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Energies 2015, 8(5), 3503-3528; doi:10.3390/en8053503

Sustainability Assessment of the Agricultural and Energy Systems of Senegal

1
Green University Centre, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC V2N4Z9, Canada
2
Department of Environment and Resource Studies, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susan Krumdieck
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 15 April 2015 / Accepted: 21 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [695 KB, uploaded 27 April 2015]

Abstract

To improve decision-making, sustainability-based approaches to assessment of options and undertakings demand that we move beyond narrowly defined considerations to address the full suite of requirements for progress towards sustainability. This paper reports on a sustainability assessment exercise that originally focused on burning agricultural residues, primarily peanut shells, for cooking applications in Senegal. The scope of assessment had to be expanded to address the agricultural and energy systems of Senegal, when closer examination revealed a complex set of energy and agricultural system interactions that could undermine the anticipated positive effects of initiatives centred primarily on peanut residue cookstoves. The case highlights the need to be open to expanding the scope of assessment to address underlying and/or unexpected issues that cannot be addressed appropriately at the project scale. In particular, the case illustrates how the assessment of an energy system may serve as an entry point into a deeper exploration of the context in which the energy system is embedded. The analysis also illustrates a situation in which different paths that may be followed, each with its own degree of uncertainty, path dependence, feasibility, fairness, cultural sensitivity, trade-off acceptability and possibilities for public judgement of overall desirability. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; agricultural residues; peanut cultivation; international development; bioenergy; sustainability criteria sustainability assessment; agricultural residues; peanut cultivation; international development; bioenergy; sustainability criteria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gaudreau, K.; Gibson, R.B. Sustainability Assessment of the Agricultural and Energy Systems of Senegal. Energies 2015, 8, 3503-3528.

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