Presentation on theme: "Josephine K Musango ERC Colloquium 31 July 2012. Introduction The goal of technology assessment is to generate policy options for societal problems Can."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction The goal of technology assessment is to generate policy options for societal problems Can technology, which has economic and societal benefits, also liberate the environment from human impact? Can technology decouple goods and services from demands on planetary resources? Can technology do the following to the economy?: o dematerialize o decarbonize Are the net impacts of technology positive or negative?
Technology sustainability assessment.. Lack of clear criteria for conducting proper assessment TA concept treated as universal – strongly tied with western world TA has relatively poor disciplinary coordination and integration Most TA do not take account of holistic view – static in nature No formal TA practice to support energy policy formulation TA focuses mainly on impacts or outcomes of the technology Application of sustainability based criteria is not common in TA or decision-making
Technology sustainability assessment.. Who? o Scientists, industry, policy makers, NGOS, Civil society… Why? o How can the contribution of technology development for sustainability be improved? What? o Dialogues among the science, policy and development communities Need for change in social and institutional dimensions – user practices, regulations and industrial networks Multiple and competing goals from social dimension Differing perception about the technology being developed
SATSA framework Uncertain Dynamic Systemic Cumulative Inherently dynamic process Societal worldviews and values Long term future orientation Multi-domain problems Differential & difference Time and time evolution
STEP 2: System dynamics modelling - BIOTSA 12 BIOTSA model divided into eleven sub-models that provide outputs for the sustainability indicators Land Water Emissions Electricity demand Employment biodiesel plant Biodiesel profitability Cost of operation GDP Community perception Biodiesel production Population Environmental indicators Economic indicators Social indicators
Scenario results: perception, support, by-product use
BIOTSA model limitations LimitationDescription Biodiesel marketConsiders a biodiesel project aimed for export market but model limited to crop production and biodiesel production chain Implicit farming activitiesAssumes community can easily alter fallow land to biofuel crop land as long as there is acceptance to convert the fallow land Feedstock logisticsDetailed level of feedstock logistics excluded; e.g. biomass collection, pre- processing, storage and transportation EmploymentOnly employment created in the biodiesel plant (direct employments) is accounted
BIOTSA value chain insights Crop productionBiodiesel production Need to improve community perception of biodiesel crops benefits, which result from fear and previous bad experiences Promoting local feedstock production Focussing on non-food land for biodiesel crop production Local job creation at biodiesel plant level Using by-products as part of income generation outputs Government support in the biodiesel production Reducing feedstock costs by sourcing locally
Conclusion SATSA serves as a framework for science to promote a transdisciplinary approach, hence linking science- policy-business and society divide SATSA has a potential for application in other technology development No single strategy is capable of improving performance of sustainability indicators
Way forward Target technology assessment on societal problems prioritized by stakeholders Integrate appropriate mixes of disciplines, expertise and public/private sector in support of such problem- driven R&D Link expertise and application across scales, from local to global
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