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Regional-global Linkages in the Energy-Climate-Development Policy Nexus: The Case of Biofuels in the EU Renewable Energy Directive
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
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. no 2, 91-106 p.
Keyword [en]
biofuels, climate policy, development policy, renewable energy, energy policy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Energy Systems
Research subject
SRA - Energy
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-79622OAI: diva2:495674
QC 29120209Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-02-09 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploiting cross-level linkages to steer the bioenergy transition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploiting cross-level linkages to steer the bioenergy transition
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.
, TRITA-ECS Report, 2014/03
energy transition, modern bioenergy, traditional biomass, cross-level linkages, institutional design, regional development, alternative fuels
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155686 (URN)978-91-7595-342-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-25, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)

QC 20141112

Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-09 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved

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