Feasibility study of Biofuels energy exploitation for Southern Africa’s prosperity: Case study Zimbabwe
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The Southern Africa’s Economy is slowly re-emerging from a protracted period of economic decline (in particular Zimbabwe) due to the raise in exploitation of biofuels energy resources. The energy challenge is especially acute in the transport sector, as most vehicles will continue to rely on liquid fuels for the decennia to come. Diesel and petrol (gasoline), obtained from fossil oil, will gradually be replaced by renewable liquid fuels, which are called biofuels. Most of the Southern Africa Member States can grow most of energy crops. The ecology of the region can accommodate most crops. In some of the Member States land is still abundant e.g. in Angola, DRC, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe such that production of energy crops will not disturb food production. Agricultural research and the seed industry have untapped capacity to improve yields and productivity for all energy crops. The purpose of this desk study was to assess the feasibility for the production of biofuels in the Southern Africa Region. The study reveals that the current petroleum consumption in Southern Africa is about 0.7 million barrels a day. After refinery this produces roughly 12 million tones of diesel a year. If all of this were biodiesel region needs it could be met from 400 factories with a capacity of 30,000 tones a year each. The cost of such a plant is 40 to 50 million Euros9. The biofuels exploitation in the Southern Africa can completely change the living standard of the people. At macro-economic level, the production of biofuel could employ millions of rural labourers, thereby boosting economic growth. Moreover, most Member States can make huge savings on foreign exchange. The region’s energy sector will be less dependent on external vagaries, and exchange rates, and will produce clean energy, which in turn will yield Kyoto-bonuses.