Biofuel solution wins leadership prize at South-South Expo

23 November 2012| Articles


A Brazilian initiative to promote biofuels in Mozambique, put forward by IRENA as an example of knowledge transfer worth emulating, took the prize for leadership at a global development conference on 23 November.

A Brazilian initiative to promote biofuels in Mozambique, put forward by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as an example of knowledge transfer worth emulating, took the prize for leadership at a global development conference on 23 November. IRENA helped innovative partnerships between developing countries to showcase their experience at the Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo 2012 in Vienna, Austria, highlighting the potential for growth based on renewable energy.

Panellists Cesar Cunha Campos and Marcos Matos of the Brazil’s Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) presented the feasibility studies that Brazil is undertaking with Mozambique on biofuel and food production, simultaneously addressing two key development concerns. FGV went on to win the South-South Cooperation Award for Leadership, awarded for promoting concrete solutions and inclusive partnerships for development.

The Brazilian foundation is working with Mozambique to undertake biofuel and food production feasibility studies to enable the sustainable production of biofuels, while also contributing to the overall development of the farming sector. The studies consider both the environment and social needs while identifying land suitable for food and bioenergy crops. Developing domestic biofuel in Mozambique will create access to a secure and clean source of energy, while reducing exposure to prices for imported fuel.

"Over the next generation, we need to undertake a massive investment in energy in Southern countries, in ways appropriate for their specific challenges,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, at the opening ceremony of the GSSD Expo 2012. “This means unleashing Southern creativity, fostering Southern cooperation, and supporting Southern business.”

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) hosted the 19-23 November conference, which included a “solutions forum” for sustainable energy organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with IRENA. The UNDP-IRENA forum highlighted six examples of successful south-south cooperation to expand sustainable energy use. Panellists with first-hand involvement presented innovative programmes that aim to advance the global development agenda and improve livelihoods in the Global South.

In another IRENA-sponsored presentation, Kwasi Boateng explained how his Ghana-based company, Wilkin Solar, made use of a business model originating in India to stimulate the rural market for renewable energy over the past year. He benefited from discussions on enabling entrepreneurship at an IRENA meeting in Bangalore, India, in 2011, he said.