19 results found
Di Lucia L, Slade R, Khan J, 2022, Decision-making fitness of methods to understand Sustainable Development Goal interactions, Nature Sustainability, Vol: 5, Pages: 131-138, ISSN: 2398-9629
The integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents a challenge to implementing the 2030 Agenda. Analytical methods to support decision-makers are often developed without explicitly incorporating decision-makers’ views and experience. Here, we investigate whether existing methods are fit-for-purpose in supporting decision-makers at national and subnational levels. We identify prominent methods for SDG interaction analysis, which we then evaluate by engaging directly (via a survey and interviews) with method developers and decision-makers in Sweden. We find that decision-makers prioritize methods that are simple and flexible to apply and able to provide directly actionable and understandable results. They are less concerned with the accuracy, precision, completeness or quantitative nature of the knowledge. Prominent categories of methods include self-assessment, expert judgement, literature-based, statistical analyses and modelling. Interviewed decision-makers consider these methods in line with the features prioritized in the survey but highlight low performance on features they value highly, such as the extent to which results are actionable and overall ease of use. Methods developers have limited awareness of decision-makers’ priorities and requirements, so hindering methodological advancement. They should focus on the practical value of applications to support decision-makers, resource-constrained organizations and those seeking to evaluate multiple cases.
Di Lucia L, Peterson S, Sevigné-Itoiz E, et al., 2020, Using participatory system dynamics modelling to quantify indirect land use changes of biofuel projects, Journal of Land Use Science, Vol: 16, Pages: 111-128, ISSN: 1747-423X
The use of biomass to produce biofuels can lead to both direct and indirect Land Use Change (LUC). While the causes underlying LUCs are complex their quantification is a scientific challenge that hinders decision-making. Here we demonstrate the application of participatory modelling in combination with System Dynamics techniques to the analysis of the land-change dynamics associated with biofuel supply chains. The ambition is to provide decision-makers with useful and credible knowledge of direct and indirect LUCs. We illustrate the application of the approach by applying it to a real‐world project for the production of advanced biofuels in Sardinia (Italy). The results show that the land use displacements vary in intensity and persistence depending on the crop management regime applied and the future development of the market of sheep cheese. The results were considered credible by actors with direct knowledge of the ‘real’ system and useful by decision makers .
Anejionu OCD, Di Lucia L, Woods J, 2020, Geospatial modelling of environmental and socioeconomic impacts of large-scale production of advanced biofuel, Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol: 142, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 0961-9534
Di Lucia L, Sevigne-Itoiz E, Peterson S, et al., 2019, Project level assessment of indirect land use changes arising from biofuel production, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, Vol: 11, Pages: 1361-1375, ISSN: 1757-1693
The use of land resources has a strong influence on the sustainability of biofuel production. An assessment of both direct and indirect changes in land use is necessary if an accurate assessment of sustainability is to be made. An increasing number of studies have developed approaches to estimate the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacts of biofuels at global, national or regional level, but assessing ILUC remains a challenging task and estimates vary widely. In this study, we suggest that a socially motivated, project level approach can provide robust insight into the conditions affecting land use change dynamics. We developed a causal‐descriptive approach named ILUC Project ASsessment Tool (ILUC PAST) for project level assessment of ILUC. It uses a tiered multitool analysis—from local to global—combined with extensive stakeholder engagement. A real‐world project for the production of cellulosic ethanol in Sardinia (Italy) was used to evaluate the tool and benchmark the results against two alternatives for project level assessment: the ‘Low Indirect Impact Biofuel’ methodology and the ‘iLUC Club’ method. The results of the case study of advanced biofuels suggest that the quantitative estimates of ILUC combined with the in‐depth understanding of the cause‐and‐effect dynamics provided by ILUC PAST are sufficiently credible, salient and legitimate to support project level and local decision‐making.
Di Lucia L, Ribeiro B, 2018, Enacting responsibilities in landscape design: The case of advanced biofuels, Sustainability, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2071-1050
In this article, we explore the opportunities and challenges of landscape approaches through the lens of responsible research and innovation (RRI). We use the case of transport biofuels to reflect on the capacity of landscape approaches to support the governance of emerging technologies. The case study, developed in the region of Sardinia, Italy, consists of a landscape design process for the implementation of biofuel technologies that rely on the use of non-food dedicated crops and agricultural residues. By using non-food feedstocks, the biofuel project aims to avoid competition with food production and achieve sustainability goals. Through the discussion of key dimensions of RRI in relation to this case, the article puts forward a set of critical aspects of landscape design processes that require further attention from theorists and practitioners in the field of landscape-based planning. These include the power imbalance that exists between the diverse actors involved in project activities, a need for improving the flexibility of the configuration of socio-technical systems, revising assumptions on ‘valid’ knowledge, and improving the deliberative component of planning processes.
Di Lucia L, Usai D, Woods J, 2018, Designing landscapes for sustainable outcomes - The case of advanced biofuels, LAND USE POLICY, Vol: 73, Pages: 434-446, ISSN: 0264-8377
Slade RB, Di Lucia L, adams P, 2018, How Policy Makers Learnedto Start Worrying and Fell Out of LoveWith Bioenergy, Greenhouse gas balances of bioenergy systems, Editors: Thornley, Adams, Publisher: Academic Press (Elsevier)
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 was 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.
Hodgson E, Ruiz-Molina M-E, Marazza D, et al., 2016, Horizon scanning the European bio-based economy: a novel approach to the identification of barriers and key policy interventions from stakeholders in multiple sectors and regions, Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining-Biofpr, Vol: 10, Pages: 508-522, ISSN: 1932-104X
There is international recognition that developing a climate-smart bioeconomy is essential to the continuation of economic development, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation to climatic change; Bio-based products have an important role in making this transition happen. Supporting policy interventions have been put forward at European and national levels to support innovation and development of bio-based products and services. This study asks whether suggested policy interventions reflect the needs of stakeholders and examines how these needs vary between European regions. This consultation was performed through an online survey of 447 experts actively involved in bio-based research, industry, and governance across Europe. The majority of responses received were from stakeholders in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK which are examined in greater depth.Climate change was clearly an important driver for bio-based innovation as 86% of the respondents considered climate change to be a significant threat. There were clear differences between regions but also areas of consensus between stakeholders across the European regions surveyed. In particular there was consensus regarding the need for improved access to financial support and the need to ensure continuity of policy. The need to build investor confidence through demonstration of bio-based technologies, the provision of greater clarity regarding best conversion routes for specific feedstocks, and the need to promote a culture of industrial symbiosis were also regarded as important interventions.
Ahlgren S, Di Lucia L, 2016, Indirect land use changes of biofuel production - a review of modelling efforts and policy developments in the European Union (vol 7, 35, 2014), BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1754-6834
Ahlgren S, Di Lucia L, 2015, Indirect Land Use Changes of Biofuel Production: A Review of Modeling Efforts and Policy Developments in the European Union, Climate Change Mitigation: Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Biochemicals, Pages: 277-296, ISBN: 9781771882422
Zhang J, Di Lucia L, 2015, A transition perspective on alternatives to coal in Chinese district heating, International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, Vol: 6, Pages: 49-68
China uses half the world’s annual coal consumption, since coal is the primary energy source for heating in urban areas, particularly in northern China. This entails significant challenges for urban air quality in China and for the global climate. Unlike the electricity and transportation sectors, the heating sector has received little attention from policy and research actors in China, despite very high penetration of urban district heating (DH) systems, which supply more than 80% of northern China’s urban buildings. DH systems can facilitate efficiency improvements and the use of renewable energy sources. This study explores the dynamics and possibility to expand alternative energy sources (natural gas, biomass, direct geothermal heat, ground-source heat pump, municipal waste heat, industrial waste heat) for DH in China. We apply an analytical framework largely based on the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions, in which transitions are interpreted as the result of interactions between niche, regime and landscape elements. The study provides an integrated picture of the socio-technical structure and functioning of DH in China. The results show that an energy transition in Chinese DH systems has barely started. The system is characterised by stability of the coal-based DH regime, while a number of alternative niches are struggling to emerge. Among these, natural gas is the most successful example. However, at local level different niches present opportunities in terms of physical availability, economic viability and capacity to address landscape pressure. The introduction of an appropriate sustainable heat roadmap and policy framework at national level could promote and facilitate this energy transition.
Di Lucia L, Ericsson K, 2014, Low-carbon district heating in Sweden - Examining a successful energy transition, Energy Research and Social Science, Vol: 4, Pages: 10-20, ISSN: 2214-6296
District heating (DH) systems may contribute to reducing the use of fossil fuels for heating purposes since they enable the use of waste heat and facilitate the use of renewable energy sources. This paper focuses on the transformation of the Swedish DH systems with regard to energy supply in 1960-2011. Swedish DH production was completely dependent on oil until the late 1970s, while today it is dominated by biomass and other renewable energy sources. The objectives of this paper are to describe and explain the fuel transition in the context of the main events that have characterized the development of the Swedish DH sector. For this purpose, we employ theories and approaches grounded in the literature on systems of innovations, especially the Multi-Level Perspective. The study shows that the transition involved a series of steps. Initiated by the oil crises in the 1970s the oil-based regime collapsed rapidly, while the growth of the biomass-based regime was a steered process governed by actors and supported only by external events. The lessons learned from the transition towards low-carbon and more sustainable DH systems in Sweden could be useful in the challenging task of steering future energy transitions in other countries and sectors.
Ahlgren S, Di Lucia L, 2014, Indirect land use changes of biofuel production - a review of modelling efforts and policy developments in the European Union, Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1754-6834
The issue of indirect land use changes (ILUC) caused by the promotion of transport biofuels has attracted considerable attention in recent years. In this paper, we reviewed the current literature on modelling work to estimate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) caused by ILUC of biofuels. We also reviewed the development of ILUC policies in the EU. Our review of past modelling work revealed that most studies employ economic equilibrium modelling and focus on ethanol fuels, especially with maize as feedstock. It also revealed major variation in the results from the models, especially for biodiesel fuels. However, there has been some convergence of results over time, particularly for ethanol from maize, wheat and sugar cane. Our review of EU policy developments showed that the introduction of fuel-specific ILUC factors has been officially suggested by policymakers to deal with the ILUC of biofuels. The values proposed as ILUC factors in the policymaking process in the case of ethanol fuels are generally in line with the results of the latest modelling exercises, in particular for first-generation ethanol fuels from maize and sugar cane, while those for biodiesel fuels are somewhat higher. If the proposed values were introduced into EU policy, no (first-generation) biodiesel fuel would be able to comply with the EU GHG saving requirements. We identified a conflict between the demand from EU policymakers for exact, highly specific values and the capacity of the current models to supply results with that level of precision. We concluded that alternative policy approaches to ILUC factors should be further explored.
Di Lucia L, 2013, Too difficult to govern? An assessment of the governability of transport biofuels in the EU, ENERGY POLICY, Vol: 63, Pages: 81-88, ISSN: 0301-4215
Ahlgren S, Röös E, Di Lucia L, et al., 2012, EU sustainability criteria for biofuels: Uncertainties in GHG emissions from cultivation, Biofuels, Vol: 3, Pages: 399-411, ISSN: 1759-7269
Background: Cultivation of raw material represents a large proportion of biofuelś GHG emissions. The EU renewable energy directive 2009/28/EC specifies a GHG emission default value for cultivation of biofuel raw material (23 g CO2-e/MJ ethanol for wheat). The aim of this study was to quantify the uncertainty in GHG emissions for wheat cultivation in Sweden, considering uncertainty and variability in data at farm level. Results: Two levels of data collection at farm level were analyzed; simple (only yield and amount of N) and advanced (also including amounts and types of energy). The 2.5-97.5 percentile uncertainty for Swedish winter wheat was 20-27 g CO 2-e/MJ, which can be considered large in the context of the Directives threshold of 23 g (to two significant figures). Conclusion: It is concluded that quantifying GHG emissions in order to regulate biofuels is a difficult task, especially emissions from cultivation, since these are biological systems with large variability. © 2012 Future Science Ltd.
Di Lucia L, Ahlgren S, Ericsson K, 2012, The dilemma of indirect land-use changes in EU biofuel policy - An empirical study of policy-making in the context of scientific uncertainty, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & POLICY, Vol: 16, Pages: 9-19, ISSN: 1462-9011
Di Lucia L, 2010, External governance and the EU policy for sustainable biofuels, the case of Mozambique, ENERGY POLICY, Vol: 38, Pages: 7395-7403, ISSN: 0301-4215
Di Lucia L, Kronsell A, 2010, The willing, the unwilling and the unable - explaining implementation of the EU Biofuels Directive, JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN PUBLIC POLICY, Vol: 17, Pages: 545-563, ISSN: 1350-1763
Di Lucia L, Nilsson LJ, 2007, Transport biofuels in the European Union: The state of play, TRANSPORT POLICY, Vol: 14, Pages: 533-543, ISSN: 0967-070X
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