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Potential of biomass energy for electricity generation in sub-Saharan Africa

Dasappa, S (2011) Potential of biomass energy for electricity generation in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Energy for Sustainable Development, 15 (3, SI). pp. 203-213.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2011.07.006


The paper explores the biomass based power generation potential of Africa. Access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is about 26% and falls to less than 1% in the rural areas. On the basis of the agricultural and forest produce of this region, the residues generated after processing are estimated for all the countries. The paper also addresses the use of gasification technology - an efficient thermo-chemical process for distributed power generation - either to replace fossil fuel in an existing diesel engine based power generation system or to generate electricity using a gas engine. This approach enables the implementation of electrification programs in the rural sector and gives access to grid quality power. This study estimates power generation potential at about 5000 MW and 10,000 MW by using 30% of residues generated during agro processing and 10% of forest residues from the wood processing industry, respectively. A power generation potential of 15000 MW could generate 100 terawatt-hours (TWh), about 15% of current generation in SSA. The paper also summarizes some of the experience in using the biomass gasification technology for power generation in Africa and India. The paper also highlights the techno economics and key barriers to promotion of biomass energy in sub-Saharan Africa. (C) 2011 International Energy Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Energy for Sustainable Development
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords: Energy access;Biomass resources;Biomass gasification;African region
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2011 05:59
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2011 05:59
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/42296

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