Trees for sustainable energy
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Date and Time
9 October 2014 13:15 - 14:45
Current energy policies around the world are not sustainable. Unless greater use is made of energy from renewable sources, the global atmospheric temperature will greatly exceed 2 degrees celsius, leading to serious climate change. Trees are an abundant potential source of renewable energy. While tree-based biomass has been greatly exploited in developed countries, wood-based fuels are often associated with poverty and deforestation in developing countries. In fact, there is tremendous potential to increase the use of trees for energy throughout the world, not only in the form of fuelwood and charcoal, but also using woody biomass for electricity generation, processing seeds and fruits into biofuels, distilling wood products into ethanol, and (in the future) transforming cellulose and lignin into fuels. A major challenge is to do this sustainably, integrating energy production and food production and either reducing the impact on biodiversity or increasing habitat for biodiversity.