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and a slow supply response, the question is whether bioenergy
producers can afford not to tackle these issues.”
Signaling an opportunity for a positive outlook he concluded:
“Initiatives in the U.K. and Denmark are showing that the busi-
ness case for agricultural residues in bioenergy projects can
work, on a relatively large scale, indicating the potential to repli-
cate similar projects across Europe.”
In considering a global forecast for bioenergy in the coming
years, a recent study from the International Renewable Ener-
gy Agency (IRENA) and the German Biomass Research Centre
(DBFZ) “Biomass Potential in Africa,” is perhaps instructive.
At IRENA’s behest, the DBFZ collected recent studies assessing
bioenergy potential in Africa, compared their various methodol-
ogies, benchmarked the results, and identifed the key elements.
The organization concluded that the studies show an enormous
range of calculated biomass potentials, for example representing
a productive area range of 1. 5 million to 150 million ha. Similar-
ly, the various assessments indicate a potential for energy crops
from 0 PJ/yr to 13,900 PJ/yr,
between 0 PJ/yr and 5400 PJ/
yr for forestry biomass, and 10
PJ/yr to 5254 PJ/yr for residues
and waste in Africa by 2020.
The analysis dryly
observes: “Due to the large
range in results present-
ed by the reviewed studies,
no defnite fgures regarding
the availability of biomass in
Africa can be provided.”
But then, as much in Afri-
ca as anywhere else, with
resources, demand, markets
and technology, like nature
itself, bioenergy really is a
world of possibilities. à