Modelling electricity generation from sugarcane production system using systems dynamics

SOURCE: The nexus: energy, environment and climate change
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.S.Savious, Vries
SOURCE EDITOR(S): W.Leal Filho, D.Surroop
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10726

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Current global energy systems have proven unsustainable amid effects of the cumulative greenhouse emissions and climate change. The drive towards a low carbon future has precipitated the consideration of alternative energy sources. Among these sugar cane, grown widely in African countries, is known to be one of the most productive species in terms of its conversion of solar energy to chemical potential energy. However the supply of feedstock is limited to the harvest or crop season. More-so the sugarcane industry is faced with a plethora of threats and challenges. This paper seeks to broaden the understanding of the complexity in bio-electricity generation through a systems dynamics model. The model provides certain considerations for optimization of the energy value in sugarcane production systems. Among these is the use of trash as additive feedstock, and improvement in feedstock productions through enhanced sugarcane production systems. Apart from illustrating some of the policy considerations on land use change, sugarcane production, and improved technological efficiency the paper provides the effect on emission avoidance.