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Indirect energy associated with swedish road transports
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2007 (English)In: European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, ISSN 1567-7133, Vol. 7, no 3Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Typically when transport systems are considered from an energy or environmental perspective it is primarily the energy use associated with the propulsion of vehicles that is addressed. There are however other significant energy categories associated with transport systems, labelled as indirect energy – construction, operation, maintenance and demolition of infrastructure; manufacturing, service and scrapping of vehicles; and fuel production. In this paper the indirect energy is calculated to slightly more than 45% of the total energy use in the Swedish road transport sector. In detail, infrastructural energy stands for approximately 22%, vehicular energy at least 14%, and fuel production about 9% of the total energy use. In conclusion, the insight into the significance of the indirect transport energy should have implications on transport policy, for example, the design of means of control to reduce energy use and environmental impact. Four scenarios involving energy-saving measures are tested, and even though direct energy use remains the single largest item, policy-makers concerned with reducing road sector CO2-emissions cannot focus exclusively on the consumption of petrol and diesel for propulsion, but should also give heed to the energy use associated with infrastructure and vehicles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 7, no 3
Keyword [en]
energy, environment, roads, Sweden, transport
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13622OAI: diva2:326207

QC 20100622. Updated from submitted to published 20120327

Available from: 2010-06-22 Created: 2010-06-22 Last updated: 2013-04-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Situations of opportunity for infrasystems: understanding and pursuing change towards environmental sustainability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Situations of opportunity for infrasystems: understanding and pursuing change towards environmental sustainability
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Infrasystems are the large technical systems in society delivering water and electricity, making communications and transports possible, managing the gathering and treatment of refuse and sewage, and many other services. Infrasystems mean welfare, convenience and economic growth, but also considerable environmental impacts.

The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to the development of aspects and prerequisites of infrasystem change in a sustainable direction, by way of elaborating conceptual knowledge. The first main point of departure is the concept of infrasystem, and the related approach Large Technical Systems (LTS), primarily associated the field of history of technology. A key feature is to highlight a socio-technical systems perspective, rather than separating technology from social and institutional aspects.

The second main point of departure is the change perspective Situations of Opportunity (SITOP), which is a draft theory developed within a research programme at the Royal Institute of Technology. SITOP set out from the notion that the possibility to implement changes in a sustainable direction is greater than average at certain moments in time. A situation of opportunity is associated with a prehistory, limiting the field of options for the actors utilising a formative moment.

When SITOP, LTS and other related socio-technical perspectives are cross-fertilised some directions of where to look for future situations of opportunity for infrasystem change in a sustainable direction can be pointed out, e.g. in connection with certain problems or crises in the systems’ development. On the one hand different aspects on how to widen the field of options are discussed, e.g. to promote inter-sectorial actor networks, to identify system synergies and social innovations (paper 1-3), and to highlight services and functions rather than sectors and technology (paper 2). On the other hand, in order to approach the great changes needed in the context of sustainable development, the socio-technical regimes of today have to undergo major alterations, which probably presupposes new sets of actors and actor networks. A more moderate view however, is to seek positive synergies between everyday decision- and policy-making and the long-term striving for sustainable development. Issues often considered as necessities, e.g. renovations of old buildings, or building more roads to moderate congestion – ‘what must be done’ – should be combined with ‘what should be done’, e.g. implementing energy saving solutions in the built environment, or reducing society’s transport dependency. The array of conceivable combinations widens the field of options.

The results also concern indirect effects of infrasystems, which might contribute to processes evaluating fields of options. Infrastructure investments affect activity patterns and the built environment (paper 4). Moreover infrasystems are associated with indirect energy use (paper 5).

The conceptual views presented in this thesis are no immediate means, ready to be used in concrete infrasystem management, but can in the steps that follow primary policy-making support the process of finding out when to implement change, and moreover assessing plausible solutions. In other words – identify situations of opportunity and explore the field of options.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. 122 p.
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 06:10
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4145 (URN)91-7178-465-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-02, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00
QC 20100622Available from: 2006-10-10 Created: 2006-10-10 Last updated: 2011-09-01Bibliographically approved

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