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Navigating the transition to sustainable bioenergy in Sweden and Brazil
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS. Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sweden and Brazil have become world leaders in modern bioenergy with respect to research, technology innovation and system implementation. However, there are still underdeveloped bioenergy segments in both countries. In this paper, we use approaches from the transition and innovation literatures to analyse both successes and deficiencies in different end-use segments of the transition to modern bioenergy in Sweden and Brazil. The analysis focuses on the development of socio-technical regimes and identification of innovative approaches that have enabled or hindered transitions in the two countries. We conclude that specific technology options and strategic policies had an important role in orchestrating the transition but the alignment of old established structures and interest groups in agriculture and forestry with industrial actors and policy-makers at national and sub-national scales were key factors for promoting modern bioenergy in the two countries. These findings justify a systemic approach in navigating the bioenergy transition, to meet the multiple and simultaneous interferences that may be caused in established socio-technical regimes within various sectors simultaneously.

Keyword [en]
bioenergy, ethanol, charcoal, district heating, socio-technical regimes, transition
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155720OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-155720DiVA: diva2:762168
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-11-10 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.
Series
TRITA-ECS Report, 2014/03
Keyword
energy transition, modern bioenergy, traditional biomass, cross-level linkages, institutional design, regional development, alternative fuels
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20141112

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

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