Sustainable Bioenergy - Chapter 3: Sustainable Bioenergy Development in Africa: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward

Elsevier, Sustainable Bioenergy, Advances and Impacts, 2019, Pages 49-87
Saidu Muhammad Maishanu, Abubakar Sani Sambo and Mahmoud Muhammad Garba

Energy has played an extremely important role in the technological and economic progress of all nations. The burning of harvested organic matter (biomass) remains the primary energy source for many people in developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, which is often unsustainable, inefficient, and leads to harmful emissions with serious health implications, deforestation, and high greenhouse gas emissions. Modern technologies can convert this organic matter into high energy fuels that can be efficiently used to provide electricity, heat, or used as transport fuels to replace fossil fuels. The levels of production and access to energy in the majority of African countries are inadequate and seriously constrain the economic development of these nations. This chapter reviews the prospects and constrains for bioenergy development in Africa. It looks at the long-standing concerns that the expansion of bioenergy may have severe negative impacts on biodiversity, security of food supply, deforestation, and land degradation. It also looks at some of the advantages of modern bioenergy, policies and other issues that will boost bioenergy feedstock production, energy security, agricultural production, and rural development in African countries that will, in future, ensure sustainable bioenergy production.