Energy is the driving force on our
planet. But the world is growing at two different speeds. Wealthy countries
consume more than 50% of the world’s total energy whereas the poorest countries
consume only 4% of it: 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity and
more than 2 billion depend on biomass stoves for heating and cooking.
Energizing Development project is co-funded by the European Commission and it is a
sensibilisation campaign at international level promoting new opportunities to
reduce this huge energy gap.
Energizing development deals with
two global challenges:
- Fight against poverty and
Millennium development Goals formulated by United Nation in 2000. Access to
renewable and sustainable energy is fundamental for poverty reduction, improved
health, gender equality and sustainable management of natural resources. Ensure
to every person the same right of living a decent, safe and healthy life.
Reduce poverty. Achieve sustainable development.
- Climate Change and Kyoto process. Energy use
is predicted to increase rapidly in many parts of the developing world, where
use of energy has been very low until now. In order to meet sustainability
goals, in particular the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions agreed under the
Kyoto Protocol, it is therefore essential to find ways of reducing emissions
and use green energy.
The Handbook on Biofuels and Family Agriculture in Developing Countries
is a key tool developed within Energizing development project, representing a
main asset for the general public and the specific stake holders living in
developing countries around the world. The Handbook covers a vast array of
topics, focusing on oils and bio-diesel produced from crop plants growing in
tropical and warm areas. In the first part, a general description of plant
characteristics, cycle and cropping technique is given for annual and perennial
oil crops. The technology in the process of oil extraction, storage and
eventual transformation into biodiesel is the second main area of the Handbook,
with particular emphasis in the advantages and disadvantages in oils and
biofuel use, and in the adherence to international standards. The third part of
the Handbook covers the social, economic and environmental issues: the food vs.
fuel controversy is addressed, and solution strategies are discussed. At last,
the environmental drawbacks determined by biofuels are analysed through a Life
Cycle Assessment approach, in order to indicate the least environmental