CPL - Chalmers Publication Library
| Utbildning | Forskning | Styrkeområden | Om Chalmers | In English In English Ej inloggad.

Environmental Assessment of Emerging Technologies: The Case of Alternative Transport Fuels

Karl Jonasson (Institutionen för energi och miljö, Miljösystemanalys)
Göteborg : Chalmers University of Technology, 2005. - 40 s.

There are several methods to evaluate the environmental performance of new technologies. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the methodological development of environmental assessments, with contributions from life-cycle assessment (LCA), theories on technical change and socio-technical scenarios. LCA, or ‘well-to-wheel studies’, is a widely used tool for evaluating the environmental performance of alternative transport fuels. However, the methodology is usually not adapted to answer questions regarding strategic technology choice. Suggestions are presented that could increase the usefulness of LCA in this respect. A ‘net output approach’ is used, where fuels are used for their own production and distribution. Background system changes and the size of byproduct markets are studied, and it is shown that these factors can have a large influence on the results. Studies of LCA type can be used to give information on which fuels that have a low environmental impact today, and which are promising in the long run. However, it is suggested that also dynamic processes of technical changed need to be taken into account in the selection of technologies. In a study of the history of alternative transport fuels in Sweden, we show that also short-term options can contribute to the development towards more promising long-term options. Investments in alternative fuels during the years have not only resulted in physical artefacts and new explicit knowledge, but have also created dedicated actors and changed tacit knowledge and normative rules. Positive feedback loops related to actors, knowledge and rules have created more actors and changed regulation, and an ability of alternatives to survive. At the same time, the growth of some alternatives has favoured others, due to overlaps in socio-technical systems. However, the growth of alternatives is still very much dependent on exogenous factors and policy. The balance between short-term and long-term options in the transition of the transport system is illustrated through the use of socio-technical scenarios. These show that there is a risk that any policy could result in a negative development for renewable alternatives, but they also suggest that there are opportunities for growth. Policy could balance the development in different parts of the system, and make use of short-term options to contribute to more radical changes in the transport system.

Nyckelord: environmental assessment, life-cycle assessment, LCA, technological systems, technological transitions, socio-technical scenarios, technology path assessment, sustainable development, alternative fuels, biofuels, transport

Denna post skapades 2006-08-25. Senast ändrad 2016-09-27.
CPL Pubid: 10235


Läs direkt!

Länk till annan sajt (kan kräva inloggning)

Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för energi och miljö, Miljösystemanalys


Teknik och social förändring

Chalmers infrastruktur


Datum: 2005-12-14

Ingår i serie

Report - Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology 2005:14