Data gathering, GRIP-facilitation, evaluation of outcomes and policy instrumentation

This WP will set up case-study areas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy. It will facilitate GRIPs, gather data from the GRIP-processes, and gather environmental and operational data from existing trial plots.
 
We will use the case studies to:
 
  • identify good practices at regional level to develop the local potential for bioenergy
  • analyse policies and institutions that affect bioenergy development
  • identify potential effects of biomass removal on ecosystem services.
 
The case will generate an integrated narrative of how bioenergy works in selected regions, i.e. identify drivers, barriers, enabling conditions, and TBL effects.

Further this WP will evaluate outcomes and policy instrumentation based on the data collection. We will test H1 by generating data on the bioenergy production initiated by the GRIPs. Effects on bioenergy production will be estimated by up-scaling the results and calculating the effect on how the application of the GRIP approach can facilitate the fulfilment of the national targets.

For H2 we use survey methodology and comparative policy analysis to generate data about the different types of innovation gathered through interviews and surveys among the GRIP participants.

For H3 we use comparative case-study methodology of the GRIPs’ internal learning processes, power structures, conflict handling, and ability to spur bioenergy initiatives.

For H4 we base the evaluation on the environmental indicators in WP2, which will serve as a framework for evaluating the cases. This includes knowledge of how to optimise use of the forest landscape for multiple functions, both economic and non-economic, including early-stage clarification of important trade-offs and enabling knowledge-based management and decision making.

In addition, work will be done in identifying and quantifying the biomass resources at a landscape level, calculating weighted mean transport distance and mode, considering conversion technologies and their efficiencies, energy distribution and the substitution effect of that energy.
TRIBORN flishogging.jpg
Contacts
WP23a Participants
Task leader: Karen Refsgaard

WP23a: Identify case study areas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy

TRIBORN casestudies.jpeg
WP23b Participants
Task leader: Karen Refsgaard and Rasmus Ole Rasmussen 
Team: Valborg, Bianca, Nelli, Anna

WP23b: Map and interview stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy

In this WP we first map the key stakeholders in the case-study areas. As a point of departure we group the stakeholders into four main groups: businesses, public authorities, civil society and knowledge institutions.

 

The businesses can be foresters, farmers or entrepreneurs that are involved in bioenergy as an economic activity and/or which are important the supply of raw material for bioenergy production. The public authorities being national, regional or local authorities or sector institutions like Innovation Norway and ENOVA facilitating for innovation and activities through instrumentation. The civil society represents the stakeholders mostly using the forests and its products or services for heat, recreation or other. Finally the knowledge institutions may be research, education, advisory services, but also consultancy through businesses may act as knowledge institutions.

 

We analyse the case studies through interviews and other sources of informal and formal information to analyse how the different stakeholders have acted and perceived the process over time. What are the linkages, dependencies, knowledge, economic relations, regulations, cultural practices, value chains and production lines etc. in the casestudy area.
 
The casestudies will generate a number of integrated narratives of how bioenergy works in selected regions, i.e. identify drivers, barriers, enabling conditions, and TBL effects. The narratives will be classified according to their degree of GRIP-ness, which will be used as a basis for comparison and for further research in WP2c and WP2k. This knowledge will also being used to identify good practices at regional level to exploit the local potential for bioenergy; analyse policies and institutions that affect bioenergy development; identify potential effects of biomass removal on ecosystem services, enhance GRIPs formation/development.
 
 
Results
We have produced draft reports from areas in Norway, Italy and Finland. Randsfjorden, Vestlandet and Troms areas selected in Norway. We have carried out an extensive number of thorough interviews with stakeholders in the case-areas and gathered other contextual information.
WP23ck Participants

WP23ck - Identification of, monitoring of, and dialogue with GRIPs

TRIBORN focuses on Grounded Innovation Platforms or ‘GRIPS’. An Innovation Platform is a group of (local) actors who voluntarily come together to achieve a certain goal.

 

The task

In our case, the goal is some aspect of bioenergy, normally forest-based, but not always.  Platforms may be formal, informal or somewhere in between, but normally involve meetings and other processes to do things like:

 

  • Share Goals and Objectives and reach a common general objective
  • Discuss what is and is not known about the ways of meeting that objective (raw materials, finance, skills, technologies, interests, markets etc)
  • Fill knowledge gaps
  • Negotiate raw material supplies and contracts; negotiate markets and contracts; negotiate and plan constitution (coop, company, partnership, non-profit, municipal-owned etc) loans, equity, siting, construction etc
  • Implement ‘the project'
  • On-going learning by doing and feedback loops leading to adjustments, enlargement, etc
 
They can also take a ‘triple helix’ form, including entrepreneurs, foresters, farmers on the one hand, public sector such as municipal authorities on another, and knowledge based organisations like research institutes of universities on a third. Perhaps also consumers and citizens will be involved, to make a quadruple helix.
 
Some IPs are also ‘Grounded’ (GR). To be ‘grounded’ they must have some triple bottom line objectives (social objectives including fairness, quality of life, good environmental impacts, as well as economic surplus which is often locally recycled in and beyond the business itself). They may also regard it as their moral duty to deliver all of these objectives, and so be concerned with ethical standards, and hence operating towards Triple Bottom Line (TBL) objectives and outcomes that also respect Human Rights (for example, in this context, to adequate food, water and shelter).
 
They are also thought of as ‘embedded’ in the local society and economy (having the farmers/ foresters involved, the local municipality, local consumers and businesses; linked to previous history of resource use and skills; engaged in local networks, knowledge and specialisations; involved in local circuits of exchange, local markets and concern with local impacts).
 
It is important to observe that GRIPs do not always - or even commonly – have regular meetings within a formal institutional structure, but frequently appear to meet only at ‘key junctures’ in their evolution over time. These key junctures are often defined by crises that have to be overcome in order to move forward, or even survive. This does not, however, mean that they are not GRIPS!
 
Since not all of our cases are fully formed GRIPs, but some are, the first task is to classify them according to their ‘degree of GRIP-ness’ which will be used as a basis for the comparison.
 
The second task is then to use the data gathered from case study interviews and follow up focus groups etc to compare cases and their outcomes (TBL) according to the degree of Grip-ness.  In comparing cases, we will examine and evaluate:
 
  • Key junctures (often crises) which trigger joint activity of some kind.
  • The processes within the GRIPS. These include, for example, learning processes, conflict-resolution, lobbying beyond the GRIPs, using external expertise, finding new markets, finding new technologies or processes, changing scale of production, etc);
  • The outcomes for the GRIPS and for the local economy, society and environment.  These include, for example more local value added (incomes-to-locals) and the number of beneficiaries and distribution of benefits and beneficiaries; more and/or better employment (and for gender, ethnic or other groups especially needing work); cheaper energy; safer or more flexible or secure  energy; more resilient communities; lower climate gas emissions; improved biodiversity; stronger networks and building social capital; improved community empowerment and resilience; better policy representations, and so on )
 
The third task is then to identify the key themes to provide different foci for analysis, publications, and seminars with IPs and/or policy makers.
 
 
Results
We have mainly results on the GRIP-process within the case study areas and not on the TBL-outcomes of the GRIPS. Our preliminary results from the four case-study areas, Voss, Hadeland and Land are that:
 
  • Hadeland has one of the most advanced bioenergy sectors in Norway that is based on local actors. The local politicians and administration has worked together for common bioenergy goals. These goals are mainly related to local business development, but also to environmental considerations. Several local private actors and the forest commons are involved in bioenergy activities. The private actors and the commons have, however, only to a minor extent worked together and shared knowledge. The Energy farm, a national competence center for bioenergy, has been crucial for engaging the local politicians and local farmers and foresters.
  • Northern-Land has a well-functioning GRIP for bioenergy. Local foresters, through the local forest owners cooperative has been working together with the local administration and local politicians and the public has been involved through public meetings.
  • Voss also has a well-functioning GRIP where several local actors such as local foresters, the local power company and the local waste disposal company have been working together. The public is positive to the bioenergy activity.       
 
Deliverables
Bryden et al. 2015 - Cuba
Bryden et al. 2015 - ESRS
NESS2015 paper by Bianca
 

WP23k - Groups Dialogue

This subWP concerns our work with those bioenergy cases identified as GRIPS. The key idea here is participatory research, led by the GRIP, which has a set of problems and objectives, of various kinds, which they agree to work on together. These may be concerned with technology, with synergy (looking for other partners), with costs or prices, with logistics, with markets, with local opposition or conflicts, with regulatory policies, with policies around incentives or in any other area, and they may also be some mix of these issues. The task of the research team is to understand the problems and objectives, which’ GRIPS’ are working on, to understand the learning processes involved, and to help them where possible to reach their objectives and solve their problems, deal with conflicts etc. Beyond this, the research team seeks to understand the outcomes at present, and foreseen as a result of meeting objectives, in terms of TBL and/or HR-TBL.

 

The WP builds on the work identifying GRIPs and ‘GRIP-ness’ among the case studies, and originally depended on the team being able to join in GRIP meetings as a non-decision making participant (an observer who can also make suggestions). However, in many cases the GRIPs do not meet on a regular basis, and really only come together at key moments when there is some form of crisis to be overcome. We call these moments ‘key junctures’ in the development of a GRIP, which is of course a dynamic organisation. It will perhaps be rare that such a ‘key juncture’ occurs at the time when we are able to do our research, and so in many cases at least a meeting of the GRIP will have to be organised in the form of a focus group.
 
In either event, the first meetings are planned for the summer of 2015, and following meetings are planned in order to track the processes and outcomes as they emerge, during the life of the project. Future follow up is also envisaged if funding can be obtained, so that the GRIPs become a ‘Panel’ with longitudinal data.
WP23d Participants
Task leader: Lampros Lamprinakis
Team: Erik, Nicholas

WP23d - Biofuels

There has been much debate about the carbon neutrality of forest harvesting, i.e. whether it is better from the point of view of carbon sequestration to harvest trees or to let them stand in the forest.

 

Objective

This is a complex issue, as many factors play a role, such as the spatial and temporal scale considered as well as the use to which the harvested wood is put. In addition, other uses of the forest, such as its importance for rural employment, have to be considered. We will contribute to this debate with (i) a peer-reviewed paper on the effects of intensified biomass harvesting on soil organic carbon and (ii) a newspaper article directly addressing the question. 

 

Results

EU/ETA as well as US policies stimulate biofuels (Bio-diesel and Bio-ethanol) production and import by mandating admixtures in diesel and gasoline, as well as through a range of subsidy regimes. Given current and on-going critiques of the economic, environmental and human impacts of biofuels production based on agricultural feedstocks derived from arable land and or third countries (e.g., Palm Oil), interest in biofuel production from secondary biomass and waste, and from forests, is increasing.

 
In the Nordic countries it is recognized that the available annual increment in forest growth is not being harvested and, further, that in many cases the stand of wood in forests is deteriorating in quality because of the economics of thinning, the reduction in pulp production for paper, wind damage, tree mortality, and related issues.  There is therefore a general capacity to expand the offtake of forest while at the same time improving the quality of timber in the long run. Challenges are economic/ price, timber accessibility, environmental (biodiversity and potential climate and water impacts). By and large, environmental impact depend on the management and felling regimes, but the economic issues (including variable extraction costs) remain as a key challenge for use of timber in biofuels. This is being tackled partly through technological innovations, and especially the search for cheaper ways of mass producing the enzymes needed to breakdown lignin and cellulose. However, the enzyme industry is oligopolistic and the danger remains that cheaper enzymes will be captured in higher royalties for production companies, especially if policies simply subsidize forest-based biofuels. Pyrolysis (heating/distillation) is also used as a technology and has been developing technologically, but at present is seems that enzyme technology offers better prospects.
 
In this sub-WP we identify a number of GRIPs in Norway, Sweden and Finland that are focusing on biofuels as part of their activities. Our goal is to better understand the learning processes and objectives of the GRIPs in relation to biofuels, and how they view – and utilize - the various potential feedstocks including forest feedstocks and bio-waste. We will hold second stage interviews as well as focus groups in order to further this goal and identify (a) the focus of co-learning activities (economic, environmental, social, technological, logistics, policy-change etc.) (b) the processes and actors involved (c) challenges and their origin and potential resolution (d) economic, financial, environmental and social outcomes and how and why these may change in future. A particular objective is to discover how the firms involved view (a) future technological options in the light of the need to reduce costs of production, and (b) potential synergies with other actors. 

Hypotheses

  • The Nordic countries offer significant scope for forest-based biofuels which is being hampered by economic issues (high costs) and policy mis/matches or uncertainty.
  • The economic constraints can be overcome by new technological and process innovations currently being developed
  • The policy constraints will remain unless it can be shown (a) that the economic constraints can be overcome and (b) the production of forest based biofuels can meet the potentially strict sustainability criteria of the EU.

WP23e Participants
Task leader: Nicholas Clarke
Team: Wendy, Holger

WP23e - CO2-capture - balancing use of forests for carbon storage and bioenergy

 
There has been much debate about the carbon neutrality of forest harvesting, i.e. whether it is better from the point of view of carbon sequestration to harvest trees or to let them stand in the forest.
 
This is a complex issue, as many factors play a role, such as the spatial and temporal scale considered as well as the use to which the harvested wood is put. In addition, other uses of the forest, such as its importance for rural employment, have to be considered. We will contribute to this debate with (i) a peer-reviewed paper on the effects of intensified biomass harvesting on soil organic carbon and (ii) a newspaper article directly addressing the question.
 

Results

Effective forest governance measures are crucial to ensure sustainable forest management. Sustainability principles and criteria have therefore to be incorporated into policy frameworks and support schemes, as well as management guidelines and certification systems. Although there is great site-to-site variation, science-based and operationally practical management guidelines might be developed with the help of expert judgement. In addition, it is vital that governance measures are accepted by stakeholders. ‘Soft’ governance measures, e.g. management guidelines and certification systems, may often be more adaptable to changes and local conditions, and more inclusive of stakeholder inputs, than legislation, and thus more easily accepted.

Comparisons of management guidelines have been made for countries, states or provinces with boreal and/or temperate forests. Although it is possible to learn from other countries, it is probably rarely advisable simply to copy their guidelines because of local differences. However, comparison of different countries’ guidelines may help to identify broad areas of agreement that should be included, while leaving details to be worked out nationally or even at a more local level. This would increase local empowerment, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle, and also emphasises the importance of training of forest managers.

Although many countries have produced national recommendations and guidelines for biomass extraction to encourage this taking place in agreement with the principles of sustainable forest management, the focus has so far been largely on nutrient management and avoidance of soil damage by compaction or erosion, and there has been little specific focus on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. Regarding certification systems, harvesting effects on SOC have until recently not often been explicitly included in Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification systems, although some mainly newer standards do include requirements focussing on the forests’ contribution to the C cycle. Aside from strict forest certification systems, there are other certification systems, standards and suggestions for criteria related to bioenergy production, some of which are relevant to preservation of SOC stocks also in forests.

The European Union’s directive on the use of energy from renewable sources (RED) includes a mandatory sustainability scheme for biofuels (defined as liquid or gaseous fuel for transport) and bioliquids. Although it is stated in Point 4 of Article 17 of the RED that biofuels and bioliquids shall not be obtained from land that was continuously forested in January 2008 and is no longer continuously forested, this is in the context of land-use change and thus does not prohibit forest harvesting for bioenergy purposes, which is not considered as land-use change if forest is replanted or allowed to regrow naturally. Other land areas with high SOC stocks, such as wetlands and peatlands, are similarly protected. Furthermore, in the rules for calculating the greenhouse gas impact of biofuels and bioliquids given in the RED’s Annex V, a 20-year period is used for estimation of C stock accumulation, which is clearly far too short a time for forest SOC stocks to accumulate again after harvesting.

The RED was followed by a report on sustainability criteria for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources in electricity, heating and cooling, recommending the extension of binding EU sustainability criteria for biofuels/bioliquids to solid/gaseous biomass used for electricity and heating/cooling. These recommendations are not mandatory. If in the future liquid or gaseous biofuels are to be prepared from forest biomass on a commercial basis (which will necessarily involve more intensive use of forest biomass), the sustainability criteria given in the RED will apply.

Current governance measures may state that SOC stocks are to be protected during forest operations, but in general little or no direct guidance is given as to how this is to be achieved. Partly this is due to the diverging results from various experiments, which is connected to the complexity of the processes involved, the difficulties associated with measuring the changes, and the number of factors that affect the SOC stock. The currently available information, especially from field studies, does not support firm conclusions about the long-term impact of intensified forest harvesting on SOC stocks in boreal and northern temperate forest ecosystems, which is in any case species-, site- and practice-specific.

Until more knowledge is available, the gap of uncertainty between the scientific results and the need for practically useable management guidelines and clear indicators can only be bridged by expert opinion given to authorities and certification bodies. Properly conducted long-term experiments might be able to clarify the relative importance of different harvesting practices on the SOC stocks, which are the key factors affecting the loss of SOC, and under which conditions the magnitude of the removals becomes critical. Importantly, such experiments would also provide new data for testing of models, thus improving their ability to predict long-term effects of different harvesting methods under varying site conditions and hopefully bridging any gap between modelling results and field observations. Both well-designed new experiments and continuation of existing long-term experiments are therefore very important.

WP23f Participants
Task leader: Nicholas Clarke and Bjørn Egil Flø
Team: Anne, Emilio

WP23f – Environmental evaluation 

Results

For the purpose of environmental evaluation, we consider that foresters working at the local level are most likely to be familiar with guidelines/certification systems such as the Norwegian PEFC standard. Thus, it is these that should form the basis for discussions, especially where a bottom-up approach is being used. Potential questions include:

  • What potential environmental impacts do you associate with bioenergy extraction?
  • Is a standard or certification system being followed during biomass extraction? If yes, which one: PEFC (Living Forest), FSC, Debio (ecological forestry), others?
  • Biodiversity: Has MiS registration been carried out? Are buffer zones being left around surface waters, and if so, how wide are they? Are high stumps and/or dead wood left on-site? Are other measures being carried out to protect biodiversity?
  • Soil, water and nutrient management: What measures are taken to minimise nutrient depletion, erosion, soil compaction, rutting etc.?
  • Energy efficiency: Are transport and other energy needs during biomass extraction met using fossil fuels?
  • Are measures carried out to protect cultural heritage?
  • Recreation: Are there any paths or popular destinations for recreation in the area? Has the forest recreational value? Are there any measures in place to preserve recreational potential, and if so, what? Have there been any conflicts between forestry and recreational users in the area – if so, what was the problem? Could particular forest management be used to improve recreational potential – and maybe even encourage tourism in the area (e.g. by opening views to water)?
  • Are there any information boards explaining different forestry practices, or about the biodiversity, cultural heritage or landscape in the area?
WP23g Participants
Task leader: Nicholas Clarke
Team: Tonje, Jørn Frode, Wenche, Wendy, Holger, Hilde, Vegard, Åsa, Emilio

|WP23g - Field studies of effects of intensified biomass removal from forests for bioenergy

 

Ecosystem services are defined as describing the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, water, timber, and fibre; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality; cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling.

 

Objectives

While ecosystem services are the focus of considerable research, the link to the landscape and the application of the findings in decision making are still in need of knowledge development. Multiplicity of ecosystem services entails potential conflicts of interest because economic services may conflict with, for example, biodiversity and recreational services. Arbitration and trade-offs may thus be necessary; use of the forest landscape for bioenergy must be structured to handle different and potentially conflicting needs. Therefore, TRIBORN emphasises integrated coordination of disciplines, stakeholders, and decision makers.

 

Various forest types and treatments vary with respect to local biodiversity and provision of a range of related ecosystem services, amongst others; grazing, support of pollinators and recreational values. Whole-tree harvesting is most commonly applied for bioenergy use, but few studies compare effects of different harvesting regimes and results are rarely related to changes in other ecosystem services. Thus, even though intensive biomass production in forests on a landscape scale has the potential to alter species composition, nutrient cycling, and overall biodiversity, the effects of biomass harvesting on biodiversity are not well known. In Norway mountain birch forest has been in focus in the bioenergy debate because this is a vegetation type that is on the increase – both due to climate change and to changes in land use (cessation of mountain farming). Although biomass production is relatively slow in mountain birch forest, surveys suggest that the socio-cultural services obtained by clearing the forest may be highly valued. Open mountain landscape is often preferred in terms of aesthetics and recreational value compared with birch forest. Recent studies suggest that this may transfer to significant economic effects in the tourism industry, of particular importance in rural districts.
 
In order to provide data on the biodiversity changes that occur after biomass removal, we build on the results of the project “Ecological consequences of increased biomass removal from forests in Norway” (Ecobrem, http://www.energigarden.no/gallery/ecobrem/). In Ecobrem, ground vegetation changes were recorded at two Norway spruce forest sites (one in East Norway and one in West Norway) following two methods of biomass extraction: stem-only versus whole tree harvesting. Ecobrem and related projects provide data for 2-3 points in time, between 2008/2010 and 2013. We supplement these data to extend knowledge of the biodiversity successions occurring after harvesting by these two methods. This is important because bioenergy extraction from forests will have different effects on ecosystem services at different stages in the succession cycle, from freshly cleared, through various stages of succession, and back to mature forest.
 
We use the two study sites with supplementary data from nearby sites, while a new site is being established for biodiversity studies in mountain birch forest. The surrounding landscape is being used for analyses of the different ecosystem services together with other social and economic aspects in the GRIP context. This includes sensitivity to the importance of spatial location. We rank biodiversity indicators and socioeconomic values for the different sites. Landscape studies address different management intensities' effects on perceived recreational qualities and landscapes' accessibility. In each study area, we use stakeholders' knowledge on how local forest systems work in social, economic and ecological terms. Methods include analyses of landscape images, including complexity quantification of visual appearance.
 
Plant species data, including both vascular plants and bryophytes, are used to evaluate the value of the different forest sites for biodiversity per se, conservation value, and value for pollinators. Pollination is widely recognised as being a key ecosystem service of great economic importance, which is currently under threat in many landscapes. The plant data will also be used to quantify the grazing quality of the different forest types. This is a particularly important issue in Norway, which has very little agricultural land, such that outfield grazing is recognised as a valuable supplement to national food security and a sustainable type of agriculture. Grazing can also provide additional income for forest owners, contributing to rural viability. Grazing quality is also relevant for wild mammals and hunting provides both recreation and another source of income. To provide further data on the importance of grazing we will build on the results from the project “Intensified harvesting of forests – implications for enterprises related to wild and domestic ungulates”. This project provides data on how the three main ungulate species in Norwegian forests (moose, sheep and cattle) use various forest types, as well as the economic aspects of grazing: forestry interactions.
 
In addition, the provision of known relevant ecosystem services from these forest types are being mapped at landscape scale. Photographs of the forest types in focus are used in innovative methods of eye tracking analyses to quantify people’s perceptions of the forests and recreational potential. They are also investigated to measure structural complexity of forest stands, as different management intensities influence stand spatial organization.
 

Results

Effects of stem-only (SOH) and whole-tree (WTH) harvesting have been investigated at two boreal semi-natural Norway spruce sites in southern Norway, differing in climate and topography. One site, Gaupen, is in Ringsaker municipality, Hedmark county, in eastern Norway, an area with a large forestry industry. The other site, Vindberg, is in Voss municipality, Hordaland county, western Norway, in an area with considerably steeper topography and greater precipitation. In the WTH treatment, the harvesting residues were piled up for a period of six to eight months before removal.

 
There were very few significant differences between effects of SOH and those of WTH on soil water chemistry, which probably depends on extremely large spatial variation at both sites.
 
Studies of effects of SOH and WTH on ground vegetation plant species diversity and cover showed that an overall loss of ground vegetation biodiversity was induced by harvesting and there was a shift in cover of dominant species, with negative effects for bryophytes and dwarf shrubs and an increase of graminoid cover. Differences between the two harvesting methods at both sites were mainly due to WTH residue piles and the physical damage made during the harvesting of residues in these piles. The presence of WTH residue piles had a clear negative impact on both species numbers and cover. Pile residue harvesting on unfrozen and snow-free soil caused more damage to the forest floor in the steep terrain at Vindberg compared to Gaupen. At both sites, several species disappeared after harvesting, and several new species appeared, the latter mainly linked to ruderal and early successional stages, as well as species favoured by increased nitrogen and light availability. Some of the new species are expected to disappear again during the next few years, but it remains uncertain if and when the pre-harvest species will return. Even though the losses in plant diversity per unit area were somewhat stronger at Gaupen in the second growing season after harvesting, the differences between WTH and SOH treatments were most pronounced at Vindberg as some effects were exclusively found at WTH plots with piles.
 
One aspect that has hardly been addressed in considering the effects of WTH is its impact on plant secondary compounds, which may initiate ecological cascade effects through for example herbivory. We measured C: N ratios and secondary compounds in birch Betula spp. leaves after WTH and conventional harvest at the two field sites in western and eastern Norway. WTH was positively related to % carbon at the western but not the eastern site. Accordingly, the C: N ratio was also positively related to WTH, ostensibly favouring carbon-based plant defence. This was observed by an increase in several phenols at the coastal site. Tannins, which are protein-binding and thus highly important trophic factors, were related to WTH at both sites.
 
Increased forest biomass production for bioenergy will have consequences for landscape scenery, depending on both the landscape features present and the character and intensity of the silvicultural and harvesting methods used. Forest preference research carried out in Finland, Sweden and Norway shows that some production methods and related operations incur negative reactions among the public, e.g. stump harvesting, dense plantation, soil preparation, road construction, the use of non-native species, and partly also harvest of current non-productive forests. Positive visual effects of bioenergy production tend to be linked to harvesting methods such as tending, thinning, selective logging and residue harvesting that enhance both stand and landscape openness, and visual and physical accessibility. Relatively large differences in findings between studies underline the importance of local contextual knowledge about landscape values and how people use the particular landscape where different forms of bioenergy production will occur. This scientific knowledge may be used to formulate guiding principles for visual management of boreal forest bioenergy landscapes.
 
Trade-offs may be necessary between different ecosystem services (ES). Overlay of maps produced for the various ES allows for the identification of places where different ES coincide spatially. A compatibility matrix is used to spatially detect trade-offs as well as synergies (multifunctional capacities) across the landscapes. Specific comparison between the production of biomass for energy purposes and the other ecosystem services is also being explored.
 

Results

  • Sites included in experiments on ecological effects of whole tree harvesting compared with stem-only harvesting at Gaupen and Voss. Vegetation analysed before and after harvesting.
  • Effect of slash on nutritional value for grazing animals analysed. Grazing inhibitors in birch trees on whole-tree harvested and stem-only harvested plots at Gaupen studied.
  • Photos and positions developed for eye-tracking studies of landscapes.
  • Review of preference surveys on evaluation of visual impacts of bioenergy measures in progress. A field layer study carried out at Nordic level, using manipulation technique on visual effects of age and ground vegetation in deciduous forests.

WP23h Participants
Task leader: Anders Christian Hansen
Team: John, Bianca, Rasmus

WP23h - Policies and Institutions for the Development of Bioenergy

 
In this work package we examine bioenergy policies and institutions in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy. In particular, we analyse how bioenergy policy goals and policy instruments impact on the development of bioenergy, triple bottom line outcomes, local (rural) development, and related grounded innovation systems in the case studies.
 

Objectives

The aim is to highlight national and local policy strategies that successfully foster triple bottom line sustainability outcomes in bioenergy development, which meeting EU and national bioenergy targets. However, we also examine policies and institutions that act as barriers to triple bottom line outcomes, as well as to the achievement of bioenergy targets.

The Research Question is therefore: What policies and institutions foster or hinder triple bottom line outcomes, sustainable rural development, and the achievement of bioenergy targets in the countries under study? We also ask: What policies and institutions foster or hinder the development of grounded innovation systems that deliver TBL outcomes, SRD and bioenergy targets?

In all of the countries, government policies are in place to foster the development of the bioenergy value chain. These national policies primarily aim to support agriculture and forestry sector growth, diversify energy supply and tackle climate change issues. However, there are also important, if little studied, regional and local (municipal) policies that are having important impacts on bioenergy development, including those dealing with the heating of public buildings, the regulation of new construction, and the provision of various forms of infrastructure including pipe infrastructures for district heating, smart energy systems, and collaboration mechanisms such as innovation platforms. The purpose of such local interventions is often more related to the improvement of economic opportunities for local people, i.e rural development, although it may also be motivated by ‘green branding’ of an area for the purpose of attracting new resi

The research builds on an earlier comparative study of regions in Italy and Norway (Cavicchi et al., 2014) and OECD project (2012) that especially deal with linking renewable energy and rural development. The WP analyses policy documents and statistics on energy supplemented with interviews with key informants in the four case studies. The study will also build upon literature and forest strategy documents, policy databases and reviews from IEA, OECD, EU and think tanks as well as findings from the TRIBORN regional case studies and the comparative study of innovation systems. The elements of the wood or bioenergy innovation systems include coordinating measures as well as conditions than allow competition to foster innovation.

  Coordination and pooling Competition conditions
Demand pull    
Producer-user interaction Industrial standards, transparent  regulation, Municipal buildings/demand/energy regulation and building codes, Municipal investment in pipe infrastructure, or smart systems  Competitive tendering rules, easy authorisation
Producer-Producer  interaction Cluster and synergy , regulations around use of by-products e.g. digestate, ash for fertiliser  

Innovation finance 

Common industry services, cooperatives Tax-subsidy schemes, ETS, Green and white certificates, tax allowances etc., FIT/FIP, risk policies to PE&VC, R&D Support, IP or GRIP coordination  or support
Technology push    
Information, awareness, enlightment Networks and communication, stimulation of IPs Innovator-imitator, feed-back absorption
Technological infrastructure RD&D support (projects, PhDs, institutes) Training, intellectual property rights

 

Results

 The work package has developed the problem definition and methodology for comparative assessment of the institutional framework conditions implemented in Norway and selected EU countries for nurturing new bioenergy value chains.

 
Empirical material is being collected for defining bioenergy value chains complying with progress on the ecological and social as well as economic bottom-lines (3BL compliant bioenergy value chains) and for detecting the institutional framework which is important for their development.
 
The initial work focuses, in particular, on the potentials of the institutions for reducing investor risk, reinforcing public acceptance and building local capacity for decisions on the development of 3 BL compliant bioenergy value chains.
 
The working hypotheses and models were presented at a meeting at the OECD in Paris September 8, 2015, with participation of TRIBORN researchers, OECD staff and IEA staff. The purpose of the meetings was also to coordinate the TRIBORN activities with potential other research activities in the same field in order to reduce double work and increase synergies. September 9, TRIBORN staff met with EU Commission staff in Bruxelles and with the AEBIOM (EU bioenergy industry). These meetings focused on the legislative framework (Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives and ILUC amendments) and other institutional reform en route in the legislative process of the EU.
 
The discussion included the issue of a workshop aiming at taking the OECD report on renewable energy and rural development and the TRIBORN project on bioenergy chains and grounded innovation platform further towards conclusions on policy principles.
The questions addressed at the workshop could include the following:  Which criteria could define 3BL bioenergy chains? Which conditions for industrial development should the institutional framework provide? How should the policy principle of the cascading bioeconomy be implemented in the development of bioenergy value chains? What is the significance of whether they are developed from a bottom-up or top-down perspective?
 
The work package will be expanded to include this international research dimension.
WP23i Participants
Task leader: Anders Christian Hansen
Team: John, Bianca, Rasmus

WP23i - Data gathering bioenergy chain NO

 
This WP will bring together all data gathered that relate to Norwegian cases, including data from Innovation Norway (IN), the Norwegian Statistical Service (SSB) and personal interviews. The first data analysis will be included in a report that is expected to be ready at the last quarter of 2015 – assuming proper data availability. The first paper will also start to get shape at that time regarding the structure of the bioenergy value chains. Starting in 2016 we will explore emerging governance issues and how they relate to the observed structure and conduct of the key actors.
Bioproductivity ->biomass   Biomass->fuels   Fuels -> final use energy   Final use of energy   Transport, infra-structure, logistics, coordination
Branches, tops, bark   Chips   Heat plant   Heating and cooling   Connection to international market
Forest and wood industry waste   Pellets, charcoal, briquettes   CHP   Residential and service electricity & gas   Terminals/hubs, storage
Straw and manure   Wood   Small scale   Industrial processes   Smart grid
Food industry waste   Bio-refinery -> biofuels and other   Road transport   Transport infrastructure
Municipal waste   Biogas plant -> biogas and other   Other transport   Technological knowledge

  

Results

The key components of a bioenergy value chain

The value chain involves much more than value. It has physical basis of flows of materials and energy through the value chain and a series of plants, transport and storage facilities designed to handle these flows.

TRIBORN chain figure.jpeg
Figure 1. Links of bioenergy value chains today.
WP23j Participants
Task leader: Anne Prestvik
Team: Bjørn Egil, Karen

WP23J - Citizens survey: Part 1 and part 2

TRIBORN WP23J-1 - Citizen perceptions of impacts of bioenergy development
Purpose

Reveal citizen’s perceptions of the various impacts bioenergy development have on their interests, community, region and globally.

 

Background

The development of bioenergy has an effect on people whether they are directly involved or not.  Citizens use the same resources that are used for bioenergy, e.g. forests for recreational purposes, like hiking and hunting. They are also users of the end product, namely energy, either in their homes, workplaces, schools and other public places. In some cases, people are also affected by the development of necessary infrastructure for bioenergy such as roads and buildings. People can also have opinions about bioenergy related topics such as the use and distribution of local resources for energy, local and regional business development, environmental issues such as biodiversity and carbon storage in forests, as well as global impacts of bioenergy. Their perceptions may be/are (?) influenced by their values and personal interests, knowledge, the distribution of resources and power, level of information and involvement. Perceptions may be related to personal interests, but citizens’ concerns are frequently on a much wider scale and include global issues. The perceived impacts of bioenergy development may be real, but could also be based on limited or wrong information and be colored by other issues such as ownership and access to resources, power, and historical events.

 
There are several reasons why citizen perceptions are important in this project. First, to fully understand the impacts of bioenergy we need to investigate how citizens are affected as well as their concerns and needs. Second, the findings will be used to propose indicators for social impact, as well as test existing and find missing environmental and economic impacts. Third, it is widely recognized that social acceptance, which is strongly related to peoples’ perceptions of bioenergy will affect the achievement of bioenergy related policy goals (Longstaff et. al. 2015). Thirdly, by revealing citizen’s perceptions of the impacts of bioenergy, triple bottom lines may be improved by revealing potential conflicts, lacking information and involvement, and finding ways to increase social acceptance.
 
Methods: Qualitative interviews of selected people in the municipality of Nordre Land in Oppland County, around 10 interviews. Only one case study area is chosen for this part in order to get a larger number of interviews in one area such that the relationship between citizen’s perceptions and local conditions, history and issues may be studied. The process of choosing interview subjects is very important in order find the right subjects. Trough municipal hearings, earlier interviews and communications with actors who know the area well, we will locate subjects that have outspoken opinions about bioenergy. We will also find subjects that are likely to be affected by the local bioenergy development, directly or indirectly.
 
The interviews will include (visual or written) descriptions of potential environmental impacts of increased use of biomass for bioenergy.
 

Timeline:

  • Prepare data collection:
    • Identify interview subjects

    • Prepare interview guide

    • Prepare scenarios of environmental impact

    • Make the interviews

    • Analyze

 

TRIBORN WP23J-2 description - Survey of perceived impacts among GRIPs

Purpose

Map GRIP-participants perceptions of the impact of bioenergy development and TBL-performance

Background

The participants of the identified GRIPs are more involved in bioenergy than the average citizen. Their perceptions may therefor differ, particularly because they have invested time and other resources into it. Many of the GRIP participants are already interviewed, but we know little about their perceived impacts of bioenergy, both potential negative impacts and TBL performance. In order to evaluate environmental impact, we also need to know some details about the extraction of biomass, which the questionnaire will include for the relevant participants.

 

Methods

Questionnaire to be distributed in or after the dialogue meetings.