Due to the rising demands of fuels combined with efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emission, countries all over the world are looking for alternative clean energy sources such as biofuel. Ethiopia imports a huge amount of fuel each year and to supplement its energy needs efforts are underway for biofuel development. Despite this, comprehensive assessments of the suitable sites for biofuel feedstocks are lacking. This study is designed to map suitable sites for selected biodiesel feedstocks (Jatropha, Castor, Croton, and Cottonseed) and bioethanols (Cassava and Sweet Sorghum) and estimating the potential productions in Ethiopia. The spatial representations of the requirements (Soil, Elevation, Rainfall, and Temperature) of the feedstocks were created and processed to eventually map the suitable sites. About 16, 30, 28, 34%, 6, 83% of the country is highly suitable (HS) for Jatropha, Castor, Croton, Cassava, Cottonseed and Sweet Sorghum, respectively. The suitability assessments were also made by excluding environmentally sensitive lands (e.g marshy areas, parks, wildlife sanctuaries and forests) and areas that can compromise crop production (e,g, cultivated lands). Accordingly, 6, 9, 7, 10, 2 and 36% of the country remains HS, thus large scale biofuel production can be conducted without affecting food security and the environment in these areas. Hence, the country can produce up to 355.44 and 225.09 billion liters of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively, returning up to 53 billions USD overall revenue.
Key words: Biofuel, biodiesel, bioethanol, suitability, HS.
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