A framework for barriers, opportunities, and potential solutions for renewable energy diffusion: Exemplified by liquefied biogas for heavy trucks
Journal article, 2021
This study has developed and applied a framework to analyse barriers, opportunities, and potential solutions for the diffusion of alternative fuels, here exemplified by liquefied biogas (LBG) for heavy trucks. The study is based on expert and stakeholder interviews in Sweden. Also, the study estimates a cost example of using heavy duty LBG-trucks instead of conventional diesel trucks. The framework is based on two previously published frameworks to categorise barriers, opportunities, and potential solutions and comprises five categories: financial, technical/commercial/physical, policy, public acceptability, and market structure/interaction barriers. Each category considers both the system and actor levels. The results of this study fit the framework's categories well, and the framework is appropriate for analysing the diffusion of liquefied biogas for heavy trucks, and other technologies with similar characteristics. The results further indicate that a network level, in addition to the system and actor levels, could advance our understanding of renewable energy diffusion. The most mentioned opportunities were climate/environmental benefits, potential profitability, and newly introduced policies. The cost estimates show that given current taxes and policies in Sweden, the costs of using LBG-trucks are only marginally higher than those of using conventional diesel trucks. Commonly cited barriers were financial issues, an unstable policy context, lack of infrastructure, and lack of knowledge. Suggested solutions for overcoming barriers were financial incentives, a stable policy context, demonstration projects, and information campaigns. Improved knowledge and working together throughout the biogas value chain, with a palette of renewable energy options, are important for accelerating a sustainable renewable fuel diffusion. Several policy instruments that currently exists in Sweden already target the mentioned barriers. Thus, it is important to continuously evaluate policy instruments to understand if they are effective and efficient, or if anything need to be changed to reach the targets of the policy instrument.