Chapter 17
Bioenergy Realizing the Potential Now!
Semida Silveira
17.1. BEYOND THE BARRIERS TO BIOENERGY UTILIZATION
Bioenergy is the most important renewable energy so urce used in the world today.
It took time for this to be fully recognized which is reflected in the fact that,
only recently, efforts have been made to capture its importance in official statist ics.
Countries in different parts of the world have become more aware of the biomass
potential they possess and the ways in which it can be used to satisfy modern energy
needs and promote development. As a result, the status of bioenergy as an alterna-
tive solution to meet energy demand and mit igate climate change has improved.
We can be optimistic and say that we have reached a turning point. But we should
not be too optimistic as to believe that the future of biomass is given. Though we
have many scenarios that capture the biomass potential and indicate the importance
it can reach, we still lack a road map to take us there. Despite all the identified
advantages, bioenergy utilization has increased at a modest rate. Renewable energy
technologies are not competing on a level playing field due to subsidies to con-
ventional technologies, and disregard of negative impacts of fossil-fuel-based energy.
In this book, we have looked into ways through which the bioenergy potential can
be realized. We have seen how countries at different levels of development and with
different endowments can find ways to benefit from local biomass resources for both
energy provision and sustainable development. Biomass resources can be enhanced
through action in forestry and agriculture. Energy-related activ ities can not only
provide complemen tary income but can also improve the competitiveness of estab-
lished activities in these sectors. We have looked into policies, technologies and
creative ways to foster collaboration among countries towards the implementation
of global and local social and environmental agendas. Concrete examples of
bioenergy utilization and continued activities of research and development help to
understand and disseminate bioenergy solutions, improving technical expertise,
managerial practices and markets.
This chapter finalizes the book with some reflections about issues that need
further exploration and research in the short and medium run, and which are
223
Bioenergy Realizing the Potential
ß 2005 Dr Semida Silveira
Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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