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[en] This thesis addresses the public perception of the risk of a technology not widely known to lay people. Its aims were (a) to characterize public perceptions of the risk of using nuclear energy in space and decisions related to this risk, and (b) to extend the mental model methodology to studying public perception of unfamiliar, risky technologies. A model of the physical processes capable of creating risks from using nuclear energy sources in space was first constructed. Then, knowledge and beliefs related to this topic were elicited from three different groups of people. The generality of the findings were examined in a constructive replication with environmentally-oriented people. The possibility of involving the public in decision-making processes related to engineering macro-design was then investigated. Finally, a communication regarding these risk processes was developed and evaluated in an experiment comparing it with communications produced by NASA. Recommendations related to the design and targeting of risk communication, and to public participation in decision making on using new and risky technologies, are derived
[en] This dissertation traces the complicated interrelationships between ideology and interest within the civilian nuclear power controversy. The first chapter introduces the topic. The second chapter provides a social-political-economic overview of the context in which the conflicting ideologies arose. Factors looked at are the ascendancy of the physical sciences, the development of nuclear energy, the disenchantment with science and technology and the consequent rise of an anti-nuclear ideology. Chapter III uses the theories of Alvin Gouldner to understand the structure of ideology. The chapter defines ideology's similarities to and differences from scientific discourse. Chapter IV examines the ideological discourse of a selected sample of scientists who have spoken for and against civilian nuclear power. In parallel to chapter IV, chapter V examines a scientific controversy among the sample of experts. It shows how scientific disagreement can be produced and how ideology is most closely linked to science. Chapter VI examines the social interests of the scientists and experts to discover ways that interests have shaped the ideological and scientific positions for and against civilian nuclear energy. Based on the foregoing, chapter VII concludes that the introduction of science and experts into a controversy cannot be expected to end disagreement over policy because of the link between science and ideology
[en] This study attempted to determine the factors that influenced the impact of the PNRI training program in nuclear science and technology. The population of the study consisted of all graduate trainees who successfully completed the training courses conducted at the PNRI Training Center for the period 1989 to 1994. A stratified random sampling of 600 or 50% of the population were chosen from the 4 sectors of the population namely industry/service, medicine, education and research sector. Of the 600 samples only 395 or 66% of the samples responded to the mailed questionnaires. The following hypotheses were tested: 1) trainee - organization- related factors and overall satisfaction of the participants on the training program determine the impact of training; 2) there are significant differences among the perceptions of the participants on impact. Frequency counts and percentages were used to determine the number of trainees by sector and the description of the sample. T-test was used to measure whether or not the relationship between the ''Before'' and ''After'' training scores of the trainees is significant and whether the perceptions of the trainee respondents by sector on impact differed significantly. Multiple regression was used to determine whether the independent variables are significantly associated with the measures of program impact. The t-test was used to measure the significance of regression coefficient. (Author)
[en] This research aims to investigate the Brazilian Nuclear Program (PNB) stating as reference the Fukushima nuclear accident. Its main purpose is to analyze how the Japanese accident impacted the PNB. Therefore, the program will be analyzed within 10-years (2004-2014) in order to answer this question. The discussion launched in this thesis is based on the framework of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, which enables the understanding of socio-technical controversies beyond the social or technological determinism. Through the discussion of the concepts of framing, socio-technical imaginary, risk and governance of science and technology, the research shows how the controversy in focus has resulted in the opportunity to consider not only economic, technological, environmental issues about nuclear energy, but also its political dimensions and challenges. Among these challenges, and from very different perspectives, arise questions about the role nuclear energy plays in the Brazilian context, the future of the program and the decision making process on these issues. Despite the central purpose of this study is essentially on risks, PNB and on the Brazilian context, it should be pointed that it is impossible to consider it in isolation of what is happening internationally (considering interests, tensions, relations between actors, etc.) The research thereby identifies key implications of Fukushima in the international context, but focuses on the disputes regarding possible review of the PNB. It also highlights how the socio-technical controversies, such as the nuclear energy, demand or impose a discussion on the governance of science and technology, risk and on the engagement of different sectors and actors in decision-making on issues, that are at the same time about energy, technology and nationality relevance. All this reflection is made from multi-sited analysis, which allowed following the controversy surrounding nuclear energy, reheated by the Fukushima accident. A variety of data and actors were considered in this sense, in order to capture possible disputes introduced around the program and its future. (author)
[en] The material included in the report is a collection of papers dealing with different issues related to the topics included in the title. Some of these papers have already either been published or presented at various conferences. Together with a general introduction, they constitute the author's PhD dissertation. The dissertation includes six papers and two shorter notes on different aspects of structural change of the economy and energy demand. Three different issues related to long-term energy demand are discussed: (1) the importance of technological change and its representation in energy-economy modelling, (2) an integration of two different modelling approaches, and (3) the effect on energy demand of structural changes exemplified by changes in the energy supply sector and in Danish trade patterns. The report highlights a few aspects of the interaction between structural economic changes and energy demand, but it does not intend to cover a wide range of issues related to these topics. In the introductory chapter some discussions and thoughts about issues not covered by the articles are brought forward. The introductory chapter includes an overview of possible relations between longterm energy demand and the economy, technical progress demography, social conditions and politics. The first two papers discuss the importance for projections of long-term energy demand of the way in which technological progress is modelled. These papers focus on energy-economy modelling. A paper dealing with two different approaches to energy demand modelling and the possible integration of these approaches in the Danish case follows next. The integrated Danish model, is then used for analysing different revenue recycling principles in relation to a CO2 tax. The effect of subsidising biomass use is compared with recycling through corporate tax rates. Then a paper follows describing the structural change of a specific sector, namely the energy supply sector, and the implications for long-term energy demand. The last two papers are devoted to the structural change of trade patterns and its implications for long-term energy demand from industries and the effects on trade from changes in energy technology. Finally, an extended paper documents the model applied for the analyses in paper three to paper five in combination with a critical assessment of the model and the results obtained in the first five papers. The last section of this paper is devoted to a summary of conclusions and suggestions for future research. (ln)
[en] This research proposes a conceptual model for Knowledge Services Structure applicable to Science and Technology Parks (STP) and targeted to micro, small and medium enterprises, in order to improve the business - university - research centers relationship. The idea emerged from exploratory studies on STP and the observation of a knowledge gap on this subject: academic studies that have proposed support services structures to link companies - university - research centers in STP were not available. The study methodology is composed by: exploratory studies complemented by action research. Five aspects of analysis (knowledge services, business development, ordinary/ S and T infrastructure services, expansion of area, and image / visibility) were chosen; a questionnaire based on the these aspects were elaborated and applied by e-mail (e-survey), using as data-base the IASP associated members for the selection of potential respondents. The questionnaire was answered by STP managers from different countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Brazil, Turkey and Uruguay) and, for a deeper and better answers understanding, presential interviews were conducted in certain European STP. After presentation, analysis and discussion of the results, a conceptual model of knowledge service structure for STP has been made, using as basis the Technology Park of Sao Paulo structure. During the formulation of the conceptual model stage, a brief discussion on the importance of knowing and meet the customer needs meant on the inclusion of a customer-interface in the final model. (author)
[en] Germany is currently undergoing a profound transformation of its national energy system through an abatement of greenhouse gas emissions and a simultaneous phase-out of nuclear energy. This energy transition, Energiewende, was first conceived by ecological and anti-nuclear movements in the 1970s, introduced into politics in the 1990s and 2000s, and became societal consensus following the Fukushima nuclear incident of 2011. The achievement of its objectives relies on a shift from fossil and nuclear energy to renewable energy sources and an overall reduction in energy consumption. This is a significant challenge for Germany's energy-intensive economy and centralized, fossil fuel-based energy system. It entails more distributed electricity generation, higher volatility of supply, different requirements to the electricity grid and infrastructure, and structural changes to the energy system and its actors. A successful transition will require comprehensive socio-technical change such as the development, introduction and diffusion of new technologies, infrastructure, organizations, and business models. To address this challenge, the political strategies and policies that devise and implement Energiewende seek to induce private firms to deliver the necessary novelties. Innovation is considered key to achieve Energiewende objectives, reduce the costs of transforming the energy system, and bolster the international competitiveness of German firms in the environmental and green energy space. Especially firms of the energy technology value chain, i.e. firms providing products or services related to the production, transport and consumption of energy are encouraged to explore, develop, implement and adopt technological and organizational solutions for the energy transition. To date there is a limited understanding to what extent and how Energiewende policies have indeed fostered such innovation and there are several controversies regarding their effect. Most importantly, controversies exist regarding the impact of the Energiewende's core policy Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz, EEG), the effect of the proclaimed ''accelerated Energiewende'' after Fukushima in 2011, and the changes triggered inside of firms. These controversies are due to three research gaps: first, Energiewende is often reduced to a single policy and not understood as a complex, systemic transition process, second, research with a comprehensive understanding of innovation is missing, and third, there is a lack of investigations on the actor level. This thesis contributes towards closing the research gaps and addressing these controversies by investigating the innovation effect of Energiewende through a series of qualitative, exploratory company case studies. An integrated conceptual framework that draws on the multi-level perspective in sustainability transitions research, environmental economics, and organization and management studies is used to investigate corporate innovation activities with episodic interviews with managers of incumbent and start-up firms from the energy technology value chain. The objective of the thesis is to clarify the recurrent controversies in the empirical assessment of an innovation effect, identify areas of tension, and draw implications for policy makers and firms as to how to induce and navigate innovation in the context of socio-technical change. Due to the exploratory, case-study based nature of the empirical research findings are not universally representative and applicable. The case study findings indicate that the Energiewende policy mix had a mostly positive effect on innovation activities. Especially the strengthening of particular markets and the systemic change induced by policies such as the Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz, EEG) presented firms with disruptions and opportunities to which they responded with innovation activities. This holds for innovation activities in a wide range of products, services, business models and internal organizational structures. The EEG in particular seems to have triggered innovation activities not only in the immediate technology area of RES technologies, but furthermore also in complementary technologies and - through the systemic change it enabled - also in wider systemic solutions. The accelerated Energiewende following Fukushima led incumbent energy suppliers to intensify innovation in their business models and boosted Energiewende-related innovation activities that were already ongoing in energy technology and materials firms. Inside of firms, innovation activities were influenced by strategic, structural and organizational parameters. For incumbent firms especially, the response to the changing energy system was tainted by a corporate cognition revolving around the superiority of a fossil-nuclear based energy system. The analysis also finds tensions with regards to the effect of Energiewende policy on innovation, in particular with respect to path dependence of systemic regulation, an emphasis on short-term incentives, and the focus on the national political jurisdiction. Implications from these results for policy makers and firms are presented.
[en] The passing by the European Parliament of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in 2003 obliges all European member states to implement energy regulations for buildings based on the concept of energy performance by the year 2009 ultimately. Given the importance of the development of innovations in energy technology, and a transition to a sustainable energy supply system, it is necessary that policy instruments for energy conservation in the building sector stimulate the development and diffusion of innovations. This thesis contributes to knowledge about the content of energy performance policy and concludes that the effect of Dutch energy performance policy in encouraging innovation is limited. Energy efficiency improvements, by energy performance policy, seem to have come from the overall optimisation of all the energy related features of residential buildings. Insulation levels improved, although not spectacular. Efficiencies of heating technology improved, although this seems partly to be a result of the ongoing development that started in the 1980s. The efficiency of fans used for ventilation improved, as did the efficiency of all sorts of auxiliary devices needed in heating technology, as well as the efficiency of heat recovery in balanced ventilation systems. Although energy performance policy seems to have contributed to the optimisation of all energy related features of residential buildings, it did not cause a breakthrough of innovative technology such as solar thermal systems or heat pumps. The study of the innovation system of the Dutch construction industry identifies how the project-based nature of the construction industry is an obstacle to 'learning-rich' collaboration between the various stakeholders. The study contributes to the discussion about the impact of government policy for energy conservation in the building sector, in the context of climate change policy.
[en] This PhD thesis investigates the role of energy in long-term economic growth. Chapter 1 focuses on the description of the four main hard facts of economic growth: transition from stagnation to sustained growth, Great Divergence, interdependence of energy consumption and technological change, and hierarchized-nested adaptive cycles dynamics. Then, the role of different deep-rooted causes of growth (biogeography, culture, institutions, and contingency) are studied. Chapter 2 reviews modern growth theories that focus on proximate causes such as technological change and the accumulation of physical and human capital. Unified Growth Theory (UGT) is also analyzed in this chapter. Chapter 3 presents the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and associated concepts such as exergy and entropy. It is shown that only useful exergy consumption can be considered as the fundamental cause of economic growth. Chapter 4 presents the concept of energy-return-on-investment (EROI). It is shown that maximum EROIs have already been reached at global scale for oil and gas (but not coal), so that future conventional productions will have declining EROIs. Chapter 5 shows that the higher metal requirements of renewable technologies could be potentially detrimental to the energy transition. Chapter 6 shows how the net energy constraint materializes in the short-run through energy expenditure, which is the fraction of economic output diverted to obtain energy. Chapter 7 builds a bridge between the endogenous economic growth theory and the biophysical perspective. Research started in this thesis will need further work in order to develop an UGT respecting the biophysical constraints of the real world. (author)
[fr]L'objet de cette these est d'etudier le role de l'energie dans la croissance economique de long terme. Le chapitre 1 decrit les quatre principaux faits de la croissance: la transition de la stagnation au regime soutenu, la Grande Divergence, l'interdependance entre consommation d'energie et progres technique, et la dynamique en cycles imbriques et hierarchises. Les differentes causes lointaines de la croissance (biogeographie, culture, institutions et contingence) sont ensuite etudiees. Le chapitre 2 presente les theories faisant appel a des causes dites proches, telles que le progres technique et l'accumulation de capital physique et humain. La theorie de la croissance unifiee (UGT) est egalement analysee. Le chapitre 3 presente les lois fondamentales de la thermodynamique et les concepts associes d'exergie et d'entropie. Il est alors demontre que seule la consommation de services exergetiques constitue une cause fondamentale de croissance. Dans le chapitre 4, il est etabli que les productions mondiales de petrole et de gaz (mais pas de charbon) ont deja depassees leur taux de retour energetique (EROI) maximum, si bien que les productions conventionnelles futures se feront avec un EROI decroissant. Le chapitre 5 demontre que les besoins plus importants en metaux des technologies renouvelables pourraient constituer un frein a la bonne faisabilite de la transition energetique. Le chapitre 6 montre que la contrainte d'energie nette se materialise dans le court terme par le biais des depenses energetiques (part du produit economique consomme pour obtenir de l'energie). Le chapitre 7 presente un modele theorique de croissance endogene integrant l'approche biophysique. (auteur)
[en] Have you ever wanted to know whether a CO2 tax outperforms the EU emissions trading scheme? Or how long it really takes markets to change and to let consumers choose differently? In this book, the author explores simulation models to provide us with answers before policy interventions are implemented and shows that, by developing agent-based models, we can simulate energy transition. Learn about a new framework that enables us to model energy infrastructure systems as complex socio-technical systems, which evolve as a result of distributed decision making by actors in the system. See how running agent-based models let the system structure and dynamics emerge from the interactions between actors and technologies. Understand how actors, who decide on operation and investment, are responsive to policy interventions, market rules, and technological development. Find out from simulations of the electricity production sector, the LNG market, and consumer lighting that interventions in these energy systems do alter their evolution -- they invoke structural, systemic change: transition. This thesis thus demonstrates that agent-based models yield a powerful tool for governments and companies: they allow them to assess the long-term effect of their policies and strategies in our complex, interconnected world.