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Human energy requirements in Jatropha oil production for rural electrification in Tanzania

Mini-grids connecting households to a generator can be a solution for providing rural communities in developing countries with electricity. Substituting diesel with locally produced Jatropha oil can improve economic and environmental sustainability of rural electrification. Jatropha is known as a labor intensive crop, but little is known about how inclusion of human energy input will affect the energy balance of production of Jatropha oil. In this study we investigate human labor requirements in rural electrification with Jatropha oil. Jatropha in this study in Tanzania was grown as living fences and provided multiple benefits. An energy flow chart of generation of electricity from Jatropha oil is presented, and it is shown that human energy expenditure in production of Jatropha oil is small relative to the overall energy in the system. – Open access peer reviewed article.