can become direct stakeholders in their own energy supply either
by producing fuel or through involvement in local projects.
Bioenergy has provided millions
of households with incomes, livelihood activities and
employment. The essence of sustainability of bioenergy
projects from a social aspect is how are they is perceived
by society, and how different societies benefit from
this activity. Avoiding Carbon emissions, environment
protection, security of energy supply on a national
level or other ‘big issues’ are for local communities
an added bonus, but the primary driving force are much
more likely employment or job creation, contribution
to regional economy and income improvement. Consequently,
such benefits will result in increased social cohesion
and stability that stem from the introduction of an
employment and income-generating source.
Bioenergy contribute to all important elements of country
or region development: economic growth through business
expansion (earnings) and employment; import substitution
(direct and indirect economic effects on GDP and trade
balance); security of energy supply and diversification.
Other benefits include support of traditional industries,
rural diversification, rural depopulation mitigation,
community empowerment, etc.
An encouraging trend is that in many countries policy makers
are beginning to perceive the potential benefits of commercial
biomass. This represents a significant policy shift with regards
to the old view in which biomass was viewed as an non-commercial
rural source, or poor man’s fuel.