WS29: Opportunities of bioenergy and biofuels in developing economies

22 May 2023

22-23 May 2023 – e-Workshop organized by IEA Bioenergy, in collaboration with UNIDO

Summary report: WS29 Summary Report

Over the past decades and in multiple countries, bioenergy has supported the development of local economies, while helping to reduce the dependency on imported fossil fuels. If biomass resources are produced sustainably, their energy use can lead to a substantial reduction of GHG emissions compared to fossil energy.

Developing countries have a history in the production and use of biofuels as exemplified in countries of Latin America and Asia that produce and export bioethanol and biodiesel. Still, many developing economies rely heavily on ‘traditional’ bioenergy use for cooking and heating in inefficient and highly polluting devices or open fires. The aim is to phase out these practices and move towards clean cooking and heating appliances, and overall to develop sustainable and circular bioenergy solutions for all energy uses (electricity, heat, fuels). This fits in the goal to fight energy poverty, increase energy security and ensure energy access, which is preferentially broadly based on local renewable energy sources. Generally biomass is one of the important local renewable energy sources and its sustainable production and use can offer both socio-economic and environmental benefits to local communities. Moreover, in regions with high biomass productivity opportunities may arise to produce biofuels for national or even international markets.

This workshop, which is organised by the IEA Bioenergy Technology Cooperation Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), aims to show examples of bioenergy and biofuel related opportunities in developing economies, both for the production of (local) energy and for providing economic, social and environmental co-benefits. It will also provide guidance on tools to accelerate clean energy transitions and improved energy access in emerging economies.


The workshop will consist of three separate sessions:

  • The first session (on Monday 22 May) will provide examples how clean energy transitions and improved energy access in emerging economies can be supported.
  • The second session (on Tuesday 23 May) will consider opportunities for sustainable biomass supply and its co-benefits, e.g., in landscape restoration, improved livelihoods or cleaner air.
  • The third session (also on Tuesday 23 May) looks into opportunities of sustainable biofuel production in developing economies to produce transport fuels and clean cooking fuels.

Each session will have keynote presentations, followed by a panel discussion. Interactive tools will be used to gather input from the audience.

Download the programme / announcement: Programme_ExCo91-workshop_20230517

Bios of the speakers and moderators: Bios_v2


The workshop sessions will be held online. Participation is free of charge, but pre-registration is required – with a separate registration for each session.



Monday 22 May 2022
13:00 – 15.30 CEST

Session 1: Supporting clean energy transitions and improved energy access in emerging economies

Recording Session 1

Dina Bacovsky, IEA Bioenergy
Tareq Emtairah, UNIDO

Workshop introduction

Supporting clean energy transitions and improved energy access in emerging economies

Moderated panel discussion


Tuesday 23 May
10:00 – 12:30 CEST

Session 2: Biomass supply opportunities in developing economies and sustainability of supply

Recording Session 2

Mark Brown, Forest Industries Research Centre, USC (Australia)
Bah Saho, ECOWAS (West Africa)


Moderated panel discussion
with the speakers and Rocio Diaz-Chavez, Imperial College London
Key messages Rocio Diaz-Chavez


Tuesday 23 May
15:00 – 17:30 CEST

Session 3: Sustainable biofuel production

Recording Session 3

Ricardo Gorini, IRENA
Gerard Ostheimer, Biofuture Campaign


Moderated panel discussion
with the speakers and Jossy Thomas, UNIDO

Closing of the workshop
Luc Pelkmans, IEA Bioenergy


More information
Luc Pelkmans
Technical Coordinator – IEA Bioenergy
Tel. +32 492 977930