Not quite the end for Jatropha? Assessing the financial viability of biodiesel production from Jatropha in Tanzania

S.T. Bryant, H.A. Romijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The financial viability of biodiesel production from Jatropha is estimated under real-life African conditions. The assessment is modelled from the data of an oil producer with a social entrepreneurial business model in Tanzania. A first-round cost analysis shows that the total cost of biodiesel production including all company costs and taxes is significantly higher than Tanzanian and typical East-African market prices for diesel; however, when by-products are utilised as additional sources of revenue, biodiesel production is projected to become financially viable. While these findings are far removed from the recently hyped expectations surrounding Jatropha as an energy crop, they also do not lend support to the current widespread discrediting of Jatropha bio-energy. We conclude that Jatropha biodiesel production in SubSaharan Africa can be financially viable and socially benign, but only under certain conditions. Some conditions derive from exogenous external circumstances, while others require hard work and patience to create.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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