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Agro-Industries and Clean Energy in Africa

To, LS, Karekezi, S, Barnett, A, Batchelor, S, Mulugetta, Y, Leach, M and Kwapata, K (2014) Agro-Industries and Clean Energy in Africa In: 4th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, 2014-10-08 - 2014-08-10, Marrakech, Morocco.

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It is well recognised that agro-industries can make a substantial contribution to Africa’s sustainable energy supply; this paper and related research project explore the potential for agro-industries to contribute also to increasing rural access to modern energy services. Agro-industries already represent a major source of rural employment and are significant contributors to the economy of many sub-Saharan African countries. They constitute a major source of income for millions of small scale farming out-growers. Agro-industries may also have the financial and technical capabilities to overcome many of the common problems that bedevil new small and medium scale mini-grid enterprises. Tea, coffee and sugar estates already utilise energy for their processing, and in a few cases, supply energy for crop processing, rural clinics and schools for their employees within their estates. While some agro-industries already sell energy products including ethanol and electricity in national markets, agro-industries in sub-Saharan Africa could also provide energy to the local community surrounding their estate boundaries. However, their willingness to do this and the barriers that prevent their active participation in this market are not well understood. This paper will discuss some of the critical issues currently being explored by the Agro-Industries and Clean Energy in Africa (AGRICEN) research programme. • The paper argues that these agro-industries can usefully engage in the realm of sustainable energy supplies and the reduction of energy poverty in Africa. The paper draws lessons from the experience elsewhere, especially in Asia and Latin America, in highlighting the importance of agro-industries for the delivery of rural energy services. • The paper reviews the growing policy and regulatory experience in the promotion (and scaling-up) of renewable energy systems across Africa. This teases out the policy interactions in energy, industry and agriculture in some countries across Africa, and what implications these will have on the agro-industry sector to play a meaningful role in the provision of energy services. • The paper provides a preliminary analysis regarding the institutional and other barriers that may limit the contribution of the agro-industries to the mission of widening rural energy access. To this end, understanding the political economy context, innovation systems, financial landscape, and space for participation will be critical for overcoming barriers. • The papers locates the above discussion in the context of green economy strategies and climate policies that are gaining considerable traction in development policy across Africa. We provide some early analysis on the extent to which agro-industries as platforms for energy services fit within this emerging green economy/green growth discourse.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Karekezi, S
Barnett, A
Batchelor, S
Mulugetta, Y
Leach, M
Kwapata, K
Date : 8 October 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:30
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 18:39

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