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Stuckens J.,M3 BIORES | Dzikiti S.,Stellenbosch University | Verstraeten W.W.,M3 BIORES | Verstraeten W.W.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute | And 6 more authors.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2011

Hyperspectral remote sensing for monitoring horticultural production systems requires the understanding of how plant physiology, canopy structure, management and solar elevation affect the retrieved canopy reflectance during different stages of the phenological cycle. Hence, the objective of this study was to set up and to interpret a hyperspectral time series for a mature and healthy citrus orchard in the Western Cape province of South Africa considering these effects. Based on the remotely sensed data, biophysical parameters at the canopy level were derived and related to known observed physiological and phenological changes at the leaf level and to orchard management. Fractions of mature fruit, flowers, and sunburnt leaves were considered, and indices related to canopy structure chlorophyll content and canopy water status were calculated. Results revealed small cover fractions of mature fruit, flowers and sunburnt leaves of respectively 2.1%, 3.1% and 7.0%, but the high spectral contrast between flowers and leaves allowed a successful classification of flowering intensity. Furthermore, it was shown that canopy level time series of vegetation indices were sensitive to changes in solar elevation and soil reflectance which could be reduced by applying an empirical soil line correction for the most affected indices. Most trends in vegetation indices at the canopy level could be explained by a combination of changes at the leaf level (chlorophyll, carotenoids, dry matter), changes in canopy structure (leaf area index and leaf angle distribution) and changes in cover fractions of vegetative flushes, flowers and sunburnt leaves. The transformed chlorophyll absorption ratio index over the optimised soil adjusted vegetation index (MCARI/OSAVI) was best related to leaf level trends in chlorophyll content. Seasonal changes in the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) were linked to inverse changes in the carotenoid-to-chlorophyll ratio. Canopy structure indices (the modified triangular vegetation index or MTVI2 and the standardized leaf area index determining index or sLAIDI) were sensitive to changes in leaf area index, average leaf angle as well to management interactions (pruning and harvest). Canopy water status was highly impacted during the spring flush due to expanding leaves that concealed trends in the underlying mature leaves. Seasonal trends in soil and weeds reflectance were related to changes in volumetric soil water content and to the earlier and reduced growth period of non-irrigated weeds. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Taylor G.H.,Honorary Research Fellow | Taylor G.H.,Capital District Behavioral Health | Broomfield N.M.,University of Glasgow
Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation | Year: 2013

Complex cognitive impairments are common after stroke and they can significantly impede individuals' progress in rehabilitation. Treatment strategies that allow patients to compensate for such deficits are therefore an important part of multidisciplinary rehabilitation, as acknowledged by various clinical guidelines. In part due to the heterogeneity of poststroke cognitive impairments, the evidence base for treatments in this area is often unclear or inconsistent. There are no straightforward clinical tools or guidelines available to facilitate poststroke cognitive rehabilitation across cognitive domains. The present article proposes a cognitive assessment and rehabilitation pathway for stroke (CARPS), which aims to provide a structure to guide stroke rehabilitation teams in this difficult area of clinical practice. Practical treatment strategies are also discussed in some detail. Finally, the limitations of the proposed pathway are acknowledged, as is the importance of further research. © 2013 Thomas Land Publishers, Inc.


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

The European Commission’s recently released Clean Energy Package, has a 2030 target of 30% energy savings. An important policy instrument to deliver these are Energy Efficiency Obligation (EEO) schemes. According to new research from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), not only are EEOs a highly cost-effective way to deliver energy efficiency, over the long term they can deliver consumer savings worth more than 4 times the costs of meeting the EEOs. But this only becomes apparent when a full evaluation is made. Most impact assessments carried out in Europe fail to take the full picture into account, thereby sending misleading messages. 2017 will be a big year for European energy policy, as the legislative proposals in the European Commission’s recently released ‘Winter Package’ are negotiated in the European Council and Parliament and shape the policy framework post-2020. Included in the package is the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) (2012/27/EU), which was introduced in 2012 to deliver a cut of 20 percent of energy consumption by 2020. The Winter Package now proposes a 30 percent energy savings target by 2030, instead of the 27% initially discussed. Key to meeting this target will be the effective use of policy instruments: according to a report commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, released in May 2016, EEOs (Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes) are expected to deliver 34 percent of all energy savings to 2020. This even though only 3 percent of all adopted policy measures across the EU Member States are EEOs. This makes EEOs the most important instrument in terms of energy savings. Energy Efficiency Obligations (EEOs) are set out in Article 7 of the EED, which stipulates that Member States must require energy companies to save 1.5% of their energy sales per year through energy efficiency measures delivered. Alternatively, they can deliver savings through other policy measures, as long as they meet the same target. There are now 16 countries in Europe that have implemented or are planning to establish EEO schemes. The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) has been closely advising the European Commission and helping Member States to implement EEOs with our Toolkit for Energy Efficiency Obligations. In a new report Costs and benefits of Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes, based on research on EEOs in five Member States, we conclude that EEOs are delivering value for money in terms of energy savings, but that evaluation methodologies are not yet accounting for the full range of benefits that come with improved efficiency. The figure below shows the cost of EEOs to the public in Eurocent/kWh and compares those costs to the typical cost of supplied energy. All five EEOs analysed clearly show that the cost of “negawatt” hours is much lower than of megawatt hours. In other words, it is much cheaper to save one unit of energy than it is to supply one unit of energy. Data for alternative energy efficiency measures such as loans, tax rebates and grants shows that the costs of those measures are similar, although somewhat higher. On average, saving 1 kWh through those measures has a public cost of 1.4 Eurocent/kWh, compared to the range of approximately 0.4 to 1.1 Eurocent per kWh of energy saved through the EEOs reviewed in this study. As well as delivering efficiency at low cost, there is now good evidence that EEOs have contributed to significant reductions in energy consumption. For example, the UK has delivered a series of energy efficiency schemes beginning in 1994, and as such, is one of the longest existing EEO in Europe. Total household energy use in the UK decreased by 19% between 2000 and 2014, despite a 12% increase in the number of households and a 9.7% increase in population. The Centre for Economics and Business Research[1] estimate that energy efficiency measures provided the greatest contribution to the reduction in gas consumption. As the majority of these measures were subsidised by the supplier obligations, it appears likely that the latter were the primary driver of energy savings over this period.[2] Further analysis by Odyssee-MURE, a pan-European research project, confirms that EEOSs are the most important factor in delivering energy efficiency in the UK. In evaluating the impact of EEOs and other energy efficiency measures, there is an emerging body of evidence on the benefits to the energy system as a whole. System benefits include avoided or deferred investments in generation, transmission, and distribution capacity. They also include reduced reserve requirements, and avoided CO2 permit costs for power generating facilities that are within a carbon tax or cap-and-trade regime. Analysis of data from Vermont shows that the energy system benefits on their own can justify aggressive investment through EEOs—the levelized costs of the EEO to consumers are $39/MWh compared to more than $100/MWh of energy system benefits. Thus, the impact of EEOSs on bills can be roughly divided into two categories: the direct impact on bills of participating consumers, and the indirect impact on bills across all consumers – savings that result from avoided investments in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. Our research found that these net-benefits to bill payers can be modelled over time. Initially the total energy bill will increase due to the cost of EEOs and higher unit prices. However, over time consumers’ bills are reduced resulting from the energy savings generating net-benefits after a few years. For a fictitious case this effect is illustrated in the graph below. The data are based on typical characteristics of EEOs in Europe, and therefore are a realistic reflection of the cost savings to expect over time. After five years, the modelled EEOs generate net-benefits as indicated in the graph. Over 20 years, the benefits exceed the cost by more than a factor of 4. Assuming a succession of EEOSs over 30 years, the long-term benefits are significant with total bill savings of close to 4,000 Euro over the 30-year period and a reduction of the average annual energy bill of 17%. Additionally, the societal, or non-energy, benefits delivered by EEOs and other energy efficiency measures are substantial. In 2011, the International Energy Agency began its work on identifying and evaluating the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency, which include better health through reduced pollution, increased comfort, economic stimulus, employment creation, cost savings in transmission and distribution, avoided CO2 allowance costs, and air quality improvements. Data from the UK suggests that the non-energy benefits alone (including health, comfort, air quality, and carbon mitigation) exceed €4 for every €1 spent through the EEO. Despite this diversity of benefits, most evaluations that are currently carried out in Europe focus on one benefit only—bill savings. A more comprehensive analysis would need to incorporate and monetise a much wider suite of benefits. In particular, the methods for carrying out impact assessments and evaluations of EEOs (and other efficiency policies) need to be adjusted to allow for accounting for the multiple benefits of energy efficiency both at EU and national level. The current practice of largely ignoring those multiple benefits in cost-benefit analyses underestimates the true value of efficiency and sends potentially misleading messages. This requires changes in the guidance on conducting impact assessments and an explicit consideration of all multiple benefits rather than just a selected few. EU policy makers need to use a methodology that allows broad-brush assessments of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency by, for example, estimating typical benefits for each kWh saved. At a national level, Member States can modify their methodologies for conducting policy assessments and evaluations to better reflect the full range of benefits beyond the mere bill savings. Where data collection is burdensome and complex, the use of rough estimates (e.g., jobs created per million euros invested in energy efficiency) and/or adders (e.g., five-percent increase of the benefits to account for health improvements) is a simple option to include multiple benefits. Our research evidences what international experience has demonstrated for a long time: if designed properly, EEOs are an effective policy mechanism and can deliver large energy savings and multiple benefits at low cost. EU Member States need to act through improving their existing and implementing additional EEOs. They also need to systematically consider the multiple benefits of EEOs, and energy efficiency more generally, when making decisions about future policies. Ultimately, this will be one of the cornerstones of Europe’s much needed clean energy transition. Dr Jan Rosenow is a Senior Associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, SPRU and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Environmental Change Institute. Edith Bayer is an Associate with the Regulatory Assistance Project, based in Brussels. The report can be downloaded from the RAP website. [1] Centre for Economic and Business Research (2011), British Gas Home Energy Report 2011: An assessment of the drivers of domestic natural gas consumption, London. [2] The figures provided by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency on the delivery rates more or less match the figures of cavity walls installed with CERT funding. There are no data for other types of energy efficiency available but anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the market was dependent on CERT which is also evident from the drop of the installation rates of loft insulation after CERT ended.


News Article | December 17, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Originally published on EnergyPost by Jan Rosenow and Edith Bayer The European Commission’s recently released Clean Energy Package, has a 2030 target of 30% energy savings. An important policy instrument to deliver these are Energy Efficiency Obligation (EEO) schemes. According to new research from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), not only are EEOs a highly cost-effective way to deliver energy efficiency, over the long term they can deliver consumer savings worth more than 4 times the costs of meeting the EEOs. But this only becomes apparent when a full evaluation is made. Most impact assessments carried out in Europe fail to take the full picture into account, thereby sending misleading messages. 2017 will be a big year for European energy policy, as the legislative proposals in the European Commission’s recently released ‘Winter Package’ are negotiated in the European Council and Parliament and shape the policy framework post-2020. Included in the package is the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) (2012/27/EU), which was introduced in 2012 to deliver a cut of 20 percent of energy consumption by 2020. The Winter Package now proposes a 30 percent energy savings target by 2030, instead of the 27% initially discussed. Key to meeting this target will be the effective use of policy instruments: according to a report commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, released in May 2016, EEOs (Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes) are expected to deliver 34 percent of all energy savings to 2020. This even though only 3 percent of all adopted policy measures across the EU Member States are EEOs. This makes EEOs the most important instrument in terms of energy savings. Energy Efficiency Obligations (EEOs) are set out in Article 7 of the EED, which stipulates that Member States must require energy companies to save 1.5% of their energy sales per year through energy efficiency measures delivered. Alternatively, they can deliver savings through other policy measures, as long as they meet the same target. There are now 16 countries in Europe that have implemented or are planning to establish EEO schemes. The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) has been closely advising the European Commission and helping Member States to implement EEOs with our Toolkit for Energy Efficiency Obligations. In a new report Costs and benefits of Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes, based on research on EEOs in five Member States, we conclude that EEOs are delivering value for money in terms of energy savings, but that evaluation methodologies are not yet accounting for the full range of benefits that come with improved efficiency. The figure below shows the cost of EEOs to the public in Eurocent/kWh and compares those costs to the typical cost of supplied energy. All five EEOs analysed clearly show that the cost of “negawatt” hours is much lower than of megawatt hours. In other words, it is much cheaper to save one unit of energy than it is to supply one unit of energy. Data for alternative energy efficiency measures such as loans, tax rebates and grants shows that the costs of those measures are similar, although somewhat higher. On average, saving 1 kWh through those measures has a public cost of 1.4 Eurocent/kWh, compared to the range of approximately 0.4 to 1.1 Eurocent per kWh of energy saved through the EEOs reviewed in this study. As well as delivering efficiency at low cost, there is now good evidence that EEOs have contributed to significant reductions in energy consumption. For example, the UK has delivered a series of energy efficiency schemes beginning in 1994, and as such, is one of the longest existing EEO in Europe. Total household energy use in the UK decreased by 19% between 2000 and 2014, despite a 12% increase in the number of households and a 9.7% increase in population. The Centre for Economics and Business Research[1] estimate that energy efficiency measures provided the greatest contribution to the reduction in gas consumption. As the majority of these measures were subsidised by the supplier obligations, it appears likely that the latter were the primary driver of energy savings over this period.[2] Further analysis by Odyssee-MURE, a pan-European research project, confirms that EEOSs are the most important factor in delivering energy efficiency in the UK. In evaluating the impact of EEOs and other energy efficiency measures, there is an emerging body of evidence on the benefits to the energy system as a whole. System benefits include avoided or deferred investments in generation, transmission, and distribution capacity. They also include reduced reserve requirements, and avoided CO2 permit costs for power generating facilities that are within a carbon tax or cap-and-trade regime. Analysis of data from Vermont shows that the energy system benefits on their own can justify aggressive investment through EEOs—the levelized costs of the EEO to consumers are $39/MWh compared to more than $100/MWh of energy system benefits. Thus, the impact of EEOSs on bills can be roughly divided into two categories: the direct impact on bills of participating consumers, and the indirect impact on bills across all consumers – savings that result from avoided investments in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. Our research found that these net-benefits to bill payers can be modelled over time. Initially the total energy bill will increase due to the cost of EEOs and higher unit prices. However, over time consumers’ bills are reduced resulting from the energy savings generating net-benefits after a few years. For a fictitious case this effect is illustrated in the graph below. The data are based on typical characteristics of EEOs in Europe, and therefore are a realistic reflection of the cost savings to expect over time. After five years, the modelled EEOs generate net-benefits as indicated in the graph. Over 20 years, the benefits exceed the cost by more than a factor of 4. Assuming a succession of EEOSs over 30 years, the long-term benefits are significant with total bill savings of close to 4,000 Euro over the 30-year period and a reduction of the average annual energy bill of 17%. Additionally, the societal, or non-energy, benefits delivered by EEOs and other energy efficiency measures are substantial. In 2011, the International Energy Agency began its work on identifying and evaluating the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency, which include better health through reduced pollution, increased comfort, economic stimulus, employment creation, cost savings in transmission and distribution, avoided CO2 allowance costs, and air quality improvements. Data from the UK suggests that the non-energy benefits alone (including health, comfort, air quality, and carbon mitigation) exceed €4 for every €1 spent through the EEO. Despite this diversity of benefits, most evaluations that are currently carried out in Europe focus on one benefit only—bill savings. A more comprehensive analysis would need to incorporate and monetise a much wider suite of benefits. In particular, the methods for carrying out impact assessments and evaluations of EEOs (and other efficiency policies) need to be adjusted to allow for accounting for the multiple benefits of energy efficiency both at EU and national level. The current practice of largely ignoring those multiple benefits in cost-benefit analyses underestimates the true value of efficiency and sends potentially misleading messages. This requires changes in the guidance on conducting impact assessments and an explicit consideration of all multiple benefits rather than just a selected few. EU policy makers need to use a methodology that allows broad-brush assessments of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency by, for example, estimating typical benefits for each kWh saved. At a national level, Member States can modify their methodologies for conducting policy assessments and evaluations to better reflect the full range of benefits beyond the mere bill savings. Where data collection is burdensome and complex, the use of rough estimates (e.g., jobs created per million euros invested in energy efficiency) and/or adders (e.g., five-percent increase of the benefits to account for health improvements) is a simple option to include multiple benefits. Our research evidences what international experience has demonstrated for a long time: if designed properly, EEOs are an effective policy mechanism and can deliver large energy savings and multiple benefits at low cost. EU Member States need to act through improving their existing and implementing additional EEOs. They also need to systematically consider the multiple benefits of EEOs, and energy efficiency more generally, when making decisions about future policies. Ultimately, this will be one of the cornerstones of Europe’s much needed clean energy transition. Dr Jan Rosenow is a Senior Associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, SPRU and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Environmental Change Institute. Edith Bayer is an Associate with the Regulatory Assistance Project, based in Brussels. The report can be downloaded from the RAP website. [1] Centre for Economic and Business Research (2011), British Gas Home Energy Report 2011: An assessment of the drivers of domestic natural gas consumption, London. [2] The figures provided by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency on the delivery rates more or less match the figures of cavity walls installed with CERT funding. There are no data for other types of energy efficiency available but anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the market was dependent on CERT which is also evident from the drop of the installation rates of loft insulation after CERT ended. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


PubMed | Honorary Research Fellow and Birmingham City University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Arrhythmia & electrophysiology review | Year: 2016

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are at increased thromboembolic risk, and they suffer more severe strokes with worse outcomes. Most thromboembolic complications of AF are eminently preventable with oral anticoagulation, and the increasing numbers of AF patients mean antithrombotic therapy is the most crucial management aspect of this common arrhythmia. Despite the proven efficacy of warfarin, a string of limitations have meant that it is underused by physicians and patients alike. This has prompted a search for new anticoagulants that could overcome many of the inconveniences of dose variability and anticoagulant monitoring associated with warfarin, but without sacrificing efficacy in thromboprophylaxis. The arrival of new oral anticoagulants has been complemented by improved risk stratification schemes, which permit clinicians to easily and reliably identify patients requiring anticoagulation and their bleeding risk. These advances in AF treatment will hopefully translate into improved outcomes for patients, especially as our experience with the new agents grows.


PubMed | Rigshospitalet 7811 and Honorary Research Fellow
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Indian journal of medical ethics | Year: 2016

Recent concerns about a possible association between exposure of young women to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines and two dysautonomic syndromes (a collection of signs and symptoms thought to be caused by autoimmunity) - complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - led the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to review existing evidence. The review was announced by the EMA on July 13, 2015, and was completed on November 4, 2015.


Prance G.T.,Honorary Research Fellow
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2010

Summary: When Princess Augusta and Lord Bute, followed by Sir Joseph Banks and King George III, started gathering plants at Kew, conservation on the site can be said to have begun. Although the primary motive then was to assist the expansion of the British Empire and trade, rare plants were gathered and some became rare or extinct in the wild as their habitats were destroyed. The primary motive in the nineteenth century was not conservation, but the history of conservation at the Royal Gardens at Kew dates back to its very origins. Subsequent regimes at Kew maintained and added to the collections thereby adding to their conservation value. Many early collections are of species now listed within the IUCN categories of endangerment. Environmental awareness and concern had begun by the time that Professor Jack Heslop-Harrison became director and he was the first director actively to initiate specific conservation programmes such as seed banking and work on red data books. From then on conservation became an integral part of the work programme of Kew and the focus on conservation has increased with each subsequent director. This eventually led to the transformation of the embryonic seed banking activities into the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest and most important bank in the world for the conservation of the seeds of wild species. It currently holds just over ten percent of all seed plant species. Conservation at Kew over the past three decades has very much been a balance between ex situ work and in situ activities to help conservation in the overseas areas where Kew scientists have experience. Throughout the history of the gardens there has been a vital interest in economic botany that has developed from moving plants around the empire to much work on the sustainable use of plants and ecosystems thereby better equipping the institution to subsequently work on in situ conservation. Significant conservation activity at Kew has been possible because it is being supported by a solid research programme that includes such areas as systematics and molecular genetics and laboratories, a large herbarium and a large library. Kew has played an important role in stimulating conservation work elsewhere and such units as the Threatened Plants Unit of IUCN and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) have their roots in Kew. Among other important conservation initiatives have been the creation of a unit to work with the implementation of the CITES treaty on the trade of endangered plants and a legal unit to work on issues of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). There is no doubt that the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is at the forefront of plant conservation. © 2010 The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Pallidelix simonhudsoni sp. nov. is described from vine thicket habitats on Carnarvon Station in the highlands of south central Queensland. The species is part of a much larger radiation of species of the camaenid genus Pallidelix Iredale, 1933 centred around the sandstone belt of inland central Queensland. P. simonhudsoni sp . nov. is distinguished by aspects of both shell sculpture and reproductive anatomy. The new species is hitherto only known from immediate environs of the type locality Carnarvon Station. The conservation status of the species is discussed within relation to: (1) its occurrence on a nature conservancy dedicated to biodiversity protection; (2) the endangered status of the species’ primary habitat; and, (3) current land management practices on Carnarvon Station. © The State of Queensland, Queensland Museum 2014.


Lock J.M.,Honorary Research Fellow
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2015

Edward Armitage Robinson (1921 – 2013) was a noteworthy collector of plants, particularly Cyperaceae, in Central Africa. An account of his career is given, with lists of species named after him or described from his collections. © 2015, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


PubMed | Honorary Research Fellow
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Recenti progressi in medicina | Year: 2016

Journal publications of randomized controlled trials (literature) have so far formed the basis for evidence of the effects of pharmaceuticals and biologicals. In the last decade, progressively accumulating evidence has shown that literature is affected by reporting bias with evident implications for the reliability of any decision based on literature or its derivatives such as research synthesis. Another important factor is the growing body of evidence of the fragility of editorial quality control mechanisms in biomedicine ande their easy exploitation for marketing purposes in the symbiosis between publishing and the pharmaceutical industry. Regulatory documents are probably more reliable than currently accessible other sources but there are many severe limitations to the long-term use of regulatory documents for research synthesis and decision-making. Instead of trying to reform the fields of research, industry, government, regulation and publishing, I propose basing public health decisions and reimbursement of any important interventions on independent trials and studies following the model pioneered by the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research.

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