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[en] There is growing concern that non-native plants cultivated for bioenergy production might escape and result in harmful invasions in natural areas. Literature-derived assessment tools used to evaluate invasion risk are beneficial for screening, but cannot be used to assess novel cultivars or genotypes. Experimental approaches are needed to help quantify invasion risk but protocols for such tools are lacking. We review current methods for evaluating invasion risk and make recommendations for incremental tests from small-scale experiments to widespread, controlled introductions. First, local experiments should be performed to identify conditions that are favorable for germination, survival, and growth of candidate biofuel crops. Subsequently, experimental introductions in semi-natural areas can be used to assess factors important for establishment and performance such as disturbance, founder population size, and timing of introduction across variable habitats. Finally, to fully characterize invasion risk, experimental introductions should be conducted across the expected geographic range of cultivation over multiple years. Any field-based testing should be accompanied by safeguards and monitoring for early detection of spread. Despite the costs of conducting experimental tests of invasion risk, empirical screening will greatly improve our ability to determine if the benefits of a proposed biofuel species outweigh the projected risks of invasions. (letter)
[en] Using an experiment embedded within a representative survey, this study examined the interactive effect of party identification and risk/benefit perception on public opinion about biofuels. Democrats tended to be more supportive of biofuels than Republicans. However, the effect of party identification on opinion about biofuels varied when individuals considered the risk/benefit of biofuels in different domains. Individuals who reported greater affiliation with the Democratic Party were likely to support funding biofuels research when primed with the economic risks or the social/ethical benefits of biofuels. For those who considered the social/ethical benefits of biofuels, more self-identified Democrats were likely to support biofuels production and use. However, more self-identified Democrats were less supportive of biofuels production and use when they considered the political risks of biofuels. Implications are discussed. - Highlights: • We examined public opinion about biofuels policies. • Effect of risk/benefit perception varied across respondents' party identification. • Democrats favored more research when considering economic risks or social benefits. • Democrats favored biofuels more when considering social benefits. • Democrats favored biofuels less when considering political risks
[en] This report explores to which extent alternative, (partially) Well-To-Wheel based fiscal systems may accelerate the introduction of low-carbon fuels and vehicles. The design of two alternative fiscal systems is described, as well as the challenges that any fiscal system must meet. The alternative systems are compared to the existing fiscal system with regard to (1) the extent to which they honour the 'polluter pays' principle, (2) the extent to which they are expected to accelerate the introduction of (alternative) gaseous fuels, liquid biofuels, and zero-emission vehicles, (3) their expected impact on the vehicle stock, and (4) a number of (undesired) side-effects. The results show that the alternative systems provide a stronger fiscal support for some alternative fuels and vehicles, but not for all.
[en] A model for planning of the biofuel production from wood of fast-growing willows, allowing to calculate the economic balance and to evaluate the degree of environmental pollution was proposed. The calculations were carried in the MS Excel. The model can be transformed easily to analyze the economic and environmental efficiency of the production of other biofuels. (authors)
[en] The purpose of this case study is to develop and framework supply chain characteristics and risk mitigation strategies in the context of biodiesel downstream supply chain. This study employs an expert interview-based approach as a qualitative approach with a multi-perspectives view. There are vary strategies among perspectives, such as perspectives of organization and business types, stakeholder types, times and methods. These also shows that business strategy of collaborative, coordinative, and cooperative arise as alternative strategies for each perspective and each level of stakeholder. Those business strategies may apply in a vary operation strategies which linking through an energy security framework element as company’s competitive priorities. The research scope includes only a certain area of the country’s territory and the target company’s supply chain areas of activity. The research method includes only internal stakeholders and experts as respondents and data sources. The level of analysis was only at corporate level in the corporate case study context. The research also targets only a downstream activities of biodiesel supply chain context. The interview-based approach as a qualitative approach faces some subjectivity challenges among respondents. The research result provides some positive implications for business practice, includes how to minimize the impact of supply chain risk on company’s business activities and performance, how supply chain experts and practitioners used risk mitigation practices, how to formulate strategic plans to minimize the impact of supply chain risk and enhance the effectivity and sustainability of the supply chain activities. The implication for business practice was that company’s leaders implemented supply chain risk mitigation strategies that provide positive impacts on the more valuable relationship among supply chain actors and stakeholders. The first, is an activities areas and operation schemes-based of biodiesel supply chain point of view. The second, is a multi-perspectives-based biodiesel supply chain characteristics framework. The third, is an energy security framework-based biodiesel risk mitigation strategies framework.
[en] Highlights: • The marginal land narrative has been used to select biofuel project sites in Africa. • Local communities derived ecosystem services from converted ‘marginal lands’. • The ecosystem services approach offers a better lens to select biofuel sites. • For biofuel projects EIA scope must broaden and exit strategies must be mandatory. - Abstract: The concept of marginal land is often used to justify land availability and inform land allocation for biofuel projects. However, marginal lands can provide other valuable ecosystem services. Using interviews with multiple stakeholders and fieldwork in three collapsed biofuel projects in Ghana, this paper shares perspectives on how the ecosystem service approach (ESA) can offer a better basis for selecting land for biofuel projects. Expert interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. Lands Commission) in biofuel value chains in Ghana highlight the lack of consensus of what constitutes marginal land, with two dominant interpretations coming up; (i) land unsuitable for food production and (ii) land unsuitable for cost-effective agricultural production. Both interpretations however do not reflect the ecosystem services lands provide, as well as the significant cultural values attached to them. Our empirical work shows that many ecosystem services are obtained from the supposedly marginal lands that are neglected from both interpretations, as well as the standard project planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes. We make the case that when compared to the current marginal land narrative, the ESA offers a better lens for understanding local land uses, in managing emerging tradeoffs and providing information for locating biofuel projects. Our findings suggest that expanding the scope of EIAs by integrating elements of the ESA can go a long way towards informing site selection for biofuel investments.
[en] The use of agricultural waste and straw is a problem that includes economic, environmental and technological aspects that need to be resolved, especially at the local level or in specific business entities. This is made possible due to an interactive model for calculating the economic balance and assessment of impacts of the production and refining of biofuels on the environment. (authors)
[en] 'The Behavior of Hydrogen Under Extreme Conditions on Ultrafast Timescales ' was submitted by the Center for Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree) to the 'Life at the Frontiers of Energy Research' video contest at the 2011 Science for Our Nation's Energy Future: Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) Summit and Forum. Twenty-six EFRCs created short videos to highlight their mission and their work. EFree is directed by Ho-kwang Mao at the Carnegie Institute of Washington and is a partnership of scientists from thirteen institutions.The Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science established the 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) in 2009. These collaboratively-organized centers conduct fundamental research focused on 'grand challenges' and use-inspired 'basic research needs' recently identified in major strategic planning efforts by the scientific community. The overall purpose is to accelerate scientific progress toward meeting the nation's critical energy challenges. The mission of Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments is 'to accelerate the discovery and creation of energy-relevant materials using extreme pressures and temperatures.' Research topics are: catalysis (CO2, water), photocatalysis, solid state lighting, optics, thermelectric, phonons, thermal conductivity, solar electrodes, fuel cells, superconductivity, extreme environment, radiation effects, defects, spin dynamics, CO2 (capture, convert, store), greenhouse gas, hydrogen (fuel, storage), ultrafast physics, novel materials synthesis, and defect tolerant materials.
[en] We analyse the decision of an agent to invest and engage in industrial activities that are characterized by two forms of uncertainty: market size uncertainty and competitive effect uncertainty. We apply our model on the bio-energy industries. We compare the case of an ambiguity neutral agent with that of an ambiguity adverse agent. We show that the investment decision of an agent depends on the effects of both the capital investment and the level of production on the cost and the uncertainty the agent is confronted with. Moreover, we find that ambiguity aversion tends to decrease the agent's optimal levels of production and investment. Our numerical analysis of the French case illustrates the different effects associated with market size uncertainty and competitive effect uncertainty. (authors)