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  • 1.
    Hallonsten, Olof
    University of Gothenburg.
    Continuity and change in the politics of European scientific collaboration2012In: Journal of Contemporary European Research, ISSN 1815-347X, E-ISSN 1815-347X, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 300-318Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Intergovernmental collaboration in the area of big science has been an important resource for European science since the 1950s. Yet, as a policy area, it has traditionally been left outside of the political integration work of the European Community/Union. Despite this formal detachment, the political realities of the collaborations often draw upon and reflect the (geo)political dynamics of Europe. This article reports on a study of two big projects in the making (the European Spallation Source and the European X-ray Free Electron Laser), and uses two historical cases for comparison (the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility). It highlights critical issues in establishing and operating collaborations, relates these to the broader context of European political integration, and discusses, on the basis of this, signs of continuity and change in this distinct area of European research policy.

  • 2.
    Pacini, Henrique
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
    Solar Power in the European Context: Conversion Efficiency and the Issue of Carbon2009In: Journal of Contemporary European Research, ISSN 1815-347X, E-ISSN 1815-347X, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 114-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The European Union is committed to increasing the use of renewable energies across Europe. One of the ways this is to be done is through the promotion of solar photovoltaics (PV), a method with significant environmental benefits. However, the high costs of electricity generated through PV have constrained the market reach of this option. This paper takes the form of a policy discussion, analyzing the fundamental issues concerning this type of energy, and its place in the European alternative energy market. Furthermore, a scenario is drafted to estimate how efficient solar panels should ideally be to make electricity produced by them cost-competitive with conventional, grid-tied energy sources.  The study considers both a conventional scenario and another, with carbon capture costs incorporated into the final electricity prices. It is observed that in order to be competitive with conventional fossil-based electricity, photovoltaic conversion efficiencies should be around 34%. Incorporating carbon costs would further help promote solar PV, making it more price-attractive compared to emission-intensive electricity generation based on fossil fuels. The final part of the paper sheds light on the new developments on European PV, mainly in regards to the 2008 European Commission Climate Change Package, its implications and reactions from the industry.

  • 3.
    Pacini, Henrique
    et al.
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.
    Strapasson, Alexandre
    Imperial College, London.
    Innovation subject to sustainability: the European policy on biofuels and its effects on innovation in the Brazilian bioethanol industry2012In: Journal of Contemporary European Research, ISSN 1815-347X, E-ISSN 1815-347X, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 367-397Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Biofuels are a suitable complement for fossil energy in the transport sector and bioethanol is the main biofuel traded worldwide. Based on the assumption that innovation can be influenced by regulation, the Brazilian bioethanol industry is facing new requirements from external actors while reaching for international markets. Until 2010, national environmental laws were the main sustainability instrument that the biofuel industry faced. With the introduction of sustainability criteria for biofuels in the European Fuels Quality Directive (FQD) and Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of 2009, bioethanol producers have been pressured to innovate in respect of the requirements of future markets. Here, the aim is to analyse the case of Brazil, given the potential exports of sugarcane-based ethanol from this country to the EU. Brazil provides an interesting overview of how a bioethanol industry innovated while facing sustainability requirements in the past. A comparison between the European requirements and the industry´s status quo is then explored. The EU criteria are likely to have effects on the Brazilian bioethanol industry and incremental improvements in sustainability levels might take place based on the sustainability requirements. In addition, the industry could follow two other paths, namely risk diversification by engaging in multi-output models; and market leakage towards less-regulated markets. At the same time, an environmental overregulation of the biofuel market may make it more difficult for emerging biofuel industries in other countries, especially in Africa, by creating a barrier rather than contributing to its expansion. The results of this analysis show the main challenges to be addressed and the potential positive and negative impacts of the European Union biofuels policy on the Brazilian bioethanol industry.

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