ENERGY and Power Development secretary Partson Mbiriri says the government should come up with policies that guide the development of bio-fuels in the country in order to strike a balance between food and energy production.
Report by Business Reporter
This comes as the government has stepped up efforts to promote the use of ethanol blend by approving the use of E85 that is suitable for flexi-fuel vehicles only, as the cost of fuel continues to rise.
Speaking at a quality bio-fuel framework stakeholders’ workshop in Harare last Thursday, Mbiriri said, government objectives in the bio-fuel project was to ensure energy security, import substitution, development of agriculture and reduction in environmental emissions.
“Bio-fuels development should be guided because if it is not carefully implemented, it can put upward pressure on food prices, increase greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbate degradation of land, forests, water sources and ecosystems and jeopardise the livelihood security of individuals immediately dependent on natural resource base,” said Mbiriri.
“Bio-fuels development is, therefore, an area that requires involvement of stakeholders in order to fully address the complexity of issues that are involved.”
Mbiriri said the development of biofuels was one of the key policy objectives of the government as enunciated in the National Energy Policy of 2012.
“The development of bio-fuels will bring about import substitution which will reduce foreign currency expenditure on imports of petroleum products,” he said.
Mbiriri said the government was committed to the programme of bio-fuels development and the development of a national bio-fuels policy.
He said liquid bio-fuels could provide a much-needed substitute for fossil fuels in the transport sector.
Hart Energy senior vice-president Tammy Klein said the use of ethanol blend in Africa was still in its infancy, adding that there was no success story of ethanol use in Africa.
She said currently South Africa was developing a project for buses to start using E100 on a trial basis.