Improving woodfuel governance in Burkina Faso: The experts' assessment

AREVALO J. 2016. Improving woodfuel governance in Burkina Faso: The experts' assesment. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Volume 57, May 2016, Pages 1398–1408 doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.12.178. 
Over 80% of Sub-Saharan population depend on woodfuels as their main energy source, mainly firewood and charcoal. In Burkina Faso, despite the absence of reliable studies, this dependency is expected to continue and even increase in the next decades. With some of the highest annual population increments and lowest indexes of human development in the world, Burkina Faso is also among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. This study examines the challenges of governance, production and use of woodfuels in Burkina Faso on the basis of an extensive literature review and the views elicited through 13 in-depth interviews with local experts. With poverty as the underlying driver, agricultural expansion is identified as the principle driver of deforestation, followed by woodfuel production. Intensification of agriculture, agroforestry practices and promotion of on non-timber forest product businesses are some of the key opportunities recognised. While decentralisation is seen as an opportunity for sustainable resource management, the lack of resources, unclear tenure regime and corruption need to be urgently addressed. An improved management system in the Forest Management Units is also needed to avoid forest degradation. The 20 concrete recommendations made in the study should be further investigated for their consideration in a future wood energy strategy.
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Firewood truck bound to Ouagadougou

Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Bioenergy: Global policy implications

HALDER, P., AREVALO J., MOLA-YUDEGO, B. GRITTEN, D. 2015. Stakeholders’ perceptions of bioenergy- global coverage and policy implications. In: Reddy BS and Ulgiati S (Eds.), Energy Security and Development – The Global Context and Indian Perspectives. pp. 377-391. Springer. ISBN: 978-81-322-2064-0. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2065-7_25

Development of bioenergy systems is gaining momentum globally and bioenergy stakeholders are numerous and their perceptions are diverse. The study explored perceptions of bioenergy stakeholders by reviewing scholarly literature and complementing and validating them against primary data. The number of publications on stakeholders’ perceptions of bioenergy is increasing while geographical focus and stakeholder analysis vary considerably. Among the stakeholders, biomass producers, public, and experts are widely studied groups while the least explored are students and private developers. The majority of the studies have been conducted in North America and Europe, which indicate the importance of bioenergy in their energy policies and the role of stakeholders to influence bioenergy development in those countries. The study found that the stakeholders’ perceptions of bioenergy were not uniform and varied considerably even within a particular stakeholder group. More support for second- and third-generation biofuels is apparent compared to corn-based ethanol production. Factors such as age, gender, education, income level, and land ownership appear to influence stakeholders’ perceptions of bioenergy. The paper recommends raising awareness of bioenergy among different stakeholders and involving them while planning future bioenergy projects to improve their perceptions of bioenergy and reduce the chances of opposition. There is also a need for enhancing collaboration between renewable energy and educational policies so that young students become aware of bioenergy and can act as agents of change in our quest for renewable energies.

Springer [link]
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Substituting fossil fuel by biofuels: an economic model perspective from the Nordic region

Substituting fossil fuels by more environmentally friendly alternatives requires the use of several economic tools that include taxes and subsidies. However, their efficient use implies several challenges: How to measure quantitatively the impact of those tools in the substitution process? This recent publication aims at exploring the effects of these external factors that regulators can use for the promotion and establishment of forest-based fuels, by using a theoretical model for the Nordic sphere.

KHANAM T, MATERO J, MOLA-YUDEGO B, SIKANEN L, RAHMAN, A. 2014. Assessing external factors on substitution of fossil fuel by biofuels: model perspective from the Nordic regionMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. doi:  10.1007/s11027-014-9608-x

The aim of this study is to develop a theoretical model by which to demonstrate how taxes and subsidies work as external factors to substitute fossil fuel by a forest-based biofuel. For biofuels, this study predominantly considers solid-form biomass that generates electricity; for fossil fuels, it considers coal. The model results explicated with three states by using various numeric values taken from the literature. Three states are as follows: a situation without a tax and subsidy, a situation with a biofuel subsidy, and a situation with a biofuel subsidy and a fossil fuel tax. The results of the first state exemplify current fuel market situation; those of the second indicate that the aggregate demand for biofuel has shifted upwards by around 15 % and that substitution has increased by around 18 % due to biofuel subsidies being offered. Under the third state, aggregate biofuel demand has shifted upwards by around 19 %, reduced the demand for fossil fuels by around 13 %, and increased substitution by around 31 %. This state relates to a greater sense of social welfare than other two states. It is conceivable that the joint application of taxes and subsidies will succour biofuel to supplant fossil fuel in the near future.

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change at Springer Link [link]
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