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Seminar | Future Energy: 2 steps forward but 5 back in Swedish advanced biofuels


The second in the 2019 seminar series exploring key current issues in Australia's future energy

Start Date

28 Mar 2019 1:00 pm

End Date

28 Mar 2019 2:00 pm


Room 405, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact

For more details please contact

Interplay between policy & technology commercialization

Philip Peck from Lund University (Sweden) presented experiences from a suite of advanced biofuel projects promoted over the past decade in Sweden.

Presentation Slides (PDF 4.2MB)

While including experiences from a raft of large scale ‘failures’, the topic gives me a chance to cover a range of ‘protected niches’ that industry have been able to develop biofuel/bioenergy initiatives, and where differing levels of government have been able to open up opportunities or foster development. This area also allows me to touch upon large scale forestry initiatives as well as biogas systems which are tightly meshed towns and agricultural systems.

Moreover, as developments have continued roughly as we projected in a couple of areas, and NOT as expected in at least one major area - it is not a dead topic by any means. As one example, the interplay between electrification of transport, and the role of biogas in the transport mix is a very live topic for us during 2019 and onwards. As biogas is so linked to municipal and agricultural waste management systems in Sweden, there may be relevance to Tasmanian systems at several levels.

Despite lofty goals for carbon neutrality, oil independence in transport, and heavy investment in research, pilots, and demonstration projects for advanced biofuels, many projects were cancelled or ‘placed on hold’ over the past decade in Sweden.

Many industry actors placed much of the blame on policy-makers but this analysis presents how factors such as:

  • improved project alignment with incumbent technical & institutional systems;
  • stronger understanding of synergies and competitive issues between fuel platforms, and
  • clearer understanding of (in)effectiveness of policy interventions and what policymakers can and cannot achieve,

May have helped avoid some of the pitfalls the Swedish bioenergy sector has experienced.

It is argued that these examples should be relevant for bioenergy proponents across of a range of contexts.

For more information, see an English language report that underlies the seminar: Examining systemic constraints and drivers for production of forest-derived transport biofuels

Philip Peck of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University, Sweden, has worked with aspects of technology system change in Europe since the late 1990s.

Since 2005, many of his projects have centred on bioenergy systems. While the Swedish bioenergy sectors is built from a forestry base, it also intermeshes with agricultural and municipal waste systems at very significant scale - thus presenting overlaps with parts of systems shared by many countries. In Sweden bioenergy now accounts for a some 25% of the energy-carriers entering the national energy mix.

Philip is a 'born and bred' Tasmanian and an alumnus of UTAS. He is ’tele-working’ to Sweden from Launceston until July of 2019.

Future Energy is a research group at the University of Tasmania, established in 2018, which brings together expertise from across the University’s disciplines of business, economics, engineering, ICT, social science, geography, marine science, architecture, planning, and the humanities to produce high quality, policy-relevant research into future energy provision in Tasmania and beyond.

The group is working with the state’s power companies, government and private enterprise to position Tasmania at the forefront of energy innovation.