Solid biofuels production from energy crops in Colombia: challenges and opportunities
Journal article, 2016
Building on an extensive literature review that included peer-reviewed publications, grey literature, national statistics, official reports, and regulations enacted by the Colombian government, this paper identifies opportunities, challenges, and constraints faced by solid biofuels production from energy crops in Colombia. Our findings suggest that the solid biofuels industry currently lacks policy regulations and an adequate research framework. The paper notes the industry's market potential and addresses its dependency on a legal framework, political willingness, and technological developments. The legal framework includes land ownership formalization, job regulations, and the definition of environmental and administrative permits. Political willingness relates to governmental policies and financial incentives based on environmental and sustainability criteria, which can make the sector competitive compared to other energy sources at the local and international market scales. The technological aspects include public and private support for research and development programs and a strategic analysis of industry-specific requirements for infrastructure, conversion, and transportation within a life cycle assessment framework. The preliminary land-use analysis suggests the potential availability of land for solid biofuels production in the Caribbean, Andean, Inter-Andean Valley, and Orinoco regions. Furthermore, the results show that solid biofuels production can potentially supply internal demand and play a role in international markets with strategic development and government support.