enough, now plans to import 400 MW from Ethiopia...
Metrorail’s first new passenger train will arrive in November next year, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana. “Next year we will be able to put our hands around the infrastructure and equipment we have been talking about for so long.”
The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into what it says are “price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to original equipment manufacturers” (OEMs, or vehicle...