Evaluating the Critical Role of Modern Bioenergy in the Transition to Low Carbon Development in Africa
Jumare, Ismail Abubakar
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Clean and improved energy access is of paramount importance to the African continent and the globe at large due to persistent increase in energy demand and the challenge of climate change. This paper is aimed at evaluating the critical role of modern bioenergy in the transition to low carbon development in Africa. This was done by focusing on the three fundamental energy end uses -i.e. power, transport fuel and heat- to see the status quo on the continent and then explore chances of scaling up the energy supply through full and efficient utilization of the biomass potentials for modern bioenergy, while at the same time lowering fossil fuel consumption for environmental and climate benefits. The results obtained with regards to 2014 power assessment showed that for a 50% reduction of fossil fuel uptake and replacement with 90% of the explored total biomass resources for bio-power will ensure electricity increase by 79.9% with a huge emission savings of 171MT; while with regards to 2030 power projection scenario showed an electricity increase by 43.46% with an emission savings of 194MT based on 25% reduction of fossil fuels and replacement with 90% of total biomass resource. With regards to transport fuel, 2013 base case analysis revealed that reduction of fossil based oils by 50% and a replacement with 90% of the total biomass resource for biofuels will ensure a transport fuel energy increase by 64.16% with a huge emission savings of 155MT; whereas on a 2030 projection scenario ensures transport fuel energy increase by 73.65% with a huge emission savings of 139MT. Lastly was the heating assessment which clearly showed that for industrial process heat assessment of 2011, lowering fossil fuel uptake by 50% and a replacement with 80% of the total biomass resource for bio-heat ensures a process heat increase by 224.16% with a huge emission savings of 55MT; whereas 2030 projection scenario ensures a process heat increase by 234.34% with a huge emission savings of 65MT. Hence, this is a clear indication that Africa as a continent is blessed with huge un-utilized Biomass resource of which when policies are set in place for their full utilization in a sustainable way as proposed, will assist tremendously in addressing the energy deficit of the continent.