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Bioethanol in Africa: The Case for Technology Transfer and South-South Co-operation

October 2016 Working Paper- International Renewable Energy Agency

Summary: Sugarcane bioethanol is currently the most cost-effective commercial biofuel and has the highest energy balance of all commercial bioethanol. The sugarcane bioethanol production and delivery system consists of several components. These include sugarcane production, sugar processing, conversion of raw sugar to bioethanol and related by-products, research, distribution, technical and financial support services, and commercialisation and exportation (see Figure ES1). All these elements have great potential to increase the involvement of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), brighten job prospects and growth opportunities, and improve market stability, diversity and business capabilities.

This report on Bioethanol in Africa: A Case for Technology Transfer and South-South Cooperation looks at the important role sustainable biofuels have to play in Africa’s development. Sugarcane bioethanol is currently the most cost-effective commercial biofuel and has the highest energy balance. How will this affect the continent? This report benefited greatly from the contributions of Dolf Gielen, Maria Ayuso, Francisco Boshell, Claudia Do Valle and Linus Mofor (IRENA).

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