Energy and Environmental Management in Egypt : Bioenergy CDM projects for Sustainable Development
Abstract: In the rapidly developing economy of Egypt with the increasing population density and depleting natural resources, the management of energy and environment has become of utmost importance to the sustainability of our development. A clear example is the severe air pollution, which is causing the most environmental damage, being mostly attributed to the energy sector, and largely attributed to uncontrolled burning of solid waste and agriculture residue. It mainly affects Greater Cairo, which hosts 20% of the nation’s population. This comes at a time where Egypt is rapidly approaching energy dependency. Utilizing this “waste” as a resource, or fuel, for bioenergy systems would entail many environmental and developmental benefits. This research has aimed to investigate the status and prospects of developing this bioenergy industry, and to discuss the approach to assess its sustainable development impacts as Clean Development Mechanism Projects (CDM) encompassing the environmental, social, and economic aspects in the context of the related legal and institutional framework existing today, and stakeholders’ activities. The findings of the research are later elaborated in the context of a case study of biogasification demonstrational plants established in Egypt delivering town gas from rice straw, while discussing the positive and negative sustainable development impacts. The research findings showed promising prospects for a growing bioenergy industry in Egypt and thereby emphasized the importance of identifying such synergies in environmental planning and management such as in addressing air pollution and promoting rural development, and it also emphasized the importance of practicing a holistic approach for assessing projects, policies and programs related to energy and environment. Findings also revealed a lack of proactive hosting of CDM projects in practice to direct activities toward national development priorities and finding synergies given that the CDM has come to be the driving force for bioenergy projects in Egypt. From the international perspective, a stricter and regular monitoring of SDA practices in the host country is recommended.
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