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Exploiting cross-level linkages to steer the bioenergy transition
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis develops the notion of the bioenergy transition as the long-term transformation of biomass from a local resource into a global commodity. An historical assessment is combined with interdisciplinary analysis that focuses especially on liquid biofuels and highlights the environmentally innovative case of bioethanol. The bioenergy transition is investigated from several different perspectives: technical-economic, socio-economic, socio-technical and political-economic. Linkages across different levels from household to global are analysed in relation to the effectiveness of bioenergy policies. In addition to studies at household and national levels, a North-South perspective is taken by including two major regions: the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The relation of EU biofuels policy to international climate and trade regimes is assessed to show how regional-global linkages affect policy design and implementation.

Household bioenergy markets in developing countries are poorly articulated and difficult to link to other sectors; a detailed choice model in Ethiopia showed that product-specific factors should be evaluated to inform design of programmes and policies. Municipal and sub-national markets for bioenergy have been successfully linked to national policies to coordinate supply and demand in Brazil and Sweden. Regional market development for biofuels has great potential in southern Africa but regional-national linkages currently remain unexploited. National level efforts remain quite important in terms of energy security and environmental innovation, as evidenced in Brazil, Malawi and Sweden. Biofuels sustainability criteria in the EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED) were evaluated in relation to the international climate and trade regimes and were found to shift some costs onto developing countries. One of the mechanisms for assuring biofuels sustainability is bilateral agreements, which remain untested but potentially effective.

Cross-level linkages were often unexploited in the cases studied; national approaches cannot easily capture complementarities across sectors and scales in biophysical and economic terms. Linking biofuels markets across different levels from household to global through regional development policies and specialised governance mechanisms could help to steer the bioenergy transition towards sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , xiv, 135 p.
Series
TRITA-ECS Report, 2014/03
Keyword [en]
energy transition, modern bioenergy, traditional biomass, cross-level linkages, institutional design, regional development, alternative fuels
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155686ISBN: 978-91-7595-342-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-155686DiVA: diva2:762170
Public defence
2014-11-25, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-09 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Bio-energy trade and regional development: the case of bio-ethanol in southern Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bio-energy trade and regional development: the case of bio-ethanol in southern Africa
2006 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 10, no 1, 42-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses the prospects for international bio-energy trade within the context of regional integration and sustainable development in the region of southern Africa, focusing on the particular case of bio-ethanol made from sugar cane and sweet sorghum. A number of options are considered for expanded production of and trade in bio-ethanol as a transport fuel for blending with petrol. The implications for alternative development paths and regional cooperation strategies are discussed and compared. Transportation costs appear to be small compared to production costs, although the higher cost of shipment by land implies a need for regional coordination strategies. The availability of suitable feedstocks in the region would have to increase significantly in order to achieve economies of scale. There appear to be valuable opportunities for creating new export markets, although international cooperation will be needed for reducing import tariffs and addressing non-tariff trade barriers as well as promoting technology transfer and capacity-building.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2006
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-79676 (URN)10.1016/S0973-0826(08)60506-2 (DOI)2-s2.0-34147139017 (Scopus ID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20120215

Available from: 2012-02-15 Created: 2012-02-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Regional-global Linkages in the Energy-Climate-Development Policy Nexus: The Case of Biofuels in the EU Renewable Energy Directive
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regional-global Linkages in the Energy-Climate-Development Policy Nexus: The Case of Biofuels in the EU Renewable Energy Directive
2011 (English)In: Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review, ISSN 2190-8265, no 2, 91-106 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive aims to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in the Community to support the EU energy policy goals of energy security, sustainability, and competitiveness. At the same time, the Directive – especially in its biofuels components – must also recognise the need for convergence between global and regional policy objectives. Such convergence is seen as necessary in order to align regional energy-economic objectives with global environment and development policies in general and climate policy in particular. In this paper, the biofuels components of the Directive are evaluated – particularly the sustainability criteria – in terms of their relation to the EU energy strategy and the resulting effects on energy, climate, and development policy objectives. It is found that the design and implementation of the sustainability criteria weaken the effect of the Directive’s potential impacts on global energy markets and international development objectives, while somewhat strengthening the internal EU market and technology objectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin, Germany: Lexxion, 2011
Keyword
biofuels, climate policy, development policy, renewable energy, energy policy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Energy Systems
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-79622 (URN)
Funder
StandUp
Note
QC 29120209Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-02-09 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved
3. Evaluating the relative strength of product-specific factors in fuel switching and stove choice decisions in Ethiopia: A discrete choice model of household preferences for clean cooking alternatives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluating the relative strength of product-specific factors in fuel switching and stove choice decisions in Ethiopia: A discrete choice model of household preferences for clean cooking alternatives
2012 (English)In: Energy Economics, ISSN 0140-9883, E-ISSN 1873-6181, Vol. 34, no 6, 1763-1773 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Switching from conventional stoves to modern clean, safe, and efficient stoves will improve health and social welfare for the 2.7 billion people worldwide that lack reliable access to modern energy services. In this paper, we critically review some key theoretical dimensions of household consumer behaviour in switching from traditional biomass cooking stoves to modern efficient stoves and fuels. We then describe the results of empirical research investigating the determinants of stove choice, focusing on the relative strength of product-specific factors across three wealth groups. A stated preference survey and discrete choice model were developed to understand household decision-making associated with cooking stove choice in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The study found that, with the exception of price and usage cost factors for the high wealth group, the product-specific factors that were investigated significantly affect stove and fuel choices. The relative strength of factors was assessed in terms of marginal willingness to pay and provides some evidence that consumer preference for higher quality fuels and stoves tends to increase with increasing wealth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012
Keyword
Clean cooking stove, Discrete choice analysis, Bio-energy, Africa, Ethiopia, Consumer Choice behaviour
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155694 (URN)10.1016/j.eneco.2012.07.001 (DOI)000310943800003 ()2-s2.0-84867662369 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-09 Created: 2014-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. The transition to modern bioenergy: historical dimensions and strategic perspectives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The transition to modern bioenergy: historical dimensions and strategic perspectives
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biomass is the oldest form of energy used by mankind, but in some ways it is also the newest, due to the tremendous diversity of applications that have emerged for deploying modern bioenergy systems around the world. Bioenergy can be explored in multiple scales, but carries a local dimension that links it to livelihoods and patterns of social organization. At the same time, other demands on biomass resources—food, feed and fibre—have been growing rapidly due to population and resource pressures. The historical evolution of biomass for energy therefore will differ from future paths based on the structural changes in end-uses in combination with the shift to biomass as a multidimensional resource. The role of biomass as a carbon sink also becomes a fundamental element of future biomass energy resource development.

In this paper the strategic elements of bioenergy are examined by reference to the historical shifts in the way that biomass has been used for energy since the industrial revolution. The factors driving the shifts away from (traditional) bioenergy can then be considered in relation to the factors behind the shift towards (modern) bioenergy. The variables of special interest include the timeframe, changes in energy density and changes in carriers and markets. The approach is based on analysis of quantitative energy data sets for several countries and regions together with some key qualitative indicators. The transformative nature of biomass resources and their variation in scale and scope are also important elements in the transition process. The historical shift away from traditional biomass can offer clues as to how the return to biomass as an energy source will unfold in different world regions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
DTU, Denmark: , 2012
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155711 (URN)
Conference
International Conference on Sustainability Transitions
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved
5. Pioneer countries in the transition to alternative transport fuels: comparison of ethanol programmes and policies in Brazil, Malawi and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pioneer countries in the transition to alternative transport fuels: comparison of ethanol programmes and policies in Brazil, Malawi and Sweden
2014 (English)In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, ISSN 2210-4224, E-ISSN 2210-4232, Vol. 11, 1-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Efforts to develop alternative transport fuels and vehicles are found in countries varying tremendously in their level of economic development. In this paper, we compare the alternative fuels transition, focusing on ethanol, in three countries: Brazil, Malawi and Sweden. Each can be described as a pioneer in developing the physical and institutional infrastructure and stimulating innovation towards alternative transport fuels. We assess the transition in these pioneer countries based on niche formation and interaction with regime and landscape levels. Particular reference is made to spatial and temporal path dependencies and to the significance of cross-scale and cross-sector effects that impact the innovation process. As other countries and regions develop programmes to address the twin challenges of energy security and climate change, they can benefit from a better understanding of linkages between techno-economic and socio-technical factors in transition paths of pioneer countries, across different scales and different stages of economic development.

Keyword
market leader, ethanol, niche, historical transition, pioneer country, alternative transport fuels
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155685 (URN)10.1016/j.eist.2013.08.001 (DOI)2-s2.0-84901434341 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-09 Created: 2014-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
6. The Path Not Yet Taken: Bilateral Trade Agreements to Promote Sustainable Biofuels Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Path Not Yet Taken: Bilateral Trade Agreements to Promote Sustainable Biofuels Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive
2014 (English)In: The Environmental Law Reporter, ISSN 0046-2284, Vol. 44, no 7, 10607-10629 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European Union Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED) established sustainability criteria for biofuels counted under the target of 10% renewable energy for transport. The main approach thus far to certify compliance with the sustainability criteria has been voluntary schemes that are submitted for approval to the European Commission. Scant attention has been paid to the potential role of bilateral agreements in fulfilling the sustainability criteria, which could offer a more strategic approach. This article examines the role and potential applicability and effectiveness of the bilateral option based on Article 18(4) of the EU-RED. Of special interest is the question of how bilateral agreements might provide a more flexible governance mechanism for meeting sustainability criteria in developing countries that export to the EU while also addressing more general land-use policies and cross-sector linkages in natural resource management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Environmental Law Institute, 2014
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155714 (URN)
Note

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
7. Navigating the transition to sustainable bioenergy in Sweden and Brazil
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Navigating the transition to sustainable bioenergy in Sweden and Brazil
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sweden and Brazil have become world leaders in modern bioenergy with respect to research, technology innovation and system implementation. However, there are still underdeveloped bioenergy segments in both countries. In this paper, we use approaches from the transition and innovation literatures to analyse both successes and deficiencies in different end-use segments of the transition to modern bioenergy in Sweden and Brazil. The analysis focuses on the development of socio-technical regimes and identification of innovative approaches that have enabled or hindered transitions in the two countries. We conclude that specific technology options and strategic policies had an important role in orchestrating the transition but the alignment of old established structures and interest groups in agriculture and forestry with industrial actors and policy-makers at national and sub-national scales were key factors for promoting modern bioenergy in the two countries. These findings justify a systemic approach in navigating the bioenergy transition, to meet the multiple and simultaneous interferences that may be caused in established socio-technical regimes within various sectors simultaneously.

Keyword
bioenergy, ethanol, charcoal, district heating, socio-technical regimes, transition
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155720 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved

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