Bioenergy for a locally led and people-centred economic recovery in developing countries

Suani T. Coelho, PhD

Professor at the Institute of Energy and Environment, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Developing countries are well-positioned to deliver sustainable and economically advantageous bioenergy systems, mainly after the dramatic impacts from COVID-19 pandemic on health and economy. Combined with agricultural production, bioenergy can help develop integrated supply chains and biorefining hubs, increasing the value added to local production. These arrangements also generate positive environmental impacts by reducing transport needs and unutilised residue production, and by allowing nutrient recycling for increased productivities using less carbon-intensive inputs. By strengthening local economic activity, bioenergy can help developing economies with job creation, which is central to recovery plans around the world following the pandemic. In addition, bioelectricity and biofuels have the potential to play an important role in decarbonising the energy supply while improving energy security, as they rely on available technologies and infrastructure. Therefore, realising bioenergy’s potential is a straightforward solution to help developing countries move towards achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and a strategy that puts local resources and people at the forefront of economic development.