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Forest-derived methane in the Swedish transport sector: A closing window?
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4321-6894
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3315-4201
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2017 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 105, 440-450 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Forest-derived methane could complement biogas from anaerobic digestion as a transport fuel. The conditions for a systemic transition have been analyzed in this article. The analysis contains three blocks: the vehicle gas development, the policy framework, and commercial projects to produce methane from forest biomass. The results reveal that several conditions for a systemic transition are in place. There is established infrastructure for feedstock supply and biofuels distribution. Infrastructure development is an important albeit not determining factor. Private and public actors have advanced plans for commercial scale plants, technological know-how, and experience from a demonstration plant. However, a major barrier for a systemic transition is the low predictability of Swedish policy instruments. The Swedish government is not free to design policy instruments but must consider compatibility with the EU framework and has changed the energy tax on biofuels several times to avoid overcompensation according to the EU regulation. This has contributed to the low predictability. The interviewees have suggested several concrete policy instruments. However, they have also emphasized that the exact design of the policy instruments is less important than the predictability of the support. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 105, 440-450 p.
Keyword [en]
Policy instruments, systemic transition, transport fuels, methane, forest biomass
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-203949DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.003ISI: 000400532900042Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85015077342OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-203949DiVA: diva2:1083226
Funder
The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3)
Note

QC 20170410

Available from: 2017-03-20 Created: 2017-03-20 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biogas in Swedish transport – a policy-driven systemic transition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biogas in Swedish transport – a policy-driven systemic transition
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis analyzes the conditions for biogas in the Swedish transport sector. Biogas can contribute to the achievement of Sweden’s ambitious targets of decreased emissions of greenhouse gases and an increased share of renewables in the transport sector, a sector that encompasses the major challenges in the phase-out of fossil fuels.

Biogas development has stagnated during recent years and there are several factors that have contributed to this. The use of biogas in transport has developed in niches strongly affected by policy instruments and in this thesis, the progress is understood as a policy-driven systemic transition. Biogas has (started to) become established at the regime level and has begun to replace fossil fuels. The major obstacles for continued biogas development are found to be the stagnated vehicle gas demand, the low predictability of Swedish policy instruments, and electric car development. Moreover, the current prolonged period of low oil prices has also contributed to a lack of top-down pressure.

A large share of the cheap and easily accessible feedstock for conventional biogas production is already utilized and an increased use of vehicle gas could enable a commercial introduction of forest-derived methane. However, the technologies to produce forest-derived methane are still not commercial, although there are industrial actors with technological know-how.

Future biogas development depends on how the policy framework develops. Policy makers should consider the dynamics of biogas as a young sociotechnical system where different system fronts develop at a varying pace. Currently the demand side is lagging behind. However, it is necessary to maintain predictable policy support throughout the entire biogas value chain, since the system fronts that lag can vary over time. The low predictability of Swedish policy instruments indicates that policy makers should exercise care in their design to create a more robust policy framework moving forward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 90 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2017:27
Keyword
Transport biofuels, Biogas, Forest-derived methane, Policy, Actors, Multilevel perspective, Barriers and incentives, Biogas production potential
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering; Industrial Engineering and Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206578 (URN)978-91-7729-389-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170508

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-05 Last updated: 2017-05-08Bibliographically approved

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