Supergen researcher to lead project looking at commercial viability of bioenergy systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Out of Africa

Mirjam Röder, from the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University, is set to lead the academic research component of the second phase of the Bioenergy for Sustainable Local Energy Services and Energy Access in Africa (BSEAA) programme, following a consortium appointment by The Carbon Trust. The project comes after a Phase 1 scoping study carried out during 2016 and 2017.

The consortium chosen to run the two-year research programme, part of the UK Department for International Development’s Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme, is led by LTS International with EBRI at Aston University, E4Tech (UK) and Aiguasol (Spain).

The project aims to understand better the role of bioenergy in supporting international development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), specifically Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa; South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique in Southern Africa; and, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.

Patricia Thornley and Katie Chong, also from EBRI and the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, will support the project with technical expertise and advice. Mirjam comments: “We’re very pleased to be involved in this project. The research we undertake will extend our reach and engagement internationally while addressing key global challenges.”

Calling all developers, investors and policymakers

BSEAA2 is targeted at bioenergy entrepreneurs, particularly technology and project developers, as well as investors and policy makers, to examine the commercial viability of bioenergy systems in SSA.

The research is designed to lead to the development of practical resources and tools that will assist industry and investors to assess the feasibility, use and applications of bioenergy systems. The research will focus on commercially trialled and mature bioenergy technologies (technology readiness level 5+) in the small-to-medium scale range suitable for commercial and productive uses of energy.

Project leaders will work closely with partners on the TEA programme, Energy Catalyst, Innovate UK and others who are either already active, or are interested in becoming active, in the bioenergy field in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The BSEAA2 team is seeking to engage with developers, investors and policymakers to identify key challenges in bringing bioenergy technology and projects to SSA markets and address questions such as:

    • Which bioenergy project and technology developers are operating in SSA or are looking to do so?
    • What obstacles do developers face, or anticipate they will face, in their efforts to invest and operate in SSA?
    • What support can help address these obstacles, identify opportunities and reduce the risk of investing in bioenergy technology and projects in SSA?

If you are interested in getting involved or giving your views, please get in touch with Ankit Agarwal at Ankit-agarwal@ltsi.co.uk or Mike Bess at dmbess@hotmail.com.