Title: The viability of the South African biofuels industrial strategy

Authors: Alan C. Brent, Russell Wise, Henri Fortuin

Addresses: Sustainable Energy Futures, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), PO Box 320, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa. ' Environmental and Resource Economics, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), PO Box 320, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa. ' Environmental Management Services, Natural Resources and the Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), PO Box 320, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa

Abstract: South Africa aims to replace 2% of its total liquid transportation fuels in the short term through a newly introduced biofuels industrial strategy. It is envisaged that this target is achievable without excessive economic support by utilising surplus agricultural capacity. The target is based on local production, both agricultural and manufacturing, to provide the benefits of employment, economic growth and black economic empowerment through the value chain. This paper reviews the viability of the strategy in terms of the following three main conditions of sustainability, i.e. environmental, social and economic macro-forces. Further research requirements are identified to address uncertainties and improve policy and decision making, pertaining to the management of a viable biofuels sector in South Africa. The recommendations for further research are categorised into the six focus areas of life-cycle analyses, strategic assessments, farming practices, economic incentives, adaptive management and technology management.

Keywords: bioenergy; renewable energy; national strategies; South Africa; biofuels; industrial strategy; agricultural capacity; surplus capacity; sustainability; sustainable development; employment; economic growth; black economic empowerment; value chain; life-cycle assessment; strategic assessments; farming practices; economic incentives; adaptive management; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2009.027144

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2009 Vol.39 No.1/2, pp.74 - 91

Published online: 16 Jul 2009 *

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