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Sugar to electricity in Barbados

30 September 2005

Press reports suggest that despite research to improve fibre content and sucrose levels, schemes to produce electricity from sugar cane are still not commercially viable, since ‘it is still cheaper to use bunker fuel’, the price of which would have to rise to US$80 a barrel for electricity from sugar cane to become commercially viable. However, with further improvements in varieties and an appropriate business model, sugar-to-electricity schemes could become viable if oil prices continue to rise.

Editorial comment

Co-generation of electricity offers one means for certain ACP sugar industries to diversify their revenue sources, but this will be crucially determined by the local functioning of electricity markets, which will vary considerably from ACP country to ACP country.

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