46 results found
Slade R, 2018, Global Warming of 1.5oC, Global Warming of 1.5oCAn IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to reduce poverty - Summary for policymakers, Publisher: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Pearce P, Slade R, 2018, Feed-in tariffs for solar microgeneration: Policy evaluation and capacity projections using a realistic agent-based model, Energy Policy, Vol: 116, Pages: 95-111, ISSN: 0301-4215
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Since 2010, over 700,000 small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed by households in Great Britain and registered under the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme. This paper introduces a new agent-based model which simulates this adoption by considering decision-making of individual households based on household income, social network, total capital cost of the PV system, and the payback period of the investment, where the final factor takes into account the economic effect of FiTs. After calibration using Approximate Bayesian Computation, the model successfully simulates observed cumulative and average capacity installed over the period 2010–2016 using historically accurate FiTs; setting different tariffs allows investigation of alternative policy scenarios. Model results show that using simple cost control measures, more installation by October 2016 could have been achieved at lower subsidy cost. The total cost of supporting capacity installed during the period 2010–2016, totalling 2.4 GW, is predicted to be £14 billion, and costs to consumers significantly exceed predictions. The model is further used to project capacity installed up to 2022 for several PV cost, electricity price, and FiT policy scenarios, showing that current tariffs are too low to significantly impact adoption, and falling PV costs are the most important driver of installation.
Slade R, Di Lucia L, Adams P, 2017, How Policy Makers Learned to Start Worrying and Fell Out of Love With Bioenergy, Greenhouse Gas Balances of Bioenergy Systems, Pages: 11-28, ISBN: 9780081010365
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Bioenergy has come to be given a prominent role in national energy strategies in more than 60 countries around the world. The impetus for these policies draws on a range of motivations: improving energy security, diversifying agricultural production stimulating rural development, job creation, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.Arguably, GHG reductions were never the main driver for bioenergy policy, yet controversy over the extent, timing, and duration of carbon savings threatens to derail policy initiatives to drive up deployment. This paper analyses current controversies around bioenergy in the context of historic developments in the United States, Brazil, or European Union. It addresses two key questions: '. how did we end up in this policy mess?' and, '. how do we get out of it?'. Policy makers have faced three broad challenges to whether policies introduced to support bioenergy can genuinely contribute to GHG mitigation. The first is that carbon accounting frameworks misrepresent the carbon saving benefits of bioenergy, potentially leading policy makers to support policies that have unintended and undesirable consequences. The second is that increasing biomass production on agricultural land can directly, or indirectly, lead to increasing carbon emissions. The third challenge is that increased use of forest biomass does nothing to reduce emissions in the short term, but can only reduce carbon emissions in the distant future.We examine the evidence around each of these challenges and critically evaluate the policy responses. We argue that the greatest risk lies in political loss of confidence and institutional paralysis. Whereas the greatest opportunity lies in the co-evolution of bioenergy production and governance systems, drawing on the collective judgment of stakeholders involved in experiential, interactive, and deliberative decision-making processes.
van Diemen R, Pathak M, Correia de Oliveira de Portugal Pereira J, et al., 2017, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report Cycle, 2015 – 2022: Cities and Mitigation
Dale VH, Kline KL, Parish ES, et al., 2017, Status and prospects for renewable energy using wood pellets from the southeastern United States, GCB Bioenergy, Vol: 9, Pages: 1296-1305, ISSN: 1757-1693
Global Change Biology Bioenergy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The ongoing debate about costs and benefits of wood-pellet based bioenergy production in the southeastern United States (SE USA) requires an understanding of the science and context influencing market decisions associated with its sustainability. Production of pellets has garnered much attention as US exports have grown from negligible amounts in the early 2000s to 4.6 million metric tonnes in 2015. Currently, 98% of these pellet exports are shipped to Europe to displace coal in power plants. We ask, ‘How is the production of wood pellets in the SE USA affecting forest systems and the ecosystem services they provide?’ To address this question, we review current forest conditions and the status of the wood products industry, how pellet production affects ecosystem services and biodiversity, and what methods are in place to monitor changes and protect vulnerable systems. Scientific studies provide evidence that wood pellets in the SE USA are a fraction of total forestry operations and can be produced while maintaining or improving forest ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are protected by the requirement to utilize loggers trained to apply scientifically based best management practices in planning and implementing harvest for the export market. Bioenergy markets supplement incomes to private rural landholders and provide an incentive for forest management practices that simultaneously benefit water quality and wildlife and reduce risk of fire and insect outbreaks. Bioenergy also increases the value of forest land to landowners, thereby decreasing likelihood of conversion to nonforest uses. Monitoring and evaluation are essential to verify that regulations and good practices are achieving goals and to enable timely responses if problems arise. Conducting rigorous research to understand how conditions change in response to management choices requires baseline data, monitoring, and
Mawhood R, Gazis E, de Jong S, et al., 2016, Production pathways for renewable jet fuel: a review of commercialization status and future prospects, BIOFUELS BIOPRODUCTS & BIOREFINING-BIOFPR, Vol: 10, Pages: 462-484, ISSN: 1932-104X
Fradera R, Slawson D, Gosling L, et al., 2016, Exploring the Nexus Through Citizen Science (new connections in food, energy, water and the environment) An ESRC Investment., Exploring the Nexus Through Citizen Science (new connections in food, energy, water and the environment) An ESRC Investment., Publisher: ESRC
As global population increases, the connections between food, water, energy and the environment at global and regional scales become ever more important. The complexity and inter-connectedness of these relationships challenge policymakers, scientists, businesses andcitizens to find acceptable ways forward, but there are no easy solutions. This is the ‘nexus’.Citizen science can provide a powerful mechanism to help tackle these environmental and social challenges. In this thinkpiece we draw on the experiences of citizen science practitioners, particularly from the environmental sector. Citizens are the guardians of their local environment and, arguably, often know the places where they live better than regulators, policymakers and industry. Local citizens will usuallybe the first to notice changes in their immediate environment, whether instant changes (such as a pollution spill) or gradual (such as species decline). Citizen science can generate and broaden out the kinds of data that are considered in the investigation of environmental issues.Benefits of participating in citizen science include raised awareness, increased education, greater involvement, more participatory democracy, and increased ownership of solutions. Participation may also bring wider social, health and wellbeing benefits. Professionalscientists in turn benefit from the data submitted by volunteers, the value of which can be estimated at many millions of pounds per year.Some of the generic challenges to successful citizen science will be heightened in the context of understanding and dealing with nexus issues. These include extending citizen science (which is normally conducted at local level) to regional and global scales, optimising thecollection of data through better coordination between practitioners, empowering citizens and businesses to take more control of the conception and design of citizen science activities, and understanding the motivations, attitudes and practices of all
McLaughlin O, Mawhood B, Jamieson C, et al., Rice straw for bioenergy: the effectiveness of policymaking and implementation in Asia, 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Publisher: EUBCE
Globally, rice straw is the third largest agricultural residue, behind sugarcane bagasse and maize straw.Approximately one billion tonnes of rice straw are produced annually, but only a small proportion of this is used. Theprimary management strategies of rice straw farmers are burning in the fields and mulching. Burning producesharmful carcinogenic and greenhouse gas emissions and mulching releases high levels of methane which have aneven greater greenhouse gas effect than the CO2 released from burning. In comparison, using rice straw for bioenergyhas considerable advantages.This study examines the barriers to the use of rice straw for bioenergy, and the effectiveness of the existing policymechanisms in seven major rice producing nations: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailandand Vietnam.Data on policy effectiveness was obtained from semi-structured interviews with experts on rice straw use, basedat the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. This was combined with a detailedevaluation of existing government policies and a ranking exercise to identify which policy aspects were consideredmost successful to prohibit burning and encourage bioenergy use.Barriers to the widespread use of rice straw which can be categorised into biochemical, logistical andinfrastructural. The biochemical barriers include the low nutritive quality, high lignin and silica content whichcomplicates the breaking down of rice straw into its useful components. The logistical barriers are the wide dispersalof rice straw and intra-annual fluctuations in availability and the resulting issues created in transporting the resourcein sufficient quantity to where it can be utilised at the right time. The final group of barriers include the culturalpractices of rice straw farmers, fossil fuel subsidies skewing the market and the support systems in place forconventional substitutes of rice straw products, such as the infrastructure in place to proces
Speirs J, McGlade C, Slade R, 2015, Uncertainty in the availability of natural resources: Fossil fuels, critical metals and biomass, Energy Policy, Vol: 87, Pages: 654-664, ISSN: 0301-4215
de Jong S, Hoefnagels R, Faaij A, et al., 2015, The feasibility of short-term production strategies for renewable jet fuels - a comprehensive techno-economic comparison, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 9, Pages: 778-800, ISSN: 1932-104X
Mawhood RK, Slade R, Shah N, 2015, Policy options to promote perennial energy crops: the limitations of the English Energy Crops Scheme and the role for agent-based modelling in policy design, Wellesbourne, UK, Association of Applied Biologists: Biomass and Energy Crops V, Publisher: Association of Applied Biologists, Pages: 143-153, ISSN: 0265-1491
The UK government’s bioenergy strategy anticipates the cultivation of between 300,000 and 900,000 ha of energy crops by 2030. Yet policy incentives to promote uptake of perennial energy crops (PECs), notably the English Energy Crops Scheme (ECS), have had little impact. Less than 10,000 ha of PECs were being grown in 2013. To investigate the barriers to deployment a critical literature review and stakeholder interviews were conducted. These identified numerous substantial obstacles regarding PEC economics, alignment with existing institutions and factors affecting risk perception. Many of these are interdependent and involve a broad range of stakeholders. Agent-based modelling is proposed as an approach to explore the cumulative impacts of individual stakeholders’ behaviours under alternative policy and market conditions.
Mawhood RK, Gazis E, Hoefnagels R, et al., 2015, Technological and commercial maturity of aviation biofuels: Emerging options to produce jet from lignocellulosic biomass, 14th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET 2015)
The aviation sector is responsible for an increasing share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Wider adoption of aviation biofuels (biojet) is imperative for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, however it represents a radical departure from the existing technological regime of petroleum-based fuels. Further market deployment will require significant techno-economic breakthroughs, as well as adaptation of the existing supply chains and infrastructure.Although a large number of technologies which have the capability to produce such fuels are being developed, many of these are unlikely to be suitable for EU-based production in the short-term. Biojet production pathways vary considerably in terms of their techno-economic features, with the most highly developed being in the very early stages of commercialisation.In this article, the authors map current development and manufacturing efforts within five emerging biojet technological pathways. The research draws upon a comprehensive review of the international academic and grey literature in order to characterise the pathways according to their technological and commercial maturity, as well as progress towards international certification.By implementing the Fuel Readiness Level (FRL) methodology, the authors provide insights regarding not only the current status of the biojet sector, but also potential opportunities for the short-term development of supply chains in the EU.
Slade RB, Bauen A, 2015, Bioenergy Resources, Global Energy Issues, Potentials, and Policy Implications, Editors: Ekins, Bradshaw, watson, Publisher: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198719526
The major purpose of this book is to lay out the broad landscape of global energy issues and how they might develop in coming decades.
Slade R, Bauen A, Gross R, 2014, Global bioenergy resources, NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, Vol: 4, Pages: 99-105, ISSN: 1758-678X
Monot F, Margeot A, Hahn-Hägerdal B, et al., 2013, The NILE Project — Advances in the Conversion of Lignocellulosic Materials into Ethanol, Oil & Gas Science and Technology – Revue d’IFP Energies nouvelles, Vol: 68, Pages: 693-705, ISSN: 1294-4475
Slade R, Bauen A, 2013, Micro-algae cultivation for biofuels: Cost, energy balance, environmental impacts and future prospects, BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, Vol: 53, Pages: 29-38, ISSN: 0961-9534
Slade R, Gross R, 2013, Submission to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee: Bioenergy call for evidence; May 2013
Slade R, Bauen A, 2013, Biomass use on a global scale, Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Publisher: Springer
Slade R, 2012, Cellulosic ethanol in Northern Sweden - a case study of economic performance and GHG emissions, Biorefinery: from biomass to chemicals and fuels, Editors: Aresta, Dibenedetto, Dumeignil, Publisher: Walter de Gruyter, Pages: 363-376, ISBN: 9783110260236
Slade R, Saunders R, Gross R, et al., 2011, Energy from biomass: the size of the global resource, London, Publisher: UK Energy Research Centre
An assessment of the evidence that biomass can make a major contribution to future energy supply
slade R, Saunders R, Gross R, et al., 2011, Energy from biomass: the size of the global resource
An assessment of the evidence that biomass can make a major contributio to future energy supply
Contestabile M, Offer GJ, Slade R, et al., 2011, Battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels. Which will be the winner?, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, Vol: 4, Pages: 3754-3772, ISSN: 1754-5692
Slade R, Gross R, Bauen A, 2011, Estimating bio-energy resource potentials to 2050: learning from experience, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, Vol: 4, Pages: 2645-2657, ISSN: 1754-5692
Slade R, Bauen A, Gross G, 2011, Prioritising the use of biomass resources: conceptualising trade-offs, Proceedings of the bioten conference on biomass, bioenergy and biofuels 2010, Newbury, Publisher: Cplpress, ISBN: 978 1 872691 54 1
This paper reviews metrics used to compare alternative bio-energy pathways and identifies limitations inherent in the way that they are calculated and interpreted. It also looks at how companies and investors approach strategic decisions in the bio-energy area. Bio-energy pathways have physical and economic attributes that can be measured or modelled. These include: the capital cost, operating cost, emissions to air, land and water. Conceptually, comparing alternative pathways is as simple as selecting the attributes and metrics you consider to be most important and ranking the alternative pathways accordingly. At an abstract level there is good agreement about which features of bio-energy pathways are desirable, but there is little agreement about which performance metrics best capture all the relevant information. Between studies there is also a great deal of variation energetic performance and this impedes comparison.Common metrics describe energetic performance, economic performance, environmental performance (emissions, land and water use), and social and ecological performance. Compound metrics may be used to assess multiple attributes simultaneously but their highly aggregate nature may make them difficult to interpret. Insights that may be drawn from the analysis include: • That none of the commonly used metrics capture all pertinent information, and the diversity of bio-energy feedstocks and conversion technologies means that there is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all best use of biomass. • The option value of individual bio-energy pathways may change if the relative prices of different fuels change. Some bio-energy applications – e.g. second generation biofuels – may be strategically important even if at current prices the cost-per-tonne-of-carbon-saved appears unattractive. • Slavish adherence to a single metric – e.g. the cost-per-tonne-of-carbon-saved – is best avoided.• When deciding upon their strategic dir
Slade R, Bauen A, Gross R, 2010, Prioritising the best use of biomass resources, UKERC/WP/TPA/2010/003
Using biomass to provide energy services is one of the most versatile options for increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the existing system. This report reviews metrics used to compare alternative bio-energy pathways and identifies limitations inherent in the way that they are calculated and interpreted. It also looks at how companies and investors approach strategic decisions in the bio-energy area. Bio-energy pathways have has physical and economic attributes that can be measured or modelled. These include: the capital cost, operating cost, emissions to air, land and water. Conceptually, comparing alternative pathways is as simple as selecting the attributes and metrics you consider to be most important and ranking the alternative pathways accordingly. At an abstract level there is good agreement about which features of bio-energy pathways are desirable, but there is little agreement about which performance metrics best capture all the relevant information about a bio-energy pathway. Between studies there is also a great deal of variation and this impedes comparison.Common metrics describe energetic performance, economic performance, environmental performance (emissions, land and water use), and social and ecological performance. Compound metrics may be used to integrate multiple attributes but their highly aggregate nature may make them difficult to interpret.Insights that may be drawn from the analysis include: • The diversity of bio-energy feedstocks and conversion technologies means that there is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all best use of biomass. • In seeking to develop a strategic approach to biomass use, none of the commonly used metrics capture all pertinent information. • Not all energy services are equally valuable. Some bio-energy applications – e.g. second generation biofuels – may be strategically important even if at current prices the cost-per-tonne-of-carbon-saved appears unattractive. The option value of
Panoutsou C, Slade R, 2010, Biofuels in the UK: A Case Study of Current and Emerging Feedstocks, JOURNAL OF BIOBASED MATERIALS AND BIOENERGY, Vol: 4, Pages: 198-210, ISSN: 1556-6560
Slade R, Bauen A, Gross R, 2010, Prioritising the best use of biomass resources:conceptualising trade-offs, UKERC website, Publisher: UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), UKERC/WP/TPA/2010/003
Slade R, Bauen A, Gross R, 2010, The UK bio-energy resource base to 2050: estimates, assumptions, and uncertainties, UKERC website, Publisher: UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), UKERC/WP/TPA/2010/002
Slade R, 2010, Enzymes: an ethanol revolution, Cleantech Magazine, Vol: 4
Slade R, 2010, Prospects for cellulosic ethanol supply-chains in Europe: a techno-economic and environmental assessment
This thesis investigated the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass for use as a transport fuel in Europe. Specifically, it explored the potential that production could be cost effective and environmentally sustainable, and examined the practical options for scale-up and commercialisation. A model that enabled costs and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of alternative supply-chains for ethanol production to be compared was developed, and the factors most important in determining the profitability and GHG emissions of ethanol production identified. The options for scale-up and commercialisation were assessed by identifying common elements in the strategies being pursued by prominent companies and other market actors.The most important cost determinants were found to be the price of feedstocks – primarily determined by location and existing markets, and the value obtained for ethanol – primarily determined by the oil price and policy incentives. Although these factors are highly uncertain, the best performing chains (ethanol produced from softwood and sold as a low percentage blend with gasoline) could ultimately be cost competitive with gasoline without requiring subsidy.The most important determinants of GHG emissions were found to be emissions arising from biomass production and the use of electricity in the conversion process. Indirect land-use-change was identified as an uncertain but potentially significant source of emissions.Corporate interest was found to be driven by the desire to expand upon existing business assets or acumen. Market dominance is expected to come from privileged access to feedstocks and vertical integration. The most credible paths to market (at least in the short term) are considered to be intermediate scale facilities, closely integrated with other industrial processes such as combined heat and power, district heating, or conventional ethanol production.Lignocellulosic ethanol holds promise for cost effective and
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