Bio fuel in the north, famine in the south: a paradox of energetical transition?

Sofiane BOUHDIBA (Tunis University)

Following the basic principles of sustainable development, developed countries are consuming bio fuels, using vegetable oil (sugar can, palm,…). Normally, the use of bio fuel should make it possible to pursuit the development process by preserving the natural resources of the planet. Paradoxically, this massive use of corn, soja or palm had disastrous effects in Africa. We know today that the “bio fuel boom” was a major cause of rising in the prices of some cereals in Africa. In fact, millions of Africans found themselves in a position where they were no more able to have access to basic food. But in the same time many African government invested in the development of bio fuel products because of the rising demand coming from Europe and the USA. This study examines the paradoxical case of Africa in regard to the development of bio fuel andenergetic transition.
To what extent did bio fuel caused famine riots in some African cities? Is it possible to conciliate between bio fuel and food in the region? Is bio fuel a solution to the African economy? How are governments dealing with multinational biofuel producers settled in their lands? Can Africa follow its energetic transition without risking famine? These are some of the questions to which I will try to find answers in the study.
The research is organized into three sections. The first one reminds the basic principles of the theory linking the energetic transition, and the production and use of bio fuel with the struggle for sustainable development. The second part of the study discusses to what extent the production of bio fuel in Africa has effectively caused famine episodes. The last part of the study proposes a series of realistic recommendations in order to pursuit the production of bio fuel in Africa, and in the same time solving the challenge of poverty and access to food for the more vulnerable populations the region.

KEY WORDS: transition, energy, biofuel, North, South.

Energetic Transition In Algeria:Myth or Reality?

Amina DERRADJI (National School of Political Science / Public Policy, Alger)

Energy is the motor of all human activities; it is a basic need of life, civilization and indispensable to national development.
Algeria is a large area with specific geographicposition, She has a variety of renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Since independence, the country has moved towards the exploitation of fossil fuels in order to ensure her energy supply, but also to finance various development projects. This policy has given rise to an economic dependency of more than 90% tothe oil and gas resources.
The exploitation of these exhaustible and polluting sources requires research of other sustainable sources that protect the environment. In this case, renewable energy is seen as an ideal alternative to a sustainable development framework for Algeria which has an important potential in this area.
In this context, Algeria has launched in 2009 an ambitious program for the exploitation of solar energy in order to replace oil and gas.
could this transition energy policy substitute the energy needs of the population and ensure the financeof Algerian economy, as it was the case after independence ( for the previous policy)? What are the challenges that face this new orientation ?

KEY WORDS: Algeria, fossil energy, solar energy, energetic policy, energetic transition.

Socio-technical and energy transition: the example of biorefineries as positivist myth.


As officials have noticed that energy transition is impeded not only by technique or engineering, but also sociological issues, more and more public policies dealing with this global transformation at national and local levels have begun to take such issues into account. As a result, new challenges have arisen: new energy organization models ( diverging from centralized networks), as well as a push to involve all stakeholders concerned, and more particularily civil society. Does this evolution imply that new modes of governance are emerging? Or is this major topic of our modern society appropriated by those who are already responsible for making industrial, political and economic decisions?
As we worked on two projects concerning biorefineries (PIVERT and FASE), we would like to use this “object” or socio-technical system to analyze and question the myth of the perfect and continuous industrial evolution. Can territories and stakeholders smoothly adapt to new objectives? In our opinion, as the sociology of expectations (Borup et al. 2006, Levidow et al. 2014) demonstrates, the expectations of some industrial and public officials are often translated into dominant perspectives. However territories and stakeholders can develop tactics to resist, resulting in unforeseen change. Therefore, it seems beneficial to integrate uncertainty in our research.
Meanwhile we are obliged to reconsider the following assumption: energy transition will lead to a deep change in socio-technical systems (of production, supply, and distribution). As a matter of fact, some existing communities or groups are striving to maintain their economic and technical capital and refuse to question their choices, (or just in the margins.) – je ne comprends pas la fin de ce dernière phrase…
It’s interesting to see that agriculture and forestry are integrated as suppliers of biomass, but not really as social and political systems which could have their own and independent strategies. Changes in land use, or ecosystemic changes or the necessary evolution of professional skills are not properly investigated, because they are considered natural developments. The objective for industrial officials is to obtain affordable biomass of high quality, and not to help other stakeholders structure their supply chains.
In fact, the development and promotion of biomass transformation often results in restricted discussion between experts, firms and public officials. Yet the will to create “countryside biorefineries”, anchored in their (siting)?? area, shows some differences between “epistemic communities” and “communities of practices”. This demonstrates the degree of independence that can exist for a more democratic and less centralized energy transition.

KEY WORDS: biorefineries, community of practices, territories, energy transition.

Hydroelectricity and ecological continuity : cross-analysis of representations and conflicts related to environment and energy.

Jacques-Aristide PERRIN (Limoges University/Géolab)

Conceptuals (Loupsans, 2011 ; Bouleau et Pont, 2014) and managing conflicts (Barreau et Germaine, 2013) arise in scientific field and territories caused by supposed incompatibility between the Water Framework Directive (2000) and key element of European Union Climate and Energy package (2008). To shed light on these questions drawing upon to French field experience, the example of ecological continuity of river is meaningful : this type of restoration aims to enable the aquatic life and sediment transport in rivers in relation to insurmountable obstacles for aquatic organisms that must be capable of moving freely to access the zones required for their reproduction, growth and feeding. This key concept of sustainable management of river (Morandi et Piégay, 2014) caused many problems : scientific controversies about his construct validity and monitoring indicators, moreover conflicts between the compliance with laws and standards and the hydroelectricity producers (small and big companies holders of dam concessions (Catalon in the ESAWADI project, 2014).
The analysis of this type of confliction fit, admittedly into conciliation between environment and energy production but mostly in socio-energetic process whose followed multiple representations related environment and energy, at the root of territorial socio-energetic imaginary (Raineau, 2008). The speech focuses on the interaction of actors (Territorial public institution basin, hydroelectricity producers, civil society…) to grasp how practices change potentially starting projects of initial policy (Fouilleux, 2000) and identify conditions of the implementing ethic about feeling of belonging to territory as frame as accepted and consensual energy transition.

KEY WORDS: hydroelectricity, WFD, confliction, ethic about feeling of belonging to territory, subsidiarity.

Pipes socioeconomic population to the crisis of electrical energy in Cameroon Douala.

Robert TEFE TAGNE (Douala-Cameroun University/ Sociology Laboratory of Human Resource Management)
Jacques YOMB (Douala-Cameroun University/ Sociology Laboratory of Human Resource Management)

Access to electricity is a major problem in Cameroon and Douala in particular. The main objective of this research is to account for socio-economic behavior of urban households facing the crisis of electric power in urban Cameroon. The central issue of the problem is this: Despite the large energy potential of Cameroon why urban households do they face a crisis of electric power to the point of developing parallel strategies sometimes insecure supply? The theoretical framework is mobilized in this work gives a prominent place to methodological individualism and social constructivism. The methodology is based on a qualitative approach that values ethnography field. In a comprehensive perspective, it deals from the content analysis, qualitative data collected through dominance documentary sources and semi-structured interviews with households and the company in charge of the distribution of energy power in Cameroon. The results show that: a) the crisis of power stems from a poor use of the energy potential of the country and poor policy choices related to the management of the company in charge of distribution. b) more power outages persist, most actors develop strategies to access energy. c) some strategies are illegal dealing in particular with the fraudulent connections while others are part of innovation through the adoption of new alternative energy sources such as solar.

KEY WORDS: pipes socioeconomics, urbans Households, energical Crisis, alternative supply, Douala-Cameroon.