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Coal and peat in the sub-Saharan region of Africa: alternative energy options?

January 1, 1990

Increased energy demand as a result of growth in population, trends to sedentation and urbanization, and the desire for improvement in living standards, coupled with apparent climatic changes, are reducing fuelwood availability and contributing to deforestation and desertification in the sub‐Saharan countries. In 14 of those countries, the transport, industrial, and electric power generation sectors are all dependent on imported petroleum products for their energy needs with resultant balance of trade and debt‐servicing problems. Coal and peat are essentially unused and in some cases unknown in sub‐Saharan Africa. However, they might comprise valuable alternative energy sources in some or all of the developing nations of the region. The eleven countries considered in this appraisal reportedly contain coal and peat. On the basis of regional geology, another five countries might also contain coal‐bearing rocks. If the resource potential is adequate, coal and peat might be utilized in a variety of ways including substituting for fuelwood, generating electricity, supplying process heat for local industry and increasing agricultural productivity.

Publication Year 1990
Title Coal and peat in the sub-Saharan region of Africa: alternative energy options?
DOI 10.1111/j.1477-8947.1990.tb00368.x
Authors Jean Noe Weaver, Edwin R. Landis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Natural Resources Forum
Index ID 70015914
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center