Myths and Facts about Bioenergy in Africa

March 11, 2013 |

In the Netherlands, PANGEA (Partners for Euro African Green Energy) is launching today a booklet outlining Myths and Facts about Bioenergy in Africa. The brochure is intended to demystify the manipulated data and misinformation that is often used to describe bioenergy in sub-Saharan Africa.

Download the report here.

The publication presents real facts about bioenergy in sub-Saharan Africa while demystifying the wrong assumptions that are often claimed against this sector. PANGEA maintains an objective approach and wants to make sure the real benefits of bioenergy in Africa are highlighted as well as the real causes of failed projects.

In the Myths and Facts, numbers show that actual biofuels production in Africa is so small that it is unfair to blame the whole sector for food insecurity and land grabbing. Data in the brochure, for example, demonstrates that only 0,05% of global biofuels are produced on the continent while just 2% of European imports of denatured ethanol from 2009 to 2011 came from sub-Saharan Africa.

“The facts laid out in this new brochure are aimed at showing the truth about bioenergy in Africa, rather than the lies and manipulated data promoted by anti-biofuels groups in an attempt to destroy biofuels in Europe, Africa and around the world,” said PANGEA’s Secretary General Meghan Sapp at the launch of the brochure.

“Constantly bashing bioenergy, rather than making sure it is produced sustainably just introduces doubt and fear into would-be investors and project developers,” said Sapp. “It is absolutely irresponsible of organizations who claim to promote economic development yet try to smear one of the few real opportunities to achieve the kind of results needed by these communities.”

The document also highlights how women can benefit from sustainable biofuels, both in rural and in urban areas and how land grabbing is not a result of demand for biofuels but is actually due to weak land tenure systems in African countries along with topics related to water use, and biodiversity.

PANGEA closely works with the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Group of States and regional/national governments in Africa to develop their biofuels strategies and facilitating their relations with the EU. Since 2011, PANGEA has been a Champion of the GACC (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves) and members of the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA). PANGEA is partnering with both Bonsucro and RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels) to ensure biofuels production is carried out in a sustainable way.

In other Bonsucro news, Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), a leading renewable chemicals company, Amyris announced that it has become the first advanced biofuels and chemicals company of its kind to join Bonsucro, paving the way for certification of Amyris’s renewable products.

“Amyris is committed to delivering No Compromise renewable products that enable sustainable growth for our customers. Bonsucro has emerged as a respected certification standard for sugarcane products, and membership paves the way for assuring our growing and diverse customer base of the sustainability of our supply chain,” said Joel Velasco, Amyris’s Senior Vice President.

“With our certification system recognized under the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive and the 26 Bonsucro-certified sugarcane mills in Brazil, Bonsucro certified volumes are set to grow. We welcome Amyris’s leadership to broaden the scope of second-generation renewable products that could be certified under Bonsucro,” said Nick Goodall, Bonsucro’s Chief Executive Officer.

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