National Seminar on Transition from Traditional Biomass to Modern Bioenergy in Malawi
02. October 2012
The National Seminar on Modern Bioenergy in Malawi was organized by the Fair Fuels? project members of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) jointly with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), The Department of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Government of Malawi, as well as the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).
Malawi continues to face challenges in accelerating degradation of forest resources due to increased reliance on traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating. At the same time, there is increased demand for imported fossil fuels to power automobiles, plant and machinery. The emergence of new technologies to produce biofuels offers the opportunity to reduce degradation of the forest resources, contribute to job creation along the value chain, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate against financial crisis through the reduction the volume of imported fossil fuels. Shifting to modern bioenergy addresses biomass scarcity and energy security at the same time, and can leverage carbon finance flows. The shift to modern bioenergy and the possibility of diverting food crops or land for energy production raises some concerns for food security. Bringing all these elements into a coherent strategy is a complex task that is still taking shape and would therefore benefit from more detailed analysis.
The main objective of the seminar was to share experiences to understand the prospects and challenges for harnessing opportunities offered by bioenergy based on solid research and practical experiences in Malawi with respect to bioenergy, agriculture, forestry and economic development. Specific objectives were to:
a) provide a forum where stakeholders can share relevant policy research findings, best practices and technologies that support investments and technology develop in bioenergy and biofuels;
b) sensitize stakeholders about policies that guide investments and technology development;
c) analyze constraints and opportunities for wider adoption of bioenergy to support economic development;
d) to facilitate dissemination of relevant policy research findings on bioenergy and biofuels conducted by national experts.
For further information please contact Michael Brüntrup or Raoul Herrmann.