Development of biofuels in South Africa: Challenges and opportunities

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Biofuels have a potential to extend and diversify South Africa's energy supply, thus reducing dependence on imported fuels and pollution levels. Despite several biofuel policies and mandates, biofuel development in South Africa has stalled in the legislative process and no large scale commercial biofuel project has materialized yet. Developing biofuels, especially using food grains, is a big challenge to the government of South Africa due to issues related to food security, commodity prices, economic and social concerns, and impacts of land use changes on the environment. The production cost of feedstock and employment creation opportunities from agricultural production play a vital role in selecting suitable feedstock for the region. Since considerable investment and infrastructure will be required for continued supply of feedstock and efficient biomass conversion technologies, rigorous research and comprehensive studies are required to identify feedstock and technologies best suited for the successful establishment of biofuel industry in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1100
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Biofuels
  • Food versus fuel
  • Land use change
  • Social and economic
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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