01 september 2007
Dutch plan to develop first green energy with fair trade hallmark
ENECO's director of sustainable energy production, Hugo Buis, says that 'although it is theoretically possible that after the research period we will decide not to proceed with the partnership, that is highly unlikely. There is so much information available on ways to establish sustainable energy chains, now is the right time to get involved. Our common goal is real sustainability on the energy market.'
Part of the research involves a pilot project with jatropha in Tanzania. The jatropha-plant produces nuts from which oil can be derived. The plant itself is non-edible and can grow on poor agricultural land, which means that it does not have to compete with food production. Gert de Gans, a climate specialist with ICCO, says that the potential of jathropa for local energy supply in poor countries is as important as the potential for the international market. He thinks the research phase can be concluded before the end of this year. Farmers' organisations in several African countries associated with ICCO are already involved in jathropa production. A processing facility is operational in Tanzania. De Gans: 'If we succeed in this, both rich and poor countries will profit. The farmers that produce the raw materials will get a fair price. The biomass is produced by sustainable methods, and it will help meet the western world's growing demand for biofuels.'
P+ webtip: ICCO