Is there a positive biofuel application for the poor?

Posted: April 9, 2009 in environment, science & technology, society
Tags: , ,

I have to admit: I hadn’t thought about it even though it could be an obvious solution: the generation of energy through biofuel micro-generators in poverty stricken regions of the globe. This could be viable especially where excess material is available that could be used for biofuel production without damaging the environment (such non-recyclable residuals from food production or environmentally sensible micro-farming of biofuel crops).

A new international study indicates that small-scale bioenergy plants can play a significant role in rural development for poorer nations.

FAOThe new report, “Small Scale Bioenergy Initiatives: Brief Description and Preliminary Lessons on Livelihood Impacts from Case Studies in Latin America, Asia and Africa,” was published jointly by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UK’s Department for International Development. The study covers 15 different “start-up” bioenergy projects from 12 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia involving a diverse array of technologies.

“The furious debate around bioenergy has largely concerned liquid fuels used for transport,” said Oliver Dubois, a bioenergy expert in FAO’s Natural Resources Department. “Yet more than 80 percent of bioenergy usage in the world involves other sources, mainly wood, which are used for basic household cooking and heating in poor areas of the world.”

According to FAO, concern over the impact these transportation biofuels will have on the environment, water resources and food security has obscured many of the positive benefits for poor rural people. The study shows a number of significant benefits of using new technologies for biomass-based rural energy, such as the creation of useful by-products such as affordable fertilizer from biogas production, the possibility of simultaneously producing food and fuel through intercropping, and the creation of new financial capital with growth cycles by making use of marginal land.

[Source: DomesticFuel]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s