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Utrecht, Netherlands

Lamers P.,Ecofys Germany | Hamelinck C.,Ecofys bv | Junginger M.,University Utrecht | Faaij A.,University Utrecht
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

Policies aimed to promote biofuels locally had tremendous effects on global market developments across the past decade. This article develops insights into the interaction of these policies and market forces via a comprehensive collection and analysis of international production and trade data. It shows that world biofuel production and trade has grown exponentially: from below 30 PJ in 2000 to 572 PJ in 2009 for biodiesel; from 340 PJ in 2000 to over 1540 PJ in 2009 for fuel ethanol. The EU has dominated world biodiesel, whereas the US and Brazil have led fuel ethanol production. World net biofuel trade reached 120-130 PJ in 2009 and was directed towards the most lucrative markets. For biodiesel, this has been the EU whose imports rose to 92 PJ in 2008 and remained at 70 PJ in 2009. Regarding fuel ethanol, both the US and the EU have been prime destinations for competitively priced exports, the vast majority of which originated in Brazil. International biofuel trade is both supply and demand driven. The demand side was shaped by support policies which generally increased the domestic market value of biofuels. Trade developed wherever these policies/prices were not accompanied by respective measures. It is found that import duties largely influenced trade volumes, whereas trade routes were mainly driven by tariff preferences. Trade regimes appear to have been designed and adapted unilaterally along national interests causing market disruptions, trade inefficiencies and disputes. To avoid these, it is important to explicitly consider international trade implications of national trade policies. A prerequisite is to improve the understanding of the underlying, complex and interwoven links within the market. The current lack of adequate, homogeneous, international reporting of biofuel production and trade statistics could be bridged via internationally standardized custom clarifications. Trade factor interrelations also need to be investigated further. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Handgraaf M.J.J.,Wageningen University | Van Lidth de Jeude M.A.,Ecofys bv | Appelt K.C.,Columbia University
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

Any solution to rising levels of CO2 depends on human behavior. One common approach to changing human behavior is rewarding desired behavior. Because financial incentives often have side effects that diminish efficacy, we predict that social rewards are more effective, because they invoke adherence to descriptive and injunctive social norms. We investigated this by measuring electricity use for 13. weeks at a Dutch firm. Each week, employees were rewarded for conserving energy. They either received monetary rewards (€0-€5) or social rewards (grade points with a descriptive comment). Rewards were either private or public. In both the short and long term, public rewards outperformed private rewards, and social rewards outperformed monetary rewards. This suggests that private monetary rewards, although popular, may be ineffective. Instead, public social rewards may be a more promising approach to stimulating energy conservation. We argue that this approach should be considered more frequently by policy-makers. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Lamers P.,Ecofys Germany | Lamers P.,University Utrecht | Junginger M.,University Utrecht | Hamelinck C.,Ecofys bv | Faaij A.,University Utrecht
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2012

This paper presents and analyses international solid biofuel trade and concludes upon interactions with bioenergy policies and market factors. It shows that trade has grown from about 56 to 300 PJ between 2000 and 2010. Wood pellets grew strongest, i.e. from 8.5 to 120 PJ. Other relevant streams by 2010 included wood waste (77 PJ), fuelwood (76 PJ), wood chips (17 PJ), residues (9 PJ), and roundwood (2.4 PJ). Intra-EU trade covered two thirds of global trade by 2010. Underlying markets are highly heterogeneous; generally though trade evolved whenever supply side market factors coincided with existing/emerging demand patterns. Market factors and policies both defined trade volumes; though policy changes did not have as prominent effects on trade developments as in the liquid biofuel sector. Economic viability is the key limiting factor. Main exporting countries have low feedstock costs and already existing wood processing industries. Trade-relevant aspects are the commodity's monetary value; determined by its homogeneity, heating value, and bulk density. Consumer markets are diverse: in residential heating, demand/trade patterns have been influenced by local biofuel availability and short-term price signals, i.e. mainly price competitiveness and investment support for boilers/stoves. Commodities are mainly sourced regionally, but price differences have triggered a growing trade. The industrial segment is greatly influenced by policy frameworks but more mature (e.g. established routes). Trade is strictly linked to margins (defined mainly by policies) and combustion technologies. Uncertainties in the analysis are due to data gaps across and within databases regarding import/export declarations. To estimate bioenergy related trade, anecdotal data was indispensable. We believe datasets should be streamlined across international institutions to eventually enable reporting of global trade beyond digit-6-level. Research is needed to provide further insights into informal markets. Interrelations between trade factors are particularly relevant when mapping future trade streams under different policy/trade regime scenarios. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Lam L.,Technical University of Delft | Lam L.,Ecofys bv | Bauer P.,Technical University of Delft
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a practical capacity fading model for Li-ion cells based on real operating conditions in electric vehicles (EVs). Numerous LiFePO4 cells have been cycled with a current profile containing regenerative braking to determine the capacity fading rate. The cells have been cycled at different temperatures with different initial state of charges, depth of discharges, or C-rates. From the experiments, an empirical model is constructed, which is capable of modeling the capacity fading in EV battery cells under most operating conditions. The capacity fading model can be used to estimate the state of health of EV battery cells, and simple ways to optimize the battery lifetime are proposed. © 2013 IEEE. Source

Domestic heating represents the most dominant energy function in Dutch households nowadays. Using district heat from CHP (combined heat and power) by means of a NGCC (natural gas-fired combined cycle) plants is generally acknowledged as an effective option to reduce primary energy consumption for heating. However, methods to calculate energy savings from CHP differ widely. This paper compares a number of different methods, including the method from the EU CHP Directive, to estimate primary energy savings in comparison with the typically used domestic gas-fired condensing boiler. Real hourly CHP plant performance data is used. An estimation of the CO2 mitigation cost of delivering district heat to Dutch dwellings is made. We find that supplying dwellings with district heat from an NGCC-CHP saves energy, regardless of the calculation method and for a rather wide range of reference efficiencies. CO2 mitigation costs are acceptable from a social perspective (at discount rates up to 4%, excluding fuel taxes) and negative from a private perspective (at discount rates up to 10%, including fuel taxes). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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