Potential social lifecycle impact analysis of bioenergy from household and market wastes in African cities
Mount Royal University, Faculty of Science & Technology, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary T3E 6K6, Canada
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Bioenergy is touted as a viable source of stable and affordable energy in a number of remote sub-urban centres. This study evaluates the potential social lifecycle impacts of bioenergy production from household wastes and agri-wastes in some African cities. The assessment considered the use of rotten and unsold fruits, vegetables and other related agri-wastes from central open markets in Lagos and Johannesburg as case studies. The 2009 UNEP/SETAC’s social lifecycle assessment (sLCA) guidelines and the associated sLCA methodological sheets are used to evaluate the potential social impacts of bioenergy production from agri-waste on operators/workers, the consumers, the value chain, and the local community. Preliminary results showed that it will provide a lot of benefits such as alternative employment opportunities, improved profits for small businesses, waste minimization, cleaner environment and improved communal health. It will also lead to improvement in energy supply, and alleviation of poverty. However, care has to be taken to protect the bio-digestion facility’s neighbourhood from unpleasant odour, rodents and other organisms that may attempt to feed on the rotting agri-waste. The outcome of this study provides an insight to the necessity for the development of appropriate bioenergy policy/regulation and for the need to take preemptive steps to eliminate/minimize potential negative consequences of bioenergy production on the stakeholders.