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Lönnqvist, T., Grönkvist, S. & Sandberg, T. (2016). How can forest-derived methane complement biogas from anaerobic digestion in the Swedish transport sector?. f3 The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How can forest-derived methane complement biogas from anaerobic digestion in the Swedish transport sector?
2016 (English)Report (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Forest-derived methane may contribute significantly to a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels by 2030. At present, there is sufficient technical knowledge about energy conversion methods and several Swedish actors have investigated and prepared investments in production facilities, but the technology is not commercially mature yet and it needs support during a development period. Investments in the technology have become less favorable because of the drop in the oil price in 2014. In addition, the predictability of the policy instruments supporting production and use of renewable energy are perceived as low by investors. This report emphasize that these factors combined are major reasons why potential investments are postponed.

We have conducted a literature study and an interview study with three industry actors to answer the question “How can forest derived methane complement biogas from anaerobic digestion in the Swedish transport sector?” Interviews were mostly conducted in situ and in co-operation with the f3 project “Examining systemic constraints and drivers for production of forest-derived transport biofuels” (f3 2014-002370). The literature study included the recent development of renewable transport fuels in Sweden, existing and proposed policy instruments, and possible technical pathways from forest biomass to transport fuels.

Sweden has accomplished a high share of renewables in the transport sector – 12 % based on energy content or 17 % when accounting in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Sources Directive (RES). Thus, Sweden has the highest share of renewables in the transport sector among the member states and has with a good margin accomplished the EU-RES target of 10 % renewables by 2020. The use of electricity in plug-in electric vehicles is not included in these figures and the number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly.

The most common biofuels in transport are biodiesel, ethanol, and biogas. Biodiesel increases rapidly, mainly through low blend-in, and is now the most common biofuel in the Swedish transport sector. The majority is HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils), but the share of FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) is still considerable. The use of ethanol peaked during 2008 and has been decreasing since then. Ethanol is distributed through both low and high blend-in (E5 and E85).

The use of upgraded biogas in the transport sector has increased continuously since its introduction 1996. Upgraded biogas is complemented by natural gas to meet the vehicle gas demand. A voluntary agreement among the distributors maintains a minimum biogas share that corresponds to 50 %. The biogas share is much higher today (74 % by volume, average Jan.-Aug. 2015) and some large end-users use pure upgraded biogas. Upgraded biogas is mainly distributed in compressed form through gas cylinders (79 %), but also through injection to the natural gas grid (21 %). Very little biogas is distributed in liquid form (LBG).

Studies of the practical production potential shows that the current vehicle gas demand could be met entirely with upgraded biogas. However, an increased demand will eventually require other production pathways based on other feedstocks. Gasification of forest biomass is one such pathway. One alternative is that an increased demand is met with natural gas, resulting in fossil lock-in effects. Another alternative is a stagnated vehicle gas market.

Production of upgraded biogas and use in the transport sector have been promoted in different ways, e.g., demand on handling of waste that will promote anaerobic digestion, investment support to production facilities, support to distribution infrastructure, environmental car premiums, and exemptions of energy and CO2 taxes. The tax exemptions are only granted until the end of 2015 but the Swedish government has applied for permission to the European Commission for a tax exemption until the end of 2020. A biofuel may only be compensated to a certain level to comply with rules set by the European Commission. If the renewable alternative is cheaper because of tax exemptions or tax reductions it is considered as overcompensation and illegal state aid and the compensation has to be adjusted. This has in Sweden occurred for FAME, E5 and E85, but since the cost for biogas is almost twice that of natural gas, it is not likely that the tax exemptions for biogas will be considered as illegal state aid. 

Among the suggested policy instruments in the FFF inquiry are the price premium model and the quota obligation. The government prepared for a quota obligation but it was later withdrawn because the European Commission considered it as illegal state aid when combined with Sweden´s current CO2 tax. These changes decrease the predictability for potential investors. The actors that we have interviewed propose different policy instruments to promote production of transport fuels from forest biomass: the price premium model, a quota obligation, or a system inspired by the tradable green certificate system. However, more important than the type of policy instrument is that the support is substantial and predictable during the pay back period of the investment.

There is a large potential in forest biomass for transport fuel production in Sweden. Different pathways, which result in different transport fuels, compete not only for the feedstock and the end-users, but also for financing, research & development funds, and the policy makers’ attention. This study suggests that:

  • In order to attract investments in forest-derived methane, the vehicle gas market must continue to increase.  Increased policy support directed at the demand may be needed. This is because the gasification technology is sensitive to economies of scale and the size of the facilities that have been considered are equivalent to the entire market for upgraded biogas. To invest in such a facility implies too large a risk given the size of the current demand and the uncertainties of the future market.
  • If methane should be able to play an increasingly important role in a future transportation sector, the gasification technology need policy support during a development period.
  • The predictability of policy support is perceived as low. The predictability is more important than the specific type of policy instrument to attract investments. The interviewees in this report suggest the following policy instruments for the support of forest-derived methane: the price premium model, a quota obligation, or a system inspired by the tradable green certificate system.
  • The current low oil price decreases the likelihood for investments. Policy instruments that compensate for the oil price risk are needed, e.g. the price premium model.
  • Swedish industry actors can realize the potential in forest biomass through production of transport fuels if beneficial conditions are given. Such a development does not only contribute to a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels but also to regional development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
f3 The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, 2016. p. 49
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182568 (URN)
Note

QC 20160229

Available from: 2016-02-19 Created: 2016-02-19 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T., Sanches Pereira, A. & Sandberg, T. (2015). Biogas potential for sustainable transport: A Swedish regional case. Journal of Cleaner Production, 108(part A), 1105-1114
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biogas potential for sustainable transport: A Swedish regional case
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 108, no part A, p. 1105-1114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, practical biogas potential has been estimated in order to clarify the role of biogas in policy targets for renewable transport fuels in Sweden. The estimate of the Stockholm County biogas potential is based on a survey directed at key persons at sewage water treatment facilities, as well as official statistics, environmental reports and other sources. The results reveal that the practical biogas potential can meet the vehicle gas demand in Stockholm County by 2020, but that it may cover only 50 % of the demand by 2030. The practical potential is estimated to be 604 GWh by 2020 and 689 GWh by 2030. Fossil gas, biogas from neighboring regions, and/or methane from woody biomass would thus be needed to meet the demand by 2030. The survey shows that digestion capacity exists at sewage water treatment facilities and that the availability of resources for biogas generation is low. Public participation is needed to improve food waste segregation and increase resource availability. Food waste can be co-digested with sewage sludge at sewage water treatment facilities. These results can guide the design of renewable transport fuel policies and one conclusion is that policy support should be directed at the supply rather than at the demand side.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
Biogas potential, waste and residues resources, vehicle gas, sustainable transport, policy support
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170882 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.07.036 (DOI)000367762500101 ()2-s2.0-84955398974 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160222

Available from: 2015-07-09 Created: 2015-07-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Peck, P., Grönkvist, S., Hansson, J., Voytenko, Y. & Lönnqvist, T. (2015). Investigating socio-technical and institutional constraints to development of forest-derived transport biofuels in Sweden: A Study design. In: EUBSE 2015: . Paper presented at 23rd European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, 1-4 June Wien Austria.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating socio-technical and institutional constraints to development of forest-derived transport biofuels in Sweden: A Study design
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2015 (English)In: EUBSE 2015, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Forest industry portfolio diversification into transport fuels is important for Swedish climate and energy policy goal achievement, and for Swedish forest industry competitiveness. This paper presents the research background and methodology for a project that examines constraints/drivers to the expansion of Swedish forest-derived transport biofuels. It focuses on the interaction of innovation niches with the incumbent socio-technical regime, and the interplay of innovators as they seek to advance their technology systems. The study is on going and about to enter field interviews using this preparatory work as a base. Literature reviews, interviews and web-survey(s) are to deliver improved understanding of the positions/views and activities of transportation biofuel producers, heavy transport motor platform developers, and incumbent petrochemical industry actors. The investigation addresses a) synergies or competition for resources or political support; b) proponent strategies in forest, biofuel and petrochemical sectors; c) general ‘viability perceptions’ for leading fuel-engine systems/pathways. It is to provide improved knowledge for decision-making to policy makers, industry, and researchers, regarding the structural function of important regime level drivers and constraints – and where policy interventions are a help/hinder to desired progress. This article delivers the theoretical considerations, research approach, and a mapping of research targets.

Keywords
transport biofuels, forestry, engines, production systems, transitions
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170886 (URN)
Conference
23rd European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, 1-4 June Wien Austria
Note

QC 20150709

Available from: 2015-07-09 Created: 2015-07-09 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
Sanches Pereira, A., Lönnqvist, T., Gómez, M. F., Teixeira Coelho, S. & Tudeschini, L. G. (2015). Is natural gas a backup fuel against shortages of biogas or a threat to the Swedish vision of pursuing a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels?. Renewable energy, 83, 1187-1199
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is natural gas a backup fuel against shortages of biogas or a threat to the Swedish vision of pursuing a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels?
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2015 (English)In: Renewable energy, ISSN 0960-1481, E-ISSN 1879-0682, Vol. 83, p. 1187-1199Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this study is to verify whether natural gas is only a backup fuel against shortages of upgraded biogas or a threat to the Swedish vision of pursuing a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels. The paper uses Stockholm County as a case study to guide our analysis. The region not only concentrates the largest number of inhabitants in Sweden but also holds alone around 35% of the Swedish fleet of passenger cars using gas as fuel. The region's potential vehicle gas demands are 460 GWh by 2020 and 1202 GWh by 2030. The methodological approach relies on Network Theory to guide the numerical analysis of the vehicle gas supply chain in the region. Our results show that natural gas will keep on being an important resource and playing a vital role within the local vehicle gas supply chain but no longer as a backup fuel against upgraded biogas shortages. In fact, natural gas has become a price regulator responsible for vehicle gas attractiveness, especially for passenger cars in the region. As a result, phasing out natural gas could hamper future developments of biogas supply chain in the country, hindering the achievement of a green fleet.

Keywords
Upgraded biogas; Vehicle gas supply chain; Transport sector; Bioenergy systems; Stockholm County
National Category
Bioenergy
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170854 (URN)10.1016/j.renene.2015.06.006 (DOI)000358455100115 ()2-s2.0-84931274937 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150803

Available from: 2015-07-08 Created: 2015-07-08 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Sanches Pereira, A., Lönnqvist, T. & Tudeschini, L. G. (2015). Mapping the Stockholm vehicle gas supply chain using Network Theory to assess local upgraded biogas supply and demand relations. In: Giannetti, B. F., Almeida, C. M. V. B., Bonilla, S. H (Ed.), 5th International Workshop Advances in Cleaner Production: Cleaner Production Towards a Sustainable Transition. Paper presented at 5th International Workshop Advances in Cleaner Production, São Paulo, Brazil, 22-24 May 2015 (pp. 1-8). São Paulo: Universidade Paulista, Brazil
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mapping the Stockholm vehicle gas supply chain using Network Theory to assess local upgraded biogas supply and demand relations
2015 (English)In: 5th International Workshop Advances in Cleaner Production: Cleaner Production Towards a Sustainable Transition / [ed] Giannetti, B. F., Almeida, C. M. V. B., Bonilla, S. H, São Paulo: Universidade Paulista, Brazil , 2015, p. 1-8Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper uses Stockholm County as a case study to guide our analysis. The region not only concentrates the largest number of inhabitants in Sweden but also holds alone around 35% of the Swedish fleet of passenger cars using gas as fuel. The region’s potential vehicle gas demands are 460 GWh by 2020 and 1 202 GWh by 2030. The methodological approach relies on Network Theory to guide the numerical analysis of the vehicle gas supply chain in the region. Our results indicates that local vehicle gas supply chain is a rigid structure that might be averse to new entrants such as new distribution companies but, at the same time, it offers opportunities for biogas producers. Distribution companies, especially those placed in the 1st-tier segment are averse to new entrants because they present high homophily and strong ties. Hence, they are more prone to maintain the network’s status quo since the Swedish vehicle gas market is not yet well developed, which results in a lack of multiple players, which leads to cluster formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
São Paulo: Universidade Paulista, Brazil, 2015
Keywords
Biofuels, upgraded biogas, vehicle gas supply chain, network analysis, Stockholm County
National Category
Civil Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166839 (URN)
Conference
5th International Workshop Advances in Cleaner Production, São Paulo, Brazil, 22-24 May 2015
Note

QC 20150828

Available from: 2015-05-19 Created: 2015-05-19 Last updated: 2015-08-28Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T., Silveira, S. & Sanches-Pereira, A. (2013). Swedish resource potential from residues and energy crops to enhance biogas generation. Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, 21, 298-314
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish resource potential from residues and energy crops to enhance biogas generation
2013 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 21, p. 298-314Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper verifies the plausibility of existing assessments of the biogas potential in Sweden and whether a target of 1.1 TWh of biogas for transport, as per defined by Swedish authorities, can be met within the next ten years. We estimate that the Swedish resource potential for biogas generation from residues and energy crops amounts to 8.86 TWh in the midterm, equivalent to around 9% of the current domestic transport energy consumption. A large share of this potential remains unrealized and there is uncertainty regarding the existing resource potential, especially concerning energy crops. Nevertheless, the remaining biogas potential can make an important contribution to meet targets of an increased share of renewables in transport.  The study concludes that not only it is possible to meet the increased demand expected for gas in transport until 2020 but the existing potential could justify more ambitious goals than presently set by Swedish authorities.

Keywords
Biogas resource potential, Swedish vehicle gas, renewable energy
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-78238 (URN)10.1016/j.rser.2012.12.024 (DOI)000317537100025 ()2-s2.0-84873296829 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20120328

Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T., Olsson, J., Espinosa, C., Birbuet, J. C., Silveira, S., Dahlquist, E., . . . Khatiwada, D. (2013). The potential for waste to biogas in La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia. In: 1st International Water Association Conference on HolisticSludge Management, 2013, Västerås Sweden: . Paper presented at 1st International Water Association Conference on Holistic Sludge Management, 2013, Västerås Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The potential for waste to biogas in La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia
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2013 (English)In: 1st International Water Association Conference on HolisticSludge Management, 2013, Västerås Sweden, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the cities of La Paz and El Alto, 573 tons of organic material are disposed in landfills every day. These residues can be used to produce biogas and recycle nutrients, thus alleviating environmental impacts related to waste management. Technical solutions are evaluated through a multicriteria analysis with the purpose of defining a strategy for implementing waste-to-biogas in the two cities. As a result, the development for waste-to-biogas-system is defined in three steps. Step 1 consists of an active extraction system of landfill gas in the already existing landfills. Step 2 implies the establishment of a dry-digestion biogas facility based on present waste collection practices, that is, not segregated waste. Step 3 consists of a biogas plant using dry digestion for processing source segregated bio-waste. The economic feasibility of these three steps is evaluated. Despite prevailing fossil fuels subsidies in the country, implementing waste-to-biogas turn out feasible in the country provided the digestate is commercialized as bio-fertilizer or erosion control material and additional services such as waste collection and deposition are computed in the total economy of the biogas production plant.

Keywords
Waste, biogas production, digestate, sorting, knowledge transfer, Bolivia
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122160 (URN)
Conference
1st International Water Association Conference on Holistic Sludge Management, 2013, Västerås Sweden
Note

QC 20130710

Available from: 2013-05-13 Created: 2013-05-13 Last updated: 2016-11-25Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T., Silveira, S. & Khatiwada, D. (2012). Potential to transform waste to biogas in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia – Challenges and opportunities. In: : . Paper presented at Nordic Biogas Conference, Copenhagen, 23 – 25 April 2012.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Potential to transform waste to biogas in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia – Challenges and opportunities
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation deals with the potential to transform waste to energy in La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia. The urban area of these municipalities is facing problems with waste management, water contamination, land use, and environmental burdens.

The existing waste management system is inefficient for recycling and reusing resources since segregation of waste is not common practice. Nevertheless, it represents an opportunity for implementing waste-to-biogas. The existing waste management system can be used to redirect the flow from landfills to biogas plants offering synergies between waste management and energy generation. Many advantages, for example, cost reductions might be achieved through waste-to-biogas in La Paz and El Alto. Currently only 30% of the waste management costs are covered by the collected fees, and thus municipalities are keen to find new ways for recovering costs. Biogas can also replace subsidized fossil fuels, such as domestic fossil gas and imported diesel, leading to environmental gains. Despite these potential benefits, there are policy incentives in other directions, institutional bottlenecks, and socioeconomic constraints that need to be tackled before the existing potential can be realized. In an on-going project led by KTH, we bring together actors along the waste management chain, as well as municipalities and ministries to define a common agenda to promote waste-to-biogas in La Paz and El Alto.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-95385 (URN)
Conference
Nordic Biogas Conference, Copenhagen, 23 – 25 April 2012
Projects
Waste-to-biogas in Bolivia (homepage: www.biogas-bolivia.proj.kth.se)
Note

QC 20120607

Available from: 2012-11-14 Created: 2012-05-23 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T. (2011). Bolivia torkar ut. Stockholm: AXESS (5)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bolivia torkar ut
2011 (Swedish)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, pages
Stockholm: AXESS, 2011
Keywords
Bolivia, vattenförsörjning, föroreningar, klimat
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-81813 (URN)
Note

QC 20150202

Available from: 2012-02-11 Created: 2012-02-11 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
Lönnqvist, T. (2010). Competitive renewablegas options-emerging bioenergy segments. In: : . Paper presented at 2010 KTH Energy Initiative.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Competitive renewablegas options-emerging bioenergy segments
2010 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Keywords
Biogas Potential Vehicle gas
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48622 (URN)
Conference
2010 KTH Energy Initiative
Projects
Competitive renewablegas options-emerging bioenergy segments
Note

QC 20111123. Poster presented at 2010 KTH Energy Initiative.

Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4321-6894

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