A Biopact post further to substantiate the idea that underdeveloped tropical and semi-tropical regions can be dominant players in the biofuels marketplace.
Mozambique's Agriculture Minister has confirmed his country has signed a huge $510 (€360) million deal with London-listed Central African Mining & Exploration Company Plc (CAMEC) to establish an energy plantation and to build a plant to produce 120 million liters of ethanol per year, as well as fertilizers. . . .
Mozambique has only recently begun to understand that it is a 'biofuel superpower'. Its agro-ecological resources allow for the production of a wide range of efficient energy crops, including eucalyptus, grasses, starch crops like cassava, or sugarcane and jatropha.
Analysts affiliated with the International Energy Agency estimate that the country can produce around 7 Exajoules of biofuels sustainably, that is roughly 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The country currently consumes around 590,000 tonnes of oil products per year, the bulk being diesel (IEA data). This equates to around 0.18EJ. Achieving full energy independence is well within reach, with capacity to spare to supply international markets.
When it comes to the availability of land for energy crops, the country currently uses around 4.3 million hectares out of a total of 63.5 million hectares of potential arable land, or 6.6 per cent. Moreover, some 41 million hectares of poor quality land are available for the production of energy crops that require few inputs and are not suitable for food production.
Read the complete Biopact post here.
There are many other tropical and semi-tropical countries that could equally contribute to our need for liquid fuels while improving their economic plight. I must repeat my disclaimer that I do not see biofuels as a complete replacement for oil. However it is an important part of reducing our dependence on oil producing countries and perhaps even more importantly on transitioning the world from ICE powered vehicles to one that depends largely on electrically powered vehicles, whether they be hybrids, plug-in hybrids or all electric vehicles where eventually renewable powered electricity will be dominant. We must be careful to do this in a sustainable way, not over-utilizing our land resources by unsustainable deforestation, causing erosion, excess fertilization or excess use of water.