WIT Press

Analysis of sugarcane ethanol production for energy development: case study Ecuador


Free (open access)


Volume 7 (2022), Issue 4



Page Range

293 - 309

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Gricelda Herrera-Franco, Carlos Mora-Frank, Grace Arteaga, Alberto López & Paúl Carrión-Mero


The global energy issue is crucial for the development of the population and the environmental protection of the planet. The agricultural sector is part of economic, social and environmental development. However, in Ecuador, this sector has internal problems due to the suspension of the bioconversion project (e.g., ethanol production). This study aims to analyse the situation of sugarcane ethanol production in Ecuador and, through information management, to search for development strategies. The methodology includes the following: (i) sugarcane production analysis in Ecuador and ethanol dis- tribution; (ii) policies and legal context concerning renewable energies and biofuels production in Ecuador; (iii) Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Ecological and Legal (PESTEL) as well as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of ethanol production, based on the criteria of the experts involved and (iv) strategic guidelines for sustainable sugarcane ethanol development. Ecuador has a potential for sugarcane ethanol production that is currently not fully exploited; that is, the consumption of this resource would reduce energy demand and economic prob- lems in the agricultural sector. Sugarcane ethanol production has generated a direct contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (0.5%) and a contribution to social growth (751,799 people benefited). Ethanol production could increase by 20%, generating new alternatives for biofuel con- sumption. This progress in Ecuador would strengthen the contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals criteria and benefit the population with new job opportunities (approximately 42,000). There- fore, the production of ethanol from sugarcane, under a legal framework, benefits economic, social and ecological relations.


biofuels, bioethanol, Ecuador, energy development, renewable energy, sugarcane