UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


The role of bioenergy in Africa

2 October 2014

Africa Bioenergy Event J Tomei

Biomass is the main source of energy for most of southern Africa, but the rationale for bioenergy development differs from that in most developed countries.

In Africa, the real potential of bioenergy is for social and economic development without compromising the environment.  It is important that Africa’s vast resources are used to develop a bioenergy sector that is inclusive, socially acceptable and financially viable balanced with adequate and sustainable food production. 

In September, 18 early-career researchers from the UK and South Africa participated in a workshop to develop visions for integrated food/ fuel futures for southern Africa. 

Organised by the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the University of Stellenbosch, the workshop took place in Kruger National Park and Julia Tomei, a Research Associate at UCL ISR, was amongst those who attended.  The workshop provided an exciting opportunity for researchers to learn about the challenges facing bioenergy in southern Africa, and to develop innovative solutions to overcome them. 

It wasn’t all work, however - participants also visited the nearly TSB sugar mill, while night drives and bush walks provided ample opportunity to see the incredible wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, hyenas and rhinos. 

Report by Julia Tomei