South Africa’s first Bio-atlas launched by the Department of Science and Technology has been welcomed by stakeholders as a critical resource in moving the country towards a low-carbon economy.
Aimed at assisting government in its efforts to increase the national energy resources, the Atlas indicates the potential of biomass as sources of alternative energy in the country, their geographic spread, proximity to infrastructure and potential end users.
The Minister said South Africa needed a policy on biomass in order to be able to meet future competing options on the potential of bio-energy in South Africa, to determine how preference should be given to food and medicines over animal feed, chemicals and materials.
Certain areas in the country are better for this kind of energy generation and the atlas points this out. In provinces like Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, thousands of people can benefit from job creation opportunities in the cultivation or harvesting sectors.
The Minister said that the lack of capacity and limited access to data at different spheres of government contributed to the delayed uptake of bioenergy in South Africa.
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