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Modelling of the domestic energy system based on biomass energy in rural areas in Southern Africa
Volkswagen Stiftung

Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Rationelle Energieanwendung (IER) Universität Stuttgart, Germany (Coordinator)

Department of Geography and Environmental Management University of Johannesburg (UniJo), South Africa

School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences University of Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa

Energy Research Center (ERC) University of Cape Town, South Africa

Renewable Energy Sources and Technology Research Group (RETRG) Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique

Department of Metallurgy and Mineral Processing School of Mines (MMP) University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia


Biomass, mostly in form of charcoal, is the predominant source of bioenergy in households with low income of rural areas in southern Africa. Due to rising population growth and persistent poverty pressure on the forest increases. Problem solutions must come from integrated view with participation of all stakeholder groups.

In the proposed project substantial information gaps with regard to consumption structures as well as obstacles and use options are investigated. Model-supported analyses under use of an advanced model approach contribute to an improved problem view. Strategies for a sustainable development are pointed out. Apart from externalities and price structures also qualitative socio economic factors are incorporated in the analyses. Also an integrated coupling of the energy model with a biomass model takes place using remote sensing to investigate land use pattern and woodland dynamics.

The knowledge transfer to the decision-making processes will be achieved by participation models. The research network with three institutes from South Africa, one from Mozambique and one from Zambia as well as two German institutes with specific knowledge in the areas modelling, bioenergy and socio economics ensures the academic education of the PhD students involved by the common analysis of research questions as well as an intensive scientific exchange within southern Africa and between southern Africa and Germany.


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