اداره بازارهای نوظهور زیست انرژی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|15286||2007||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11575 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 35, Issue 7, July 2007, Pages 3909–3924
Despite its promising prospects, a growing global bio-energy market may have sustainability risks as well. Governing this market with respect to installing safeguards to ensure sustainable biomass production might reduce these risks. Therefore, proposals for governance systems for bio-energy are discussed in this article. The proposals are based on comparative case study research on the governance of comparable commodities. By assessing the governance system of global coffee trade, fair trade coffee, the global and the EU sugar market and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood, strong and weak points of governance systems for commodities are discerned. FSC is selected as the best performing case study and serves as the proposal's basis. FSC's weaknesses are minimized by, among others, using the lessons learned from the other case studies. This results in a system consisting of two pillars, a bio-energy labelling organization (BLO) and a United Nations Agreement on Bio-energy (UNAB). Although consulted experts in the research process are critical about this system they do suggest several conditions a governance system for bio-energy should meet in order to be effective, such as a facilitative government, professional monitoring and using progressive certification combined with price premiums. These conditions have been taken into account in the final proposal.
Bio-energy is a promising tool for achieving a sustainable development. Using bio-energy can help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as bio-energy can be a climate neutral source of energy. In order to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels, bio-energy can increase the supply diversity and security of energy. Bio-energy is also increasingly becoming more cost-competitive, compared to other sources of energy. Furthermore, bio-energy may help to alleviate rural poverty especially in developing regions, when bio-energy production is stimulated (WWI, 2006). Driven by these potentials, governments, but also private parties (e.g. utility/fuel companies, NGOs), are increasingly interested in using bio-energy as an alternative source of energy (Faaij et al., 2003, p. 4). Production and trading volumes are already rapidly growing. Faaij et al. (2003, p. 4) argue that bio-energy markets may eventually evolve into a global bio-energy commodity market with linkages to other markets and related financial services within near future. Despite the opportunities of bio-energy, there are concerns about the sustainability of bio-energy. It is feared that the production and trade of bio-energy may put great pressure on the Earth's natural resources, socio-economic conditions of producing regions and local food and energy availability. Table 1 shows the sustainability concerns that are identified by Lewandowski and Faaij (2004), emphasizing the potential threats of bio-energy. The concerns are grouped in four areas of concern. Although some of these concerns are “traditional” to biomass production, other concerns can be explained by the unique characteristics of a (future) bio-energy market. First of all, virtually any agricultural and forestry biomass may end up as bio-energy. Therefore, feedstocks supplying the potential bio-energy market are extremely versatile. Secondly, both supply and demand potentials of bio-energy are huge. The availability of bio-energy in an extreme scenario could supply up to 50% of the global primary energy demand by 2050 (Hoogwijk et al., 2003), while energy demand may double by 2050, compared to 2000 levels (Goldemberg and Johansson, 2004, p. 36). This future availability is uncertain as it depends on several factors, such as the future demand for food, livestock and open trade, the productivity of food production and forests and energy crops and availability of degraded land (Goldemberg and Johansson, 2004, p. 36). Despite these uncertainties, it is expected that the trade in energy crops will dominate the currently dominant trade in bio-energy from residues, as the supply potentials of energy crops are much larger than from residues (Faaij et al., 2003; Hoogwijk, 2004). Thirdly, trading patterns are expected to be extremely diversified, because the biomass for bio-energy may be produced anywhere. Fourthly, trading patterns are further complicated by alternative links of biomass to other markets, such as the food, fodder and timber markets. And, fifthly, raising end-user awareness on the sustainability of bio-energy may be more difficult, because all bio-energy ends up as fuel, electricity or heat, irrespective of the used feedstock. Food and timber products, for example, are more feedstock-recognizable and quality-valued products by end-users. These characteristics indicate that the potential scale and complexity of a (future) bio-energy market may be far greater than any agricultural market. Palm-oil production is already an example of increased pressure on natural resources and local communities, because the rapid historic and future growth is accommodated solely through the expansion of large, mono-crop plantations at the cost of tropical forests (ProForest, 2003; Buckland, 2005). Questions can be raised not only about the environmental additionality of this practice (i.e. release of greenhouse gases from land use conversion), but also about its sustainability in a broader sense, relating to the concerns mentioned in Table 1. For instance, land tenure conflicts may arise when local communities are pushed from their lands and livelihoods by companies seeking expansion of their plantations. Forestry could become problematic as well, because the dominant production is expected to shift from Northern silviculture forests to Southern plantations in the coming decades (FAO in WWF, 2000). Some concerns of this development are that more natural habitats are lost, water scarcity is enhanced, land tenure conflicts arise, while local welfare improves little. Despite these practices, developments and concerns, the use of bio-energy is promoted by most governments. The EU, for example, has set the goal that 12% of the primary energy supply has to be met by renewable energy sources by 2010 (EC, 2001, p. 3). In the EU transportation sector, the use of bio-fuels has to be 5.75% of the total fuel consumed by 2010 (EC, 2003a). In most countries, bio-energy plays a dominant role in attaining the renewable energy objectives and bio-energy is, therefore, promoted by national policies and using various (financial) incentives (Lewandowski and Faaij, 2004). When these concerns are not secured, bio-energy could turn into a threat instead of an opportunity for sustainability. This is also recognized by the Dutch government who has commissioned the Cramer Commission, to propose sustainability criteria for bio-energy production. These criteria are then incorporated in Dutch renewable energy policies. At the international level, however, there is currently no specific regulatory framework (or governance system) for the production and trade of bio-energy (WWI, 2006). We presume that a global governance system for bio-energy is needed to minimize the sustainability concerns, because of the potential scale of production, global trading patterns and potential risks of bio-energy. Governance should minimize possible negative impacts and maximize benefits. Following Midttun, 1999 and Midttun, 2004 three generic governance models for markets can be discerned. These models describe the relations between government, civil society and industries (or market). The main differences between the neo-liberal, welfare state and corporate social responsibility (CSR) model are summarized in Table 2. The neo-liberal model is presented as a mainly decoupled style of governance, in which market forces dominate societal dynamics. Governments in this model have a minimalist role and civil society is mainly a “source” of an individualistic workforce and consumers. The Keynesian welfare model criticizes the concept of self-balancing economy and sees a substantial role for governments. Through governmental intervention, social and environmental issues are addressed. The market is regulated in order to realize social goods like full-employment. The CSR model seems to combine “the best of both worlds”, emphasizing the self-regulatory capacities of the industry and civil society, while government has a more facilitating role. Such basic concepts can serve as a starting point for evaluating strengths and weaknesses of existing and developing markets. Because bio-energy markets are still developing and bio-energy governance systems are virtually absent, lessons can be learned from other, comparable commodities. These lessons can be used as policy advice on how bio-energy markets could be governed. The aim of this article is to develop a proposal for a bio-energy governance system. This proposal is based on comparative case study research on the governance of comparable commodities and expert knowledge. For this purpose, the following question is central to this article: “What are the strengths and weaknesses of theoretically possible governance systems to regulate the international trade and production of bio-energy in a sustainable way?” Three commodities have been chosen, represented by five case studies. By assessing the governance system of comparable commodities, strong and weak points are discerned. The cases are selected in the first paragraph of Section 2. The second paragraph describes the evaluation criteria and method. In the third section, the assessment results are presented. The best performing case study governance system is selected as the basis for the proposal. Using strengths of other case study governance systems helps to mitigate the weaknesses of this design. The preliminary proposal is evaluated ex-ante in the fifth section, in order to assess its fit on the bio-energy case and more specifically its feasibility and effectiveness. This was done by consulting experts. The ex ante evaluation resulted in several modifications of the proposal. A discussion and some recommendations follow the revised proposal for a governance system for bio energy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A perfect governance model does not seem to exist. The neo-liberal governance systems have difficulties in addressing the sustainability concerns, because sustainability policies are minimalist or even absent. The welfare state and CSR governance systems seem better able to address the sustainability concerns, because sustainability policies are generally well developed. The welfare state governance system shows that sustainability can be integrated in an entire market. However, a precondition to welfare state governance in an international context is that a supranational institution must exist, which is able to implement its policies. This may be unrealistic when regulation of international or global bio-energy trade and production is sought. The CSR governance systems perform relatively well, because they are more attractive, flexible and inexpensive, compared to the welfare state case study. Moreover, it lacks the need of a supranational institution. The FSC governance system is considered to be the most promising governance system in meeting the objective, because this governance system is able to address most sustainability concerns. However, major weaknesses are associated with the CSR governance systems. The most significant weakness is the dependency on conscious consumers, because the number of conscious consumers is generally limited. This is complicated by voluntary participation of market actors in the Fair Trade coffee and FSC wood markets. Additionally, FSC is less attractive to (especially) Southern and small producers, because of high barriers of entry. These weaknesses result in limited supply and demand. Our case studies reveal that a combination of the CSR and welfare state model is promising. The first pillar of the combined proposal is formed by the CSR-based BLO, which offers a FSC-based certification system that is able to penetrate the market within a short time, offering stakeholder participation and standards that secure most sustainability concerns. By being compatible with neo-liberalism, the BLO seems acceptable to the industry and the WTO. The attractiveness for small and Southern producers is enhanced in this system using Fair Trade-based instruments, but remains in balance with downstream interests at the same time. The framework of universal sustainability principles enables geographical differentiation of standards and accommodation of numerous bio-energy feedstocks. Because the BLO suffers from dependency on conscious consumers, which is common to the CSR case studies, governmental intervention is proposed in order to realize a significant market penetration (the 2nd pillar). This intervention aims at enhancing the use of the BLO's certified bio-energy, by stimulating the industry using covenants, but also by using more coercive instruments like setting the BLO standards as production and import standard or internalizing environmental costs and benefits in energy prices. An International Agreement on Bio-energy (IAB) is proposed in order to coordinate the development and implementation of these instruments. A combined private (BLO) and public (IAB) initiative, can realize a fast and significant implementation of a bio-energy governance system in the market. This proposal seems applicable to the bio-energy market, but to some issues attention should be paid. Initially, limiting the number of bio-energy feedstocks and/or the number of sustainability concerns helps to manage the BLO in its starting phase. Secondly, new plantations could be allowed when established on abandoned agricultural land. This helps to accommodate the future dominance of plantations. And thirdly, the usage of GHG mitigation indicators that assess the GHG balance of bio-energy are perhaps less expensive and time-consuming compared to LCA studies. As a UNAB seems politically infeasible, we propose the development of an IAB in which front running (Western) countries participate. Western countries are assumed to have less divergent views on sustainability and foreign politics and have already markets for sustainable production. The proposal meets most of the effectiveness conditions mentioned by the interviewed experts, such as the use of gradual certification and a supportive government. The perceived effectiveness is further enhanced by incorporating several additional adjustments in the proposal. A market supervisor should be institutionalized as this helps to guard the transparency and competition in the certification market. By focussing on involvement of leading actors, the entire industry can be “persuaded” to participate in the BLO. And micro-credits issued by local development banks can be used to further lower the barrier of entry for small producers. Some issues that may have impact on the conclusions must be noted. Firstly, the conclusions drawn about the feasibility and effectiveness of the design may not be supported by certain stakeholders and policymakers, because their opinions are not represented by the interviewed experts. Secondly, the sustainability concerns are drawn from literature and are not defined by using a stakeholder involvement process. The defined concerns may, therefore, not meet the needs of stakeholders in different ecological and socio-economic conditions. Thirdly, evaluation criteria are of course debatable. This evaluation must be regarded as a first attempt to evaluate the performance of governance systems. And finally, the description of the case studies relied for a great deal on the work of other researchers, which may have resulted in conclusions shaped implicitly by their perceptions. Much of the assessments, however, are based on primary research, so this impact may be limited.