BIO ENERGY SECTOR ECONOMICS
The global consumption of non-renewable resources has accelerated to a point that threatens the world in social, economic and environmental terms and is gradually leading to energy insecurity and climate change which must be addressed through many approaches and in all world regions. In Mauritius, yet found to contain no fossil fuel reserves, the exploitation of renewable energy resources is increasingly being considered as a pivotal solution to reduce the country’s high dependence on imported fossil fuels for meeting its increasing energy needs and simultaneously addressing key environmental concerns.
Given that energy demand would generally continue to increase with sustained economic development and on the other hand supply is getting scarcer and more costly, locally available renewable energy resources could to a certain or even large extent relieve the pressure on the use of imported fossil fuels and the local economy.
The integration of arundo donax production for supply of energetic biomass feedstock creates an additional agricultural sector activity thus boosting further economic growth while providing employment to the farmer community. Many planters have abandoned their land or are no longer able to cultivate with acceptable returns.
The low cost and simplified farming methods linked to the culture of arundo donax will allow these planters to retrieve sustainable attractive income and to again generate profits from their land. This in turn will secure long-term interest from local farmers to produce arundo donax feedstock for Equilibre to produce its renewable energy in the form of biofuels and electrical power. Marginal or less desirable agricultural land may still be suitable for growing the naturally adaptable arundo donax energy plant and can generate revenues. Such opportunity will assure support from both the Mauritian Government and its rural community.