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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
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close this folderAbstracts on agroecology
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Rural common property resources: a growing crisis.
View the document2. Making haste slowly: strengthening local environmental management in agricultural development.
View the document3. Farming for the future: an introduction to low-external-input and sustainable agriculture.
View the document4. Public policies affecting natural resources and the environment.
View the document5. Human development and sustainability.
View the document6. Caring for the earth - a strategy for sustainable living.
View the document7. Agriculture and natural resources: a manual for development workers.
View the document8. Environmental guidelines for resettlement projects in the humid tropics.
View the document9. Saving the tropical forests.
View the document10. Values for the environment, a guide to economic appraisal.
View the document11. Alcohol fuels - options for developing countries.
View the document12. Diffusion of biomass energy technologies in developing countries.
View the document13 When aid is no help: how projects fail, and how they could succeed.
View the document14. Natural resources and the human environment for food and agriculture.
View the document15. World development report 1992 - development and the environment.
View the document16. Species interactions and community ecology in low external-input agriculture.
View the document17. Development strategies and natural resource management for humid tropical lowlands.
View the document18. Environmental management of the northern zone consolidation project in Costa Rica: strategies for sustainable development.
View the document19. Environmental assessment: the valles altos project in Bolivia.
View the document20. Environmental crisis in Asia-Pacific.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
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Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
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Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
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Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

12. Diffusion of biomass energy technologies in developing countries.

Publ. by National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., ISBN 0-309-03 442-6, 1984, 95 pp. + bibliography

This report is concerned with the factors that influence the introduction and diffusion of selected biomass-based renewable energy technologies in developing countries.

This book is also based on visits to seventeen developing countries in the course of this study to observe renewable energy projects. The countries are: Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Upper Volta. Selected observations based on these visits are incorporated into this report.

The technologies discussed in this book include the generation of biomass through fuelwood plantations and agroforestry and the use of biomass in improved cooking stoves, charcoal manufacture, thermal gasification, and the production of biogas and fuel alcohol. These were selected because of their relevance to agricultural productivity and the dependence of the poor on biomass as an energy source.

For each of these technologies, the technical, economic, social, and cultural factors affecting their introduction and diffusion are considered.

The report also covers the nature of the diffusion process, energy and development, needs of the rural and urban poor, the characteristics of the technologies, and their feasibility and acceptability by the poor.

Further, developing country experience with these technologies is briefly described, followed by conclusions and recommendations.

The term diffusion applies both to dissemination of information about a new technology and dissemination of the technology itself; for instance, new cooking stoves.

Meeting the energy needs of a country through biomass-based technologies will not in itself significantly reduce a nation's petroleum use. Most of the poor already rely heavily on biomass sources - firewood, charcoal, agricultural residues, and dung - and will probably continue to do so. The value of the various technologies described lies in increasing the availability of the materials currently in use, ensuring that they are used effectively, and providing alternative employment opportunities.

New technologies that mesh with indigenous systems of resource allocation, work organization, goods distribution, social and authority structures, and prevailing values and religious beliefs have the best chance for success.

Concluding, it can be stated amongst other that:


- All biomass-based energy technologies have inherent limitations in supplying national energy needs, and it is difficult for planners to make informed judgements about appropriate mixes of these technologies for different situations.

- Maintenance of the environment, revegetation, protection of forest resources, and diffusion of suitable biomass technologies are problems that are too large and complex to be tackled only by individuals and small communities. They must be the responsibility of society as a whole.

- Many aspects of biomass-based energy technologies are highly location-specific. A great deal of local experience with these technologies is required to make informed judgements about their potential to contribute to national energy budgets.

- Although the use of renewable energy technologies remains very limited compared with the needs, there are some striking examples of success.

Development assistance and funding agencies require predominantly economic information on the returns from investment in the proposed projects. To make assessments of funding needs for these technologies, however, technical feasibility studies will be required to provide data on benefits and returns at both the national and community level.

Technical and sociocultural details, in addition to economic data, will be necessary.

1143 92 - 5/119


Review, book, case studies, Asia, India, Philippines, Bangladesh,

Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mali, projects, developing countries, international cooperation, guidelines, IFAD


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