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Title: Socioeconomic indicators for sustainable design and commercial development of algal biofuel systems

Abstract

Socio-economic sustainability indicators that have been proposed previously for terrestrial bioenergy were evaluated for applicability to algal biofuels. Indicators developed for terrestrial bioenergy were found to be appropriate and sufficient for algae biofuels, meeting the selection criteria of practicality, wide applicability, predictability in response to management, anticipation of future changes, adaptability to multiple scales where possible, ability to integrate multiple dimensions, and non-redundancy. The 16 indicators fall into the categories of social well-being, energy security, external trade, profitability, resource conservation, and social acceptability. None of the indicators have yet been measured in published sustainability assessments for commercial facilities. Indicators estimated for various scenarios in the scientific literature include the profitability indicators return on investment and net present value, and the resource conservation indicator, fossil energy return on investment. The food security indicator, percent change in food price volatility, is easy to estimate at zero if agricultural lands are not used. Some indicators, such as the energy security indicators energy security premium and fuel price volatility and the external trade indicators terms of trade and trade volume cannot be projected into the future with accuracy, so they will not be measured prior to significant commercialization of algal biofuels. Furthermore, the listmore » of proposed sustainability indicators may be adjusted to particular purposes and contexts. Together with environmental sustainability indicators, these socioeconomic sustainability indicators should contribute to sustainability assessments for algal biofuels.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Center for BioEnergy Sustainability, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008 Oak Ridge TN 37831 USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1252523
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1252524; OSTI ID: 1260069
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy Journal Volume: 9 Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1757-1693
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; algae; algal biofuels; indicators; sustainability; socioeconomic; profitability; social acceptability

Citation Formats

Efroymson, Rebecca A., Dale, Virginia H., and Langholtz, Matthew H. Socioeconomic indicators for sustainable design and commercial development of algal biofuel systems. United Kingdom: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12359.
Efroymson, Rebecca A., Dale, Virginia H., & Langholtz, Matthew H. Socioeconomic indicators for sustainable design and commercial development of algal biofuel systems. United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12359.
Efroymson, Rebecca A., Dale, Virginia H., and Langholtz, Matthew H. Tue . "Socioeconomic indicators for sustainable design and commercial development of algal biofuel systems". United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12359.
@article{osti_1252523,
title = {Socioeconomic indicators for sustainable design and commercial development of algal biofuel systems},
author = {Efroymson, Rebecca A. and Dale, Virginia H. and Langholtz, Matthew H.},
abstractNote = {Socio-economic sustainability indicators that have been proposed previously for terrestrial bioenergy were evaluated for applicability to algal biofuels. Indicators developed for terrestrial bioenergy were found to be appropriate and sufficient for algae biofuels, meeting the selection criteria of practicality, wide applicability, predictability in response to management, anticipation of future changes, adaptability to multiple scales where possible, ability to integrate multiple dimensions, and non-redundancy. The 16 indicators fall into the categories of social well-being, energy security, external trade, profitability, resource conservation, and social acceptability. None of the indicators have yet been measured in published sustainability assessments for commercial facilities. Indicators estimated for various scenarios in the scientific literature include the profitability indicators return on investment and net present value, and the resource conservation indicator, fossil energy return on investment. The food security indicator, percent change in food price volatility, is easy to estimate at zero if agricultural lands are not used. Some indicators, such as the energy security indicators energy security premium and fuel price volatility and the external trade indicators terms of trade and trade volume cannot be projected into the future with accuracy, so they will not be measured prior to significant commercialization of algal biofuels. Furthermore, the list of proposed sustainability indicators may be adjusted to particular purposes and contexts. Together with environmental sustainability indicators, these socioeconomic sustainability indicators should contribute to sustainability assessments for algal biofuels.},
doi = {10.1111/gcbb.12359},
journal = {Global Change Biology. Bioenergy},
number = 6,
volume = 9,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12359

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