Identifying, Developing, and moving Sustainable Communities through
Application of Bioenergy for Energy or Materials: Future Perspective through
The demand for energy continued to outstrip supply and necessitated the development of biomass option. Residues were the most
popular forms of renewable energy and currently biofuel production became much promising. Agricultural wastes contained high
moisture content and could be decomposed easily by microbes. Agricultural wastes were abundantly available globally and could
be converted to energy and useful chemicals by a number of microorganisms. Compost or bio-fertiliser could be produced with the
inoculation of appropriated thermophilic microbes which increased the decomposition rate, shortened the maturity period and improved
the compost (or bio-fertiliser) quality. The objective of the present research was to promote the biomass technology and involved
adaptive research, demonstration and dissemination of results. With a view to fulfill the objective, a massive field survey was conducted
to assess the availability of raw materials as well as the present situation of biomass technologies. In the present communication, an
attempt had also been made to present an overview of present and future use of biomass as an industrial feedstock for production of
fuels, chemicals and other materials. We may conclude from the review paper that biomass technology must be encouraged, promoted,
invested, implemented, and demonstrated, not only in urban areas but also in remote rural areas.
Biomass resources, agricultural wastes, energy, environment, sustainable development.
The present review article makes an attempt to comprehensively
review various aspects of biomass energy sources, environment
and sustainable development. This includes all the biomass energy
technologies, energy efficiency systems, energy conservation
scenarios, energy savings and other mitigation measures necessary
to reduce emissions globally. An attempt has been made to review
the current literature regarding the ecological, social, cultural and
economic impacts of biomass technology. The environmental
problems are increasing. Nevertheless, some residues have
negative effects and should be treated to preserve a durable
environment. Hence, sensibility and legislative text to organise the
treatments of industry activities waste should be more reinforced.
At the beginning of the century, the humanity will have to take
up an important challenge to establish a sustainable environment
and consequently the well being of actual and coming generation.
The management of the industrial activities residues is classified
urgently in the list of challenge. Since the agro-alimentary
industries is growing fast with increased food production in order
to realise the food security for growing population. Technological
innovations are the support to obtain a final product that can be
recycled and used with a minimum of risking.
This study highlights the energy problem and the possible saving
that can be achieved through the use of biomass sources energy.
Also, this study clarifies the background of the study, highlights
the potential energy saving that could be achieved through use
of biomass energy source and describes the objectives, approach
and scope of the theme. The purpose of this study, however, is to
contribute to the reduction of energy consumption in buildings,
industry, and agriculture and identify biomass as an environmental
friendly technology able to provide efficient utilisation of energy
in the buildings sector, promote using biomass technology
applications as an optimum means of heating and cooling. Recent
attempts to stimulate alternative energy sources for heating and
cooling of buildings has emphasised the utilisation of the bio-
energy from agricultural residues, industry wastes, forestry and
other renewable energy sources
There is strong scientific evidence that the average temperature
of the earth surface is rising. This was a result of the increased
concentration of carbon dioxide (CO
), and other greenhouse gases
(GHGs) atmosphere as emitted by fossil fuels burning (Robinson,
2007; Omer, 2008). The global warming will eventually lead to
substantial changes in the world climate, which will, in turn, have
a major impact on human life and the environment. Energy use can
be achieved by minimising the energy demand, by rational energy
use, by recovering heat and the use of more green energies. This
will lead to fossil fuels emission reduction. This study was a step
towards achieving this goal. The adoption of green or sustainable
approaches to the way in which society is run is seen as an important
strategy in finding a solution to the energy problem. The key factors
to reducing and controlling CO
, which is the major contributor to
global warming, are the use of alternative approaches to energy
generation and the exploration of how these alternatives are used
today and may be used in the future as green energy sources.
Even with modest assumptions about the availability of land,
comprehensive fuel-wood farming programmes offer significant
energy, economic and environmental benefits. These benefits
would be dispersed in rural areas where they are greatly needed and
can serve as linkages for further rural economic development. The
nations as a whole would benefit from savings in foreign exchange,
from energy security, and socio-economic improvements. With a
nine-fold increase in forest plantation cover, the nation resource
base would be greatly improved. The non-technical issues, which
have recently gained attention, include: (1) Environmental and
ecological factors (e.g., carbon sequestration, reforestation and
revegetation). (2) Renewables as a CO
neutral replacement for
fossil fuels. (3) Greater recognition of the importance of renewable
energy, particularly modern biomass energy carriers, at the policy
and planning levels. (4) Greater recognition of the difficulties of
gathering good and reliable biomass energy data, and efforts to
improve it. (5) Studies on the detrimental health efforts of biomass
energy particularly from traditional energy users. There is a need
some further development to suit local conditions, to minimise
spares holdings, to maximise interchangeability both of engine
parts and of the engine application. Emphasis should be placed on
full local manufacture (Abdeen, 2008a).
Energy is an essential factor in development since it stimulates,
and supports economic growth and development. Fossil fuels,
especially oil and natural gas, are finite in extent, and should be
regarded as depleting assets. The efforts are oriented to new energy
sources. The clamour all over the world for the need to conserve
energy and the environment has intensified as traditional energy
resources continue to diminish whilst the environment becomes
increasingly degraded. Alternative energy sources can potentially
help to fulfill the acute energy demand and sustain economic
growth in many regions of the world. Bioenergy is beginning to
gain importance in the global climate change fight. The scope
for exploiting organic wastes as a source of energy is not limited
to direct incineration or refuse-derived fuels burning. Biogas,
biofuels and woody biomass are other forms of energy sources
that can be derived from organic waste materials. These biomass
energy sources have significant potential in the fight against
climate change (Abdeen, 2008b).
Conservation of energy and rationing in some form will however
have to be practised by most countries, to reduce oil imports
and redress balance of payments positions. Meanwhile, the
development and the application of nuclear power and some of the
traditional solar, wind, biomass and water energy alternatives must
be set in hand to supplement what remains of the fossil fuels. The
encouragement of greater energy use is an essential development
component. In the short-term it requires mechanisms to enable the
rapid increase in energy/capita, and in the long term we should
be working towards a way of life based on energy efficiency and
without the impairment of the environment or of causing safety
problems. Such a programme should as far as possible be based on
renewable energy resources (Abdeen, 2008c).
Large-scale, conventional, power plant such as hydropower has
an important part to play in development. It does not, however,
provide a complete solution. There is an important complementary
role for the greater use of small scale, rural based-power plants.
Such plant can be used to assist development since it can be made
locally using local resources, enabling a rapid built-up in total
equipment to be made without a corresponding and unacceptably
large demand on central funds. Renewable resources are
particularly suitable for providing the energy for such equipment
and its use is also compatible with the long-term aims.
2. METHODS, MATERIALS AND APPROACH :
With a view to fulfill the objective, a massive field survey was
conducted to assess the availability of raw materials as well as the
present situation of biomass technologies. The data were analysed.
Agricultural residues recycling helps to reduce the intensity of
use of natural resources, decreases the need for waste disposal,
decreases the specific energy consumption in manufacturing and
also provides reasonable levels of profits for those in the business.
This article highlights the potential energy saving that could be
achieved through use of biomass energy source. It also focuses
on the optimisation and improvement of the operation conditions.
In compiling energy consumption data it could be possible to
categorise usage according to a number of different schemes:
• Traditionalsector- industrial, transportation, etc.
• End-use- space heating, process steam, etc.
• Final demand- total energy consumption related to
automobiles, to food, etc.
• Energy source- oil, coal, etc.
• Energy form at point of use- electric drive, low temperature
The aim of any modern biomass energy systems must be :
• To maximise yields with minimum inputs.
• Utilisation and selection of adequate plant materials and processes.
• Optimum use of land, water, and fertiliser.
• Create an adequate infrastructure and strong research and development (R&D) base.
3. BIOENERGY DEVELOPMENT :
Bioenergy is energy from the sun stored in materials of biological
origin. This includes plant matter and animal waste, known as
biomass. Plants store solar energy through photosynthesis in
cellulose and lignin, whereas animals store energy as fats. When
burned, the above mentioned materials break down and release
energy exothermal energy, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), heat
and steam. The by-products of this reaction can be captured and
manipulated to create power, commonly called bioenergy. Biomass
is considered renewable because the carbon (C) is taken out of
the atmosphere and replenished more quickly than the millions
of years required for fossil fuels creation. The use of biofuels to
replace fossil fuels contributes to a reduction in the overall release
of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence helps to tackle
the global warming (Abdeen, 2008d).
The biomass energy resources are particularly suited for the
provision of rural power supplies and a major advantage is that
equipments such as flat plate solar driers, wind machines, etc., can
be constructed using local resources and without the high capital
cost of more conventional equipment. Further advantage results
from the feasibility of local maintenance and from the general
encouragement of the local manufacture in building up small
scale rural based industry. The available energy sources are listed
in Table 1. Currently, the ‘non-commercial’ woody fuels, crop
residues and animal dung are used in large amounts in the rural
areas of developing countries, principally for heating and cooking;
the method of use is highly inefficient.
Table 2 presented some renewable applications. Table 3 lists the
most important of energy needs. Table 4 listed methods of energy
Considerations when selecting power plant include the following:
• Power level- whether continuous or discontinuous.
• Cost- initial cost, total running cost including fuel, maintenance
and capital amortised over life.
• Complexity of operation.
• Maintenance and availability of spares.
• Life and suitability for local manufacture.
The internal combustion engine is one of the main contributors
in CO2 emissions worldwide and serious efforts are needed if our
planet is to counter the effects. Its increasing use in developing
world economies, leads to observe that the vehicles used in
order to keep our inner-city environments free from waste, litter
and grime should be at the forefront of developments in low-
emissions technology. Materials handled by waste management
companies are becoming increasingly valuable. Those responsible
for the security of facilities that treat waste or manage scrap will
testify to the precautions needed to fight an ongoing battle against
unauthorised access by criminals and crucially, to prevent the
damage they can cause through theft, vandalism or even arson.
Of particular concern is the escalating level of metal theft, driven
by various factors including the demand for metal in rapidly
developing economies such as India and China (Abdeen, 2008e).
There is a need for greater attention to be devoted to this field in the
development of new designs, the dissemination of information and
the encouragement of its use. International and government bodies
and independent organisations all have a role to play in biomass
energy technologies. The environment has no precise limits because
it is in fact a part of everything. Indeed, environment is, as anyone
probably already knows, not only flowers blossoming or birds
singing in the spring, or a lake surrounded by beautiful mountains.
It is also human settlements, the places where people live, work,
rest, the quality of the food eated by them, the noise or silence of
the street they live in. Environment is not only the fact that our cars
consume a good deal of energy and pollute the air, but also, that
we often need them to go to work and for holidays. Obviously man
uses energy just as plants, bacteria, mushrooms, bees, fish and rats
do (Figure 1). Man largely uses solar energy- food, hydropower,
wood- and thus participates harmoniously in the natural flow
of energy through the environment. But man also uses oil, gas,
coal and nuclear power. We always modify our environment with
or without this source of energy (Brain, and Mark, 2007). The
economic importance of the environmental issues is increasing,
and new technologies are expected to reduce pollution derived both
from productive processes and products, with costs that are still
unknown. This is due to market uncertainty, weak appropriability
regime, lack of a dominant design, and difficulties in reconfiguring
organisational routines. The degradation of the global environment
is one of the most serious energy issues (Abdeen, 2009a).
3.1. Energy Use and the Environment :
The range of adequate waste treatment technologies for bioenergy
production is growing. There are a number of key areas of
bioenergy from wastes including (but not limited to) biogas,
biofuels and bioheat. By considering bioenergy purposes, it is
important to take into account the overall emission of carbon in
the process of electricity production. Energy use is one of several
essential components for every country:
• The overall situation and the implications of increased energy
use in the future.
• The problem of the provision of power in rural areas, including
the consideration of energy resources and energy conversion
In addition to the drain on resources, such an increase in
consumption consequences, together with the increased hazards of
pollution and the safety problems associated with a large nuclear
fission programmes. It would be equally unacceptable to suggest
that the difference in energy between the developed and developing
countries and prudent for the developed countries to move towards
a way of life which, whilst maintaining or even increasing quality
of life, reduce significantly the energy consumption per capita.
Such savings can be achieved in a number of ways:
• Improved efficiency of energy use, for example environmental
cost of thermal insulation must be taken into account, energy
recovery, and total energy.
• Conservation of energy resources by design for long life and
recycling rather than the short life throwaway product and
systematic replanning of our way of life, for example in the field
Energy ratio (Er) is defined as the ratio of Energy content (Ec) of
the food product / Energy input (Ei) to produce the food.
Er = Ec/Ei (1)
3.2. Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
The atmospheric emissions of fossil fuelled installations are mostly
aldehydes (CH3CH2CH2CHO), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen
oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOx) and particles (i.e., ash) as
well as carbon dioxide. Table 5 shows estimates which include
not only the releases occurring at the power plant itself, but that
also cover fuel extraction and treatment, as well as the storage of
wastes and the area of land required for operation (Table 6). A
review of the potential range of recyclables is presented in Table 7.
Combined heat and power (CHP) installations are quite common
in greenhouses, which grow high-energy, input crops (e.g., salad
vegetables, pot plants, etc.). Scientific assumptions for a short-
term energy strategy suggest that the most economically efficient
way to replace the thermal plants is to modernise existing power
plants to increase their energy efficiency and to improve their
environmental performance (Pernille, 2004).
However, the wind power utilisation and the conversion of gas fired CHP plants to biomass would significantly reduce the
dependence on imported fossil fuels. Although a lack of generating
capacity is forecasted in the long-term, the utilisation of the
existing renewable energy potential and the huge possibilities for
increasing energy efficiency are sufficient to meet future energy
demands in the short-term (Pernille, 2004).
A total shift towards a sustainable energy system is a complex and
long process, but it can be achieved within a period of about 20
years. Implementation will require initial investment, long-term
national strategies and action plans. However, the changes will have
a number of benefits including: a more stable energy supply than at
present and major improvement in the environmental performance
of the energy sector, and certain social benefits (Figure 2). A vision
that focuses on methodologies and calculations based on computer
modelling can use:
• Data from existing governmental programmes.
• Potential renewable energy sources and energy efficiency im
• Assumptions for future economy growth.
• Information from studies and surveys on the recent situation in
the energy sector.
The main advantages with respect to energy, agriculture and
environment problems, are foreseeable both at national level and
at worldwide level and can be summarised as follows:
• Reduction of dependence on import of energy and related
• Reduction of environmental impact of energy production
(greenhouse effect, air pollution, and waste degradation).
• Substitution of food crops and reduction of food surpluses and
of related economic burdens; and development of new know-how
and production of technological innovation.
• Utilisation of marginal lands and of set aside lands and reduction
of related socio-economic and environmental problems (soil
erosion, urbanisation, landscape deterioration, etc.).
In some countries, a wide range of economic incentives and other
measures are already helping to protect the environment. These
• Taxes and user charges that reflect the costs of using the
environment, e.g., pollution taxes and waste disposal charges.
• Subsidies, credits and grants that encourage environmental
• Deposit-refund systems that prevent pollution on resource misuse
and promote product reuse or recycling.
• Financial enforcement incentives, e.g., fines for non-compliance
with environmental regulations.
• Tradable permits for activities that harm the environment.
District Heating (DH), also known as community heating can be
a key factor to achieve energy savings, reduce CO2 emissions
and at the same time provide consumers with a high quality heat
supply at a competitive price. The DH should generally only be
considered for areas where the heat density is sufficiently high to
make DH economical. In countries like Denmark DH may today
be economical even to new developments with lower density areas
due to the high level of taxation on oil and gas fuels combined with
the efficient production of the DH. To improve the opportunity for
the DH local councils can adapt the following plan:
• Analyse the options for heat supply during local planning stage.
• In areas where DH is the least cost solution it should be made
part of the infrastructure just like for instance water and sewage
connecting all existing and new buildings.
• Where possible all public buildings should be connected to the
• The government provides low interest loans or funding to
minimise conversion costs for its citizens.
• Use other powers, for instance national legislation to ensure the
most economical development of the heat supply and enable an
obligation to connect buildings to a DH scheme.
Denmark has broadly seen three scales of the CHP which where
largely implemented in the following chronological order (Pernille,
• Large-scale CHP in cities (>50 MWe).
• Small (5 kWe – 5 MWe) and medium-scale (5-50 MWe).
• Industrial and small-scale CHP.
Combined heat and power (CHP) installations are quite common
in greenhouses, which grow high-energy, input crops (e.g., salad
vegetables, pot plants, etc.). Most of the heat is produced by large
CHP plants (gas-fired combined cycle plants using natural gas,
biomass, waste or biogas). The DH is energy efficient because of
the way the heat is produced and the required temperature level
is an important factor. Buildings can be heated to temperature
of 21oC and domestic hot water (DHW) can be supplied with a
temperature of 55oC using energy sources that are most efficient
when producing low temperature levels (<95oC)> for the DH water.
Most of these heat sources are CO2 neutral or emit low levels.
Only a few of these sources are available to small individual
systems at a reasonably cost, whereas DH schemes because of the
plant size and location can have access to most of the heat sources
and at a low cost. Low temperature DH, with return temperatures
of around 30-40oC can utilise the following heat sources:
• Efficient use of the CHP by extracting heat at low heating value
• Efficient use of biomass or gas boilers by condensing heat in
economisers (Table 8).
• Efficient utilisation of geothermal energy.
• Direct utilisation of excess low temperature heat from industrial
• Efficient use of large-scale solar heating plants.
Heat tariffs may include a number of components such as:
connection charge, a fixed charge and a variable energy charge.
Also, consumers may be incentivised to lower the return
temperature. Hence, it is difficult to generalise but the heat practice
for any DH company no matter what the ownership structure can
be highlighted as follows:
• To create and maintain a develop plan for the connection of new
• To evaluate the options for least cost production of heat.
• To implement the most competitive solutions by signing
agreements with other companies or by implementing own
• To monitor all internal costs and with the help of benchmarking,
improve the efficiency of the company.
• To maintain a good relationship with the consumer and deliver
heat supply services at a sufficient quality.
Installing DH should be pursued to meet the objectives for
improving the environment through the improvement of energy
efficiency in the heating sector. At the same time DH can serve
the consumer with a reasonable quality of heat at the lowest
possible cost. The variety of possible solutions combined with the
collaboration between individual companies, the district heating
association, the suppliers and consultants can, as it has been in
Denmark, be the way forward for developing DH in the United
Kingdom. Implementation will require initial investment, long-
term national strategies and action plans. However, the changes
will have a number of benefits including: a more stable energy
supply than at present and major improvement in the environmental
performance of the energy sector, and certain social benefits
4. BIOMASS UTILISATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF
CONVERSION TECHNOLOGIES :
It is an accepted fact that renewable energy is a sustainable form
of energy, which has attracted more attention during recent years.
A great amount of renewable energy potential, environmental
interest, as well as economic consideration of fossil fuel
consumption. Sustainable energy is energy that, in its production
or consumption, has minimal negative impacts on human health
and the healthy functioning of vital ecological systems, including
the global environment. It is an accepted fact that renewable energy
is a sustainable form of energy, which has attracted more attention
during recent years. A great amount of renewable energy potential,
environmental interest, as well as economic consideration of fossil
fuel consumption and high emphasis of sustainable development
for the future will be needed. Explanations for the use of inefficient
agricultural-environmental polices include: the high cost of
information required to measure benefits on a site-specific basis,
information asymmetries between government agencies and
farm decision makers that result in high implementation costs,
distribution effects and political considerations (Wu, Boggess,
1999). Achieving the aim of agricultural and environmental
• Sustain the beauty and diversity of the landscape.
• Improve and extend wildlife habitats.
• Conserve archaeological sites and historic features.
• Improve opportunities for countryside enjoyment.
• Restore neglected land or features, and
• Create new habitats and landscapes.
The data required to perform the trade-off analysis simulation
can be classified according to the divisions given in Table 9.
These include overall system or individual plants, and the
existing situation or future development. The effective economic
utilisations of these resources are shown in Table 10, but their use is hindered by many problems such as those related to
harvesting, collection, and transportation, besides the sanitary
control regulations. Biomass energy is experiencing a surge in
an interest stemming from a combination of factors, e.g., greater
recognition of its current role and future potential contribution
as a modern fuel, global environmental benefits, its development
and entrepreneurial opportunities, etc. Possible routes of biomass
energy development are shown in Table 11.
The key to successful future appears to lie with successful
marketing of the treatment by products. There is also potential for
using solid residue in the construction industry as a filling agent
for concrete. Research suggests that the composition of the residue
locks metals within the material, thus preventing their escape
and any subsequent negative effect on the environment (Abdeen,
The use of biomass through direct combustion has long been, and
still is, the most common mode of biomass utilisation as shown
in Tables (9-11). Examples for dry (thermo-chemical) conversion
processes are charcoal making from wood (slow pyrolysis),
gasification of forest and agricultural residues (fast pyrolysis – this
is still in demonstration phase), and of course, direct combustion in
stoves, furnaces, etc. Wet processes require substantial amount of
water to be mixed with the biomass. Biomass technologies include:
The increased demand for gas and petroleum, food crops, fish and
large sources of vegetative matter means that the global harvesting
of carbon has in turn intensified. It could be said that mankind
is mining nearly everything except its waste piles. It is simply
a matter of time until the significant carbon stream present in
municipal solid waste is fully captured. In the meantime, the waste
industry needs to continue on the pathway to increased awareness
and better-optimisedbiowaste resources. Optimisation of waste
carbon may require widespread regulatory drivers (including strict
limits on the landfilling of organic materials), public acceptance
of the benefits of waste carbon products for soil improvements/
crop enhancements and more investment in capital facilities
(Abdeen, 2009c). In short, a significant effort will be required in
order to capture a greater portion of the carbon stream and put
it to beneficial use. From the standpoint of waste practitioners,
further research and pilot programmes are necessary before the
available carbon in the waste stream can be extracted in sufficient
quality and quantities to create the desired end products. Other
details need to be ironed out too, including measurement methods,
diversion calculations, sequestration values and determination of
acceptance contamination thresholds (Abdeen, 2009d).
4.1. Briquette Processes :
Charcoal stoves are very familiar to African society. As for the
stove technology, the present charcoal stove can be used, and can
be improved upon for better efficiency. This energy term will be
of particular interest to both urban and rural households and all
the income groups due to the simplicity, convenience, and lower
air polluting characteristics. However, the market price of the fuel
together with that of its end-use technology may not enhance its
early high market penetration especially in the urban low income
and rural households.
Briquetting is the formation of a charcoal (an energy-dense solid
fuel source) from otherwise wasted agricultural and forestry
residues. One of the disadvantages of wood fuel is that it is bulky
with a low energy density and is therefore enquire to transport.
Briquette formation allows for a more energy-dense fuel to be delivered, thus reducing the transportation cost and making the
resource more competitive. It also adds some uniformity, which
makes the fuel more compatible with systems that are sensitive to
the specific fuel input (Jeremy, 2005).
4.2. Improved Cook Stoves :
Traditional wood stoves can be classified into four types: three
stone, metal cylindrical shaped, metal tripod and clay type.
Another area in which rural energy availability could be secured
where woody fuels have become scarce, are the improvements of
traditional cookers and ovens to raise the efficiency of fuel saving.
Also, to provide a constant fuel supply by planting fast growing
trees. The rural development is essential and economically
important since it will eventually lead to better standards of living,
people’s settlement, and self sufficient in the following:
• Food and water supplies.
• Better services in education and health care.
• Good communication modes.
4.3. Biogas Technology :
Biogas technology cannot only provide fuel, but is also
important for comprehensive utilisation of biomass forestry,
animal husbandry, fishery, agricultural economy, protecting the
environment, realising agricultural recycling, as well as improving
the sanitary conditions, in rural areas. The introduction of biogas
technology on wide scale has implications for macro planning
such as the allocation of government investment and effects on the
balance of payments. Factors that determine the rate of acceptance
of biogas plants, such as credit facilities and technical backup
services, are likely to have to be planned as part of general macro-
policy, as do the allocation of research and development funds
(Hall, Scrase, 1998).
Biogas is a generic term for gases generated from the decomposition
of organic material. As the material breaks down, methane (CH4)
is produced as shown in Figure 3. Sources that generate biogas
are numerous and varied. These include landfill sites, wastewater
treatment plants and anaerobic digesters. Landfills and wastewater
treatment plants emit biogas from decaying waste. To date, the
waste industry has focused on controlling these emissions to our
environment and in some cases, tapping this potential source of
fuel to power gas turbines, thus generating electricity. The primary
components of landfill gas are methane (CH4), carbon dioxide
(CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The average concentration of methane
is ~45%, CO2 is ~36% and nitrogen is ~18%. Other components in
the gas are oxygen (O2), water vapour and trace amounts of a wide
range of non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs).
For hot water and heating, renewables contributions come from
biomass power and heat, geothermal direct heat, ground source
heat pumps, and rooftop solar hot water and space heating
systems. Solar assisted cooling makes a very small but growing
contribution. When it comes to the installation of large amounts of
the PV, the cities have several important factors in common. These
• A strong local political commitment to the environment and
• The presence of municipal departments or offices dedicated to the
environment, sustainability or renewable energy.
• Information provision about the possibilities of renewables.
• Obligations that some or all buildings include renewable energy.
4.4. Improved Forest and Tree Management
Dry cell batteries are a practical but expensive form of mobile fuel
that is used by rural people when moving around at night and for
powering radios and other small appliances. The high cost of dry
cell batteries is financially
constraining for rural households, but their popularity gives a good
indication of how valuable a versatile fuel like electricity is in rural
area. Dry cell batteries can constitute an environmental hazard
unless they are recycled in a proper fashion. Direct burning of fuel-
wood and crop residues constitute the main usage of biomass, as is
the case with many developing countries.
However, the direct burning of biomass in an inefficient manner
causes economic loss and adversely affects human health. In order
to address the problem of inefficiency, research centres around the
world have investigated the viability of converting the resource to
a more useful form, namely solid briquettes and fuel gas (Figure
4). Biomass resources play a significant role in energy supply in
all developing countries. Biomass resources should be divided into
residues or dedicated resources, the latter including firewood and
charcoal can also be produced from forest residues (Table 12).
Implementing measures for energy efficiency will increase at the
demand side and in the energy transformation sector. It is common
practice to dispose of this waste wood in landfill where it slowly
degraded and takes up valuable void space. This wood is a good
source of energy and is an alternative to energy crops. Agricultural
wastes are abundantly available globally and can be converted to
energy and useful chemicals by a number of microorganisms. The
success of promoting any technology depends on careful planning,
management, implementation, training and monitoring. Main
features of gasification project are:
• Networking and institutional development/strengthening.
• Promotion and extension.
• Construction of demonstration projects.
• Research and development, and training and monitoring.
4.5. Gasification Production :
Gasification is based on the formation of a fuel gas (mostly CO and
H2) by partially oxidising raw solid fuel at high temperatures in
the presence of steam or air. The technology can use wood chips,
groundnut shells, sugar cane bagasse, and other similar fuels to
generate capacities from 3 kW to 100 kW. Three types of gasifier
designs have been developed to make use of the diversity of fuel
inputs and to meet the requirements of the product gas output
(degree of cleanliness, composition, heating value, etc.). The
requirements of gas for various purposes, and a comparison between
biogas and various commercial fuels in terms of calorific value,
and thermal efficiency are presented in Table 13. Sewage sludge is
rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. It also contains
valuable organic matter, useful for remediation of depleted or
eroded soils. This is why untreated sludge has been used for many
years as a soil fertiliser and for enhancing the organic matter of
soil. A key concern is that treatment of sludge tends to concentrate
heavy metals, poorly biodegradable trace organic compounds and
potentially pathogenic organisms (viruses, bacteria and the like)
present in wastewaters. These materials can pose a serious threat to
the environment. When deposited in soils, heavy metals are passed
through the food chain, first entering crops, and then animals that
feed on the crops and eventually human beings, to whom they
appear to be highly toxic. In addition they also leach from soils,
getting into groundwater and further spreading contamination in
an uncontrolled manner (Levine, Hirose, 2005).
European and American markets aiming to transform various
organic wastes (animal farm wastes, industrial and municipal
wastes) into two main by-products:
A solution of humic substances (a liquid oxidate).
A solid residue.
Agricultural wastes are abundantly available globally and can
be converted to energy and useful chemicals by a number of
microorganisms. The organic matter was biodegradable to produce
biogas and the variation show a normal methanogene bacteria
activity and good working biological process as shown in Figures
5-7. The success of promoting any technology depends on careful
planning, management, implementation, training and monitoring.
Main features of gasification project are:
Networking and institutional development/strengthening.
Promotion and extension.
Construction of demonstration projects.
Research and development, and training and monitoring.
Biomass is a raw material that has been utilised for a wide variety
of tasks since the dawn of civilisation. Important as a supply of
fuel in the third world, biomass was also the first raw material in
the production of textiles. The gasification of the carbon char with
steam can make a large difference to the surface area of the carbon.
The corresponding stream gasification reactions are endothermic
and demonstrate how the steam reacts with the carbon char
H2O (g) + Cx (s) → H2 (g) + CO (g) + Cx-1 (s)
CO (g) + H2O (g) → CO2 (g) + H2 (g)
CO2 (g) + Cx (s) → 2 CO (g) + Cx-1 (s)
The sources to alleviate the energy situation in the world are
sufficient to supply all foreseeable needs. Conservation of energy
and rationing in some form will however have to be practised
by most countries, to reduce oil imports and redress balance of
payments positions. Meanwhile development and application of
nuclear power and some of the traditional solar, wind and water
energy alternatives must be set in hand to supplement what remains
of the fossil fuels.
The encouragement of greater energy use is an essential component
of development. In the short term it requires mechanisms to
enable the rapid increase in energy/capita, and in the long term
we should be working towards a way of life, which makes use of
energy efficiency and without the impairment of the environment
or of causing safety problems. Such a programme should as far as
possible be based on renewable energy resources.
5. APPLICATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS :
The following are discussed.
5.1. Bioheat Production :
Bioenergy is a growing source of power that is playing an ever-
increasing role in the provision of electricity. The potential
contribution of the waste industry to bioenergy is huge and
has the ability to account for a source of large amount of total
bioenergy production. Woody biomass is usually converted
into power through combustion or gasification. Biomass can be
specially grown in the case of energy crops. Waste wood makes
up a significant proportion of a variety of municipal, commercial
and industrial waste streams. It is common practice to dispose of
this waste wood in landfill where it slowly degraded and takes up
valuable void space. This wood is a good source of energy and it is
represents alternative to energy crops.
The biomass directly produced by cultivation can be transformed
by different processes into gaseous, liquid or solid fuels (Table
14). The whole process of production of methyl or ethyl esters
(biodiesel) is summarised in Figures 8-9.
5.2. Waste Policy in Context :
In terms of solid waste management policy, many NGOs have
changed drastically in the past ten years from a mass production
and mass consumption society to ‘material-cycle society’. In
addition to national legislation, municipalities are legally obliged
to develop a plan for handling the municipal solid waste (MSW)
generated in administrative areas. Such plans contain:
Estimates of future waste volume.
Measures to reduce waste.
Measures to encourage source separation.
A framework for solid waste disposal and the construction
and management of solid waste management facilities.
Landfilling is in the least referred tier of the hierarchy of waste
management options: waste minimisation, reuse and recycling,
incineration with energy recovery, and optimised final disposal.
The key elements are as follows: construction impacts, atmospheric
emissions, noise, water quality, landscape, visual impacts, socio-
economics and ecological impacts, traffic, solid waste disposal and
cultural heritage(Barton, 2007).
5.3. Energy from Agricultural Biomass :
The main advantages with respect to energy, agriculture and environment problems are foreseeable both at regional level and at
worldwide level and can be summarised as follows:
• Reduction of dependence on import of energy and related products.
• Reduction of environmental impact of energy production (green house effect, air pollution, and waste degradation).
• Substitution of food crops and reduction of food surpluses and of
related economic burdens.
• Utilisation of marginal lands and of set aside lands and reduction
of related socio-economic and environmental problems (soil erosion, urbanisation, landscape deterioration, etc.).
• Development of new know-how and production of technological
A study (Bacaoui, 1998) individuated on the basis of botanical,
genetical, physiological, biochemical, agronomical and technological knowledge reported in literature some 150 species potentially
exploitable divided as reported in Table 15
6. ROLE OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING POLICY :
Turning to chemical engineering and the experience of the chemical process industry represents a wakening up but does not lead to
an immediate solution to the problems. The traditional techniques
are not very kind to biological products, which are controlled by
difficulty and unique physico-chemical properties such as low mechanical, thermal and chemical stabilities. There is the question
of selectivity. The fermentation broths resulting from microbial
growth contain a bewildering mixture of many compounds closely
related to the product of interests. By the standards of the process
streams in chemical industry, fermenter is highly impure and extremely dilutes aqueous systems (Table 16).
The disadvantages of the fermentation media are as the following:
mechanically fragile, temperature sensitive, rapidly deteriorating
quality, harmful if escaping into the environment, corrosive (acids,
chlorides, etc.), and troublesome (solids, theological, etc.), and
expensive. Thus, pilot plants for scale-up work must be flexible. In
general, they should contain suitably interconnected equipment for:
fermentation, primary separation, cell disruption fractionalises and
clarifications, purification by means of high-resolution techniques
and concentration and dry. The effects of the chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs) molecule can last for over a century.
6.1. Fluidised Bed Drying :
An important consideration for operators of wastewater treatment
plants is how to handle the disposal of the residual sludge in a
reliable, sustainable, legal and economical way. The benefits of
drying sludge can be seen in two main treatment options:
• Use of the dewatered sludge as a fertiliser or in fertiliser blends.
• Incineration with energy recovery.
Use as a fertiliser takes advantage of the high organic content 40%-
70% of the dewatered sludge and its high levels of phosphorous
and other nutrients. However, there are a number of concerns
about this route including:
• The chemical composition of the sludge (e.g., heavy metals,
hormones and other pharmaceutical residues).
• Pathogen risk (e.g., SALMOELLA, ESCHERICHIA COLI,
prionic proteins, etc.).
• Potential accumulation of heavy metals and other chemicals in
Sludge can be applied as a fertiliser in three forms: liquid sludge,
wet cake blended into compost, and dried granules.
The advantages of energy recovery sludge include:
• The use of dewatered sludge is a ‘sink’ for pollutants such as
heavy metals, toxic organic compounds and pharmaceutical
residues. Thus, offering a potential disposal route for these
substances provided the combustion plant has adequate flue gas
• The potential, under certain circumstances, to utilise the
inorganic residue from sludge incineration (incinerator ash), such
as in cement or gravel.
• The high calorific value (similar to lignite) of dewatered sludge.
• The use of dewatered sludge as a carbon dioxide neutral substitute
for primary fuels such as oil, gas and coal
6.2. Energy Efficiency :
Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way of cutting carbon
dioxide emissions and improvements to households and businesses.
It can also have many other additional social, economic and health
benefits, such as warmer and healthier homes, lower fuel bills
and company running costs and, indirectly, jobs. Britain wastes
20 per cent of its fossil fuel and electricity use in transportation.
This implies that it would be cost-effective to cut £10 billion a
year off the collective fuel bill and reduce CO2 emissions by some
120 million tones CO2. Yet, due to lack of good information and
advice on energy saving, along with the capital to finance energy
efficiency improvements, this huge potential for reducing energy
demand is not being realised. Traditionally, energy utilities have
been essentially fuel providers and the industry has pursued
profits from increased volume of sales. Institutional and market
arrangements have favoured energy consumption rather than
conservation. However, energy is at the centre of the sustainable
development paradigm as
few activities affect the environment as much as the continually
increasing use of energy. Most of the used energy depends on finite
resources, such as coal, oil, gas and uranium. In addition, more than
three quarters of the world’s consumption of these fuels is used,
often inefficiently, by only one quarter of the world’s population.
Without even addressing these inequities or the precious, finite
nature of these resources, the scale of environmental damage will
force the reduction of the usage of these fuels long before they run
Throughout the energy generation process there are impacts on
the environment on local, national and international levels, from
opencast mining and oil exploration to emissions of the potent
greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in ever increasing concentration.
Recently, the world’s leading climate scientists reached an
agreement that human activities, such as burning fossil fuels
for energy and transport, are causing the world’s temperature
to rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has
concluded that ‘‘the balance of evidence suggests a discernible
human influence on global climate’’. It predicts a rate of warming
greater than any one seen in the last 10,000 years, in other words,
throughout human history. The exact impact of climate change
is difficult to predict and will vary regionally. It could, however,
include sea level rise, disrupted agriculture and food supplies and
the possibility of more freak weather events such as hurricanes and
droughts. Indeed, people already are waking up to the financial
and social, as well as the environmental, risks of unsustainable
energy generation methods that represent the costs of the impacts
of climate change, acid rain and oil spills. The insurance industry,
for example, concerned about the billion dollar costs of hurricanes
and floods, has joined sides with environmentalists to lobby for
greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Friends of the earth are campaigning for a more sustainable energy policy, guided by the
principal of environmental protection and with the objectives
of sound natural resource management and long-term energy
security. The key priorities of such an energy policy must be to
reduce fossil fuel use, move away from nuclear power, improve
the efficiency with which energy is used and increase the amount
of energy obtainable from sustainable, and renewable sources.
Efficient energy use has never been more crucial than it is today,
particularly with the prospect of the imminent introduction of the
climate change levy (CCL). Establishing an energy use action plan
is the essential foundation to the elimination of energy waste. A
logical starting point is to carry out an energy audit that enables
the assessment of the energy use and determine what actions to
take. The actions are best categorised by splitting measures into
the following three general groups:
(1) High priority/low cost
These are normally measures, which require minimal investment
and can be implemented quickly. The followings are some
examples of such measures:
• Good housekeeping, monitoring energy use and targeting waste fuel practices.
• Adjusting controls to match requirements.
• Improved greenhouse space utilisation.
• Small capital item time switches, thermostats, etc.
• Carrying out minor maintenance and repairs.
• Staff education and training.
• Ensuring that energy is being purchased through the most suitable
tariff or contract arrangements.
(2) Medium priority/medium cost
Measures, which, although involve little or no design, involve
greater expenditure and can take longer to implement. Examples
of such measures are listed below:
• New or replacement controls.
• Greenhouse component alteration, e.g., insulation, sealing glass
• Alternative equipment components, e.g., energy efficient lamps
in light fittings, etc.
(3) Long term/high cost
These measures require detailed study and design. They can be
best represented by the followings:
• Replacing or upgrading of plant and equipment.
• Fundamental redesign of systems, e.g., CHP installations.
This process can often be a complex experience and therefore the
most cost-effective approach is to employ an energy specialist to
6.3. Policy Recommendations for a Sustainable Energy
Sustainability is regarded as a major consideration for both urban
and rural development. People have been exploiting the natural
resources with no consideration to the effects, both short-term
(environmental) and long-term (resources crunch). It is also felt
that knowledge and technology have not been used effectively in
utilising energy resources. Energy is the vital input for economic
and social development of any country. Its sustainability is an
important factor to be considered. The urban areas depend, to a
large extent, on commercial energy sources. The rural areas use
non-commercial sources like firewood and agricultural wastes.
With the present day trends for improving the quality of life and
sustenance of mankind, environmental issues are considered highly
important. In this context, the term energy loss has no significant
technical meaning. Instead, the exergy loss has to be considered, as
destruction of exergy is possible. Hence, exergy loss minimisation
will help in sustainability. In the process of developing, there are
two options to manage energy resources: (1) End use matching/
demand side management, which focuses on the utilities. The
mode of obtaining this is decided based on economic terms. It is,
therefore, a quantitative approach. (2) Supply side management,
which focuses on the renewable energy resource and methods of
utilising it. This is decided based on thermodynamic consideration
having the resource-user temperature or exergy destruction as the
objective criteria. It is, therefore, a qualitative approach. The two
options are explained schematically in Figure 10. The exergy-
based energy, developed with supply side perspective is shown in
The following policy measures had been identified:
• Clear environmental and social objectives for energy market
liberalisation, including a commitment to energy efficiency and
• Economic, institutional and regulatory frameworks, which
encourage the transition to total energy services.
• Economic measures to encourage utility investment in energy
efficiency (e.g., levies on fuel bills).
• Incentives for demand side management, including grants for
low-income households, expert advice and training, standards for
appliances and buildings and tax incentives.
• Research and development funding for renewable energy
technologies not yet commercially viable.
• Continued institutional support for new renewables (such as
standard cost-reflective payments and obligation on utilities to
• Ecological tax reform to internalise external environmental and
social costs within energy prices.
• Planning for sensitive development and public acceptability for
Energy resources are needed for societal development. Their
sustainable development requires a supply of energy resources
that are sustainably available at a reasonable cost and can cause no
negative societal impacts. Energy resources such as fossil fuels are
finite and lack sustainability, while
renewable energy sources are sustainable over a relatively longer
term. Environmental concerns are also a major factor in sustainable
development, as activities, which degrade the environment, are not
sustainable. Hence, as much as environmental impact is associated
with energy, sustainable development requires the use of energy
resources, which cause as little environmental impact as possible.
One way to reduce the resource depletion associated with cycling
is to reduce the losses that accompany the transfer of exergy to
consume resources by increasing the efficiency of exergy transfer
between resources, i.e., increasing the fraction of exergy removed
from one resource that is transferred to another (Erlich, 1991).
As explained above, exergy efficiency may be thought of as a more
accurate measure of energy efficiency that accounts for quantity and
quality aspects of energy flows. Improved exergy efficiency leads
to reduced exergy losses. Most efficiency improvements produce
direct environmental benefits in two ways. First, operating energy
input requirements are reduced per unit output, and pollutants
generated are correspondingly reduced. Second, consideration of
the entire life cycle for energy resources and technologies suggests
that improved efficiency reduces environmental impact during
most stages of the life cycle. Quite often, the main concept of
sustainability, which often inspires local and national authorities
to incorporate environmental consideration into setting up energy
programmes have different meanings in different contexts though it
usually embodies a long-term perspective. Future energy systems
will largely be shaped by broad and powerful trends that have
their roots in basic human needs. Combined with increasing world
population, the need will become more apparent for successful
implementation of sustainable development (Aroyeun, 2009).
Heat has a lower exergy, or quality of energy, compared with work.
Therefore, heat cannot be converted into work by 100% efficiency.
Some examples of the difference between energy and exergy are
shown in Table 17.
Carnot Quality Factor (CQF) = (1-To/Ts)
Exergy = Energy (transferred) x CQF
Where To is the environment temperature (K) and Ts is the
temperature of the stream (K).
The terms used in Table 17 have the following meanings:
Various parameters are essential to achieving sustainable
development in a society. Some of them are as follows:
• Public awareness.
• Environmental education and training.
• Innovative energy strategies.
• Renewable energy sources and cleaner technologies.
• Monitoring and evaluation tools.
Improving access for rural and urban low-income areas in
developing countries must be through energy efficiency and
renewable energies. Sustainable energy is a prerequisite for
development. Energy-based living standards in developing
countries, however, are clearly below standards in developed
countries. Low levels of access to affordable and environmentally
sound energy in both rural and urban low-income areas are therefore
a predominant issue in developing countries. In recent years many
programmes for development aid or technical assistance have been
focusing on improving access to sustainable energy, many of them
with impressive results (Omer, 2006).
Apart from success stories, however, experience also shows that
positive appraisals of many projects evaporate after completion
and vanishing of the implementation expert team. Altogether, the
diffusion of sustainable technologies such as energy efficiency
and renewable energies for cooking, heating, lighting, electrical
appliances and building insulation in developing countries has
been slow. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes
could be more sustainable and pilot studies more effective and
pulse releasing if the entire policy and implementation process
was considered and redesigned from the outset. New financing
and implementation processes are needed which allow reallocating
financial resources and thus enabling countries themselves to
achieve a sustainable energy infrastructure. The links between
the energy policy framework, financing and implementation
of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects have to be
strengthened and capacity building efforts are required.
7. RESULTSAND SUMMARY :
Alternatively energy sources can potentially help fulfill the acute
energy demand and sustain economic growth in many regions of
the world. Bioenergy is beginning to gain importance in the global
fight to prevent climate change. The scope for exploiting organic
waste as a source of energy is not limited to direct incineration or
burning refuse-derived fuels. Biogas, biofuels and woody biomass
are other forms of energy sources that can be derived from organic
waste materials. These biomass energy sources have significant
potential in the fight against climate change. Recently, there are
many studies on modern biomass energy technology systems
published (Bhutto, Bazmi, Zahwdi 2011; Cihan G, Dursun, Bora,
Vegetation and in particular forests, can be managed to sequester
carbon. Management options have been identified to conserve
and sequester up to 90 Pg C in the forest sector in the next
century, through global afforestation (Singh, 2008; Duku, 2009).
For efficient use of bioenergy resources, it is essential to take
account of the intrinsic energy potential. Despite the availability
of basic statistics, many differences have been observed between
the previous assessments of bioenergy potential (Cheng, 2010;
On some climate change issues (such as global warming), there
is no disagreement among the scientists. The greenhouse effect is
unquestionably real; it is essential for life on earth. Water vapour
is the most important GHG; followed by carbon dioxide (CO2).
Without a natural greenhouse effect, scientists estimate that the
earth’s average temperature would be –18oC instead of its present
14oC (Kothari, Singal, Rakesh, Ranjan, 2011). There is also no
scientific debate over the fact that human activity has increased
the concentration of the GHGs in the atmosphere (especially CO2
from combustion of coal, oil and gas). The greenhouse effect is
also being amplified by increased concentrations of other gases,
such as methane, nitrous oxide, and CFCs as a result of human
emissions. Most scientists predict that rising global temperatures
will raise the sea level and increase the frequency of intense rain
or snowstorms (Andrea, Fernando, 2012).
Globally, buildings are responsible for approximately 40%
of the total world annual energy consumption. Most of this
energy is for the provision of lighting, heating, cooling, and air
conditioning. Increasing awareness of the environmental impact
of CO2, NOx and CFCs emissions triggered a renewed interest
in environmentally friendly cooling, and heating technologies.
Under the 1997 Montreal Protocol, governments agreed to phase
out chemicals used as refrigerants that have the potential to
destroy stratospheric ozone. It was therefore considered desirable
to reduce energy consumption and decrease the rate of depletion
of world energy reserves and pollution of the environment.
One way of reducing building energy consumption is to design
buildings, which are more economical in their use of energy
for heating, lighting, cooling, ventilation and hot water supply.
Passive measures, particularly natural or hybrid ventilation rather
than air-conditioning, can dramatically reduce primary energy
consumption. However, exploitation of renewable energy in
buildings and agricultural greenhouses can, also, significantly
contribute towards reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore,
promoting innovative renewable applications and reinforcing the
renewable energy market will contribute to preservation of the
ecosystem by reducing emissions at local and global levels.
8. CONCLUSION :
The move towards a low-carbon world, driven partly by climate
science and partly by the business opportunities it offers, will
need the promotion of environmentally friendly alternatives, if an
acceptable stabilisation level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is to
be achieved. The biomass energy, one of the important options,
which might gradually replace the oil in facing the increased
demand for oil and may be an advanced period in this century.
Any county can depend on the biomass energy to satisfy part of
local consumption. Development of biogas technology is a vital
component of alternative rural energy programme, whose potential
is yet to be exploited. A concerted effect is required by all if this
is to be realised. The technology will find ready use in domestic,
farming, and small-scale industrial applications. Support biomass
research and exchange experiences with countries that are advanced
in this field. In the meantime, the biomass energy can help to save
exhausting the oil wealth. The diminishing agricultural land may
hamper biogas energy development but appropriate technological
and resource management techniques will offset the effects.
Even with modest assumptions about the availability of land,
comprehensive fuel-wood farming programmes offer significant
energy, economic and environmental benefits. These benefits
would be dispersed in rural areas where they are greatly needed
and can serve as linkages for further rural economic development.
The nations, as a whole would benefit from savings in foreign
exchange, improved energy security, and socio-economic
improvements. With a nine-fold increase in forest – plantation
cover, the nation’s resource base would be greatly improved. The
international community would benefit from pollution reduction,
climate mitigation, and the increased trading opportunities that
arise from new income sources. Furthermore, investigating the
potential is needed to make use of more and more of its waste.
Household waste, vegetable market waste, and waste from the
cotton stalks, leather, and pulp; and paper industries can be used
to produce useful energy either by direct incineration, gasification,
digestion (biogas production), fermentation, or cogeneration.
Therefore, effort has to be made to reduce fossil energy use and to
promote green energies, particularly in the building sector. Energy
use reductions can be achieved by minimising the energy demand,
by rational energy use, by recovering heat and the use of more green
energies. This study was a step towards achieving that goal.
adoption of green or sustainable approaches to the way in which
society is run is seen as an important strategy in finding a solution
to the energy problem. The key factors to reducing and controlling
CO2, which is the major contributor to global warming, are the use
of alternative approaches to energy generation and the exploration
of how these alternatives are used today and may be used in the
future as green energy sources. Even with modest assumptions
about the availability of land, comprehensive fuel-wood farming
programmes offer significant energy, economic and environmental
benefits. These benefits would be dispersed in rural areas where
they are greatly needed and can serve as linkages for further rural
economic development. The nations as a whole would benefit
from savings in foreign exchange, improved energy security,
and socio-economic improvements. With a nine-fold increase in
forest – plantation cover, a nation’s resource base would be greatly improved. The international community would benefit from
pollution reduction, climate mitigation, and the increased trading
opportunities that arise from new income sources.
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