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Sahelian countries rely mainly on traditional energy constituted by woody biomass and agro-forest residues. It is the main energy source and accounts more than 60 per cent in the energy balance. The consumption of modern energy formed by oil and electricity is relatively weak. In spite of the growth of the demand in electricity and petroleum products, it is noted the traditional energy preponderance. However the part of the budget devoted to the modern energy is extensively superior to the one of the traditional energy. Household sector is the major consumer of energy, followed by order of importance of the transportation and the industry. In this sector, cooking of foods remains the main use of the energy in the sahelian households. To meet this purpose , woody biomass is widely used as fuel. Wood resource is very affected by drought and desertification in clear progression. Fossil fuels, in particular, oil (kerosene and LPG) which might have been able to replace wood to a certain extent have become so expensive. Moreover, they represent a heavy burden on the sahelian countries which must import all such fuel, and an increase in their consumption cannot be encouraged. For both economic and social reasons, the only available energy source for the rural, and part of the urban, populations is organic material, especially woody biomass.
This paper was presented at the 2nd World Conference and Technology Exhibition on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection 10 – 14 May 2004 by Mamadou Fall.
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31 August 2007