South Africa’s first Bioenergy Atlas, launched by the Department of Science and Technology, has been welcomed by stakeholders as a critical resource in moving the country towards a low-carbon economy.
The atlas guides biomass availability in the country, such as feedstock, organic waste, a mix of agricultural and forestry residue, and how this can be turned into alternative energy in the country. Biomass power is carbon neutral electricity generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned or left as fodder for forest fires.
Certain areas in the country are better for this kind of energy generation and the atlas points this out. In provinces like Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal Limpopo, thousands of people can benefit from job creation opportunities in the cultivation or harvesting sectors.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor said that the lack of capacity and limited access to data at different spheres of government contributed to the delayed uptake of bioenergy in South Africa.
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