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South Africa unveils map for bioenergy

South Africa: Thanks to the South Africa Bio-energy Atlas, South Africa will be able to identify opportunities for bioenergy and make strides towards a ‘green economy’.

At the atlas’ recent launch in Pretoria, the country’s Science and Technology minister said: “What the Bio-energy Atlas shows is that we have much higher potential for bio-energy than we ever thought,” she pointed out however, that it was important the country moved to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the green economy, saying: “We need to get off the starting line.”

The atlas is designed to work both as a data source and a decision support tool. It will identify the effects of climate change on the country and aim to ensure South Africa does not become a victim to them, but a contributor to sustainable development. Specifically, it is hoped the new atlas will contribute to securing a provision of sustainable, renewable energy.

Energy security is a vital issue for both the South African government and the country’s scientific community. In particular, this covers biomass as well as renewable energy such as solar power. The South African Earth Observation Network (SCEON) was commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology to develop the Bio-energy Atlas.