SOUTHERN AFRICA: Sugarcane is ideal energy crop

Installation of cogeneration systems at Southern Africa's sugar factories could result in 550 GWh of electricity, displacing four to eight percent of the region's electricity demand.

Sugarcane resources in Southern Africa is published in Issue 35 of Tiempo magazine, a journal produced by the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, UK.

The article’s author – Francis Johnson of the Stockholm Environment Institute – argues that sugarcane represents an ideal energy crop for Southern Africa because it is “a highly diversified resource, offering alternatives for production of food, feed, fibre and energy. Such flexibility is valuable in the developing world where fluctuations in commodity prices and weather conditions can cause severe economic hardships”.

Johnson argues that modern cogeneration systems could increase energy outputs from sugarcane factories by 10 times, allowing up to 90% of the energy produced to be sold to other industries or the grid.

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