The transition to modern bioenergy: historical dimensions and strategic perspectives
2012 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
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.
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject Energy Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155711OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-155711DiVA: diva2:762154
International Conference on Sustainability Transitions
QC 201411122014-11-102014-11-102014-11-11Bibliographically approved