Project status

Successful and sustainable development and adaptation of bio-energy in the Nordic countries depends on tailored local and regional action. Therefore, it is essential to work with local bioenergy partnerships, in addition to understand the dynamics within and between national and pan-national policies and regulations.

In TRIBORN the overall research question has been: What can local governments and agencies do to create a humane, socially acceptable and environmentally and economically sustainable bioeconomy in rural regions?

To dig deeper into the question of the local governments’ role, the interdisciplinary TRIBORN-team have worked with local citizens, enterprises, foresters, municipalities, and experts creating and adapting sustainable forest-based bioenergy enterprises.  The interdisciplinary team analysed bioenergy case studies in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Italy over a three-year period from 2014 till 2017 to deepen the understanding of a set of related questions, crossing disciplinary borders. Social scientists analysed the social and economic aspects – asking: Do people support bioenergy? Does it pay? Does it help rural employment and incomes? How is it organised? Where does the money come from? What is the role of the local authorities? What kind of mix of international, transnational, national and local policies produce the best outcomes for people, economy and environment? Foresters and natural scientists looked at the impacts on climate, natural environment and landscapes – asking: Does it reduce harmful climate emissions compared to fossil fuels? Does it harm the biological diversity? Does it harm the landscape and recreation or people’s perceptions of it? What impacts does it have on the water system?  How and why do the answers to such questions vary in different countries and regions, and municipalities?

We found good examples of effective partnerships between local municipalities, foresters, timber processors, citizens, and experts that created innovative bioenergy projects. In several cases these projects extended far beyond bioenergy into a sophisticated bio-cluster, with bioenergy as a by-product. We observed examples in Finland, Sweden and Norway of partnerships between local foresters, enterprises such as sawmills, energy companies, local authorities and a range of experts coming together to create new district heating or biogas and biofuel systems. Typically, these use waste timber and thinnings, as well as municipal bio-waste and other raw materials. In this way they are developing the local ‘circular economy’ for the good of the environment, people and local economies.

Key motive forces for municipalities and others are the desire to be seen as ‘sustainable’ and climate-friendly, to contribute to local employment and incomes, and to create greater security of local energy supply. Local authorities commonly play a crucial role in such processes. First of all, they can provide the rationale and the motivation, for example through a strategy –relevant activities and competence- to create a ‘green brand’ or ‘sustainable label’ for their local communities. Second, they can get the stakeholders together by identifying local actors and interests and create space and encouragement for these actors to engage in a collective learning effort. They can go on supporting such groups into appropriate partnerships to plan and invest, and helping to gain support and acceptance in the local community. Where there are information and knowledge gaps – for example on technicalities of transformation of waste to heat – they can identify people and institutions that can fill the gaps. Most importantly, local authorities can help to make stable markets for bioenergy through their own heating choices for public buildings – offices, schools, meeting places, hospitals – through regulations for new homes and other buildings, through investment in the central network of district heating pipes. They can also prepare tender documents in ways that help the local enterprises. In these and other ways, local authorities can create a more secure and long-term climate for investors in bioenergy and other related activities. National climate, environmental, bioenergy, forestry, energy, local development, and local government policies need to recognise this. This requires a ‘joined up’ approach by the national public authorities, and an enabling and empowering approach towards the local authorities. The bio-economy is of course about ‘science’, but it is also crucially about locally embedded people and institutions.

In the wider bio-economy context, local authorities can map the existing industrial side streams and by-products in the region in order to increase utilisation of industrial waste as a substitute for raw materials by creating connections between companies in the region and industrial symbiosis. This may contribute to developing new business opportunities based on collaboration between forestry and other industries. Such collaborations also can create local research funding for development of innovative technologies alongside applied research and linkages to high-schools and universities.

Effects of increased biomass harvesting for bioenergy on the natural environment have received a lot of attention. Although most of the concern has been about the effect on carbon sequestration, there are potentially effects on for example soil, water, biodiversity, and the use of the forest for recreation. If biomass harvesting is intensified, there is a risk that it becomes unsustainable. A number of scientifically-based governance measures exist to ensure sustainable use of forest biomass for energy and other purposes according to current knowledge, including management guidelines, standards and certification systems. These will need to be updated continuously as knowledge increases. What is sustainable in one context may not be sustainable in others, for example it will be possible to remove more biomass from a nutrient-rich site than from a nutrient-poor one without this leading to nutrient deficiency. Thus, local context is ecologically important.

The Nordic countries account for about one-third of European forest resources. They are leaders in renewable energy, CO2 taxation, bioenergy, and the development of a bioeconomy as at least a partial replacement for fossil fuels. Forests, and forest industries, are important for Nordic rural & regional development, especially in peripheral regions. They are set to become yet more important in the transition from a fossil-fuel to a bio-economy. TRIBORN results indicate that  pan-national and national policies need to take into account specific regional and local conditions, and that a rigid, top-down, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to natural, economic and social conditions may hamper the transition to circular bioeconomy.

TRIBORN Quintuple Helix.jpg

Dissemination

Scientific papers

Bryden J., Gezelius, S.S., Refsgaard, K. & Sutz, J. (2017) ‘Inclusive innovation in the bioeconomy: concepts and directions for research’, 7:1-16.

Bryden, J. M. & Gezelius, S.S. (2017) ‘Innovation as if people mattered: Ethics and institutions for sustainable development’, Innovation & Development, 7:101-118.

Cavicchi, B. (2016) ‘Sustainability that backfires: the case of biogas in Emilia Romagna’, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 2:13–27.

Cavicchi, B. Palmieri, S. & Odaldi, M. (2017) ‘The Influence of Local Governance: Effects on the Sustainability of Bioenergy Innovation’, Sustainability, 9, 406; doi:10.3390/su9030406

Cavicchi, B., Bryden, J. M. & Vittuari, M (2014) ‘A comparison of bioenergy policies and institutional frameworks in the rural areas of Emilia Romagna and Norway’ Energy Policy, 67: 355-363

Clarke, N., Gundersen, P., Jönsson-Belyazid, U., Kjønaas, O.J., Persson, T., Sigurdsson, B. D., Stupak, I & Vesterdal, L. (2015) ‘Influence of different tree-harvesting intensities on forest soil carbon stocks in boreal and northern temperate forest ecosystems’, Forest Ecology and Management. 351:9-19.

Fjære, S., Clarke, N., Nybakken, L., & Wam, H. (2016) ‘Contrasting impact of whole-tree-harvesting on chemical quality of plant foliage in coastal vs inland forest’, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 31:1-13.

Gundersen, V., Clarke, N., Dramstad, W., & Fjellstad, W. (2015) ‘Effects of bioenergy extraction on visual preferences in boreal forests: A review of surveys from Finland, Sweden and Norway’, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 31:1-33.

Refsgaard K., Bryden, J. & Kvakkestad, V. (2017) ‘Towards inclusive innovation praxis in forest-based bioenergy’, Innovation and Development, 7:153-173.

Økland, T., Nordbakken, J., Lange, H., Røsberg, I., & Clarke, N. (2016) ‘Short-term effects of whole-tree harvesting on understory plant species diversity and cover in two Norway spruce sites in southern Norway’, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 31(8)1-11.

 

Books/special issues

Bryden, JM, Gezelius, S., Refsgaard, K., Sutz, J. Eds. (2017) Grounded and Inclusive Innovation in the Bioeconomy. Special Issue, Innovation and Development.

Nordregio News 1/2017 about Innovation and Governance

 

Working papers

Mikkola, Nelly (2017) Bioenergy development in North Karelia, Finland. NORDREGIO Working paper.

Berlina, Anna (2017) Bioenergy development in Jämtland, Sweden. NORDREGIO Working paper.

Berlina, Anna (2017) Bioenergy development in Västernorrland, Sweden. NORDREGIO Working paper.

See links on left side of page

 

Conference presentation – papers

Berlina, A. (2016). Sustainability of bioenergy development in Mid Sweden. Presented at Nordic Ruralities conference, Akureyri, Iceland, Date 2016-05-23

Bryden J 2015. Bioeconomy and Rural Development. Keynote and Panel presentation. OECD-Rural Confererence. Memphis-Tennessee, USA, May 2015.

Bryden J 2015. Bioenergy and Rural Development. Keynote presentation at AEBIOM Seminar on Renergising Rural Europe – the contribution of biomass. Brussels, June 17th 2015.

Bryden J 2015. Innovation in the Nordic Bioeconomy, Rural Development and Rural-Urban Linkages. Keynote presentation at NSPA/OECD seminar, Oulu, Finland, 13 June, 2015.

Bryden J 2015. New Paradigms of Innovation in the Bioeconomy. Keynote presentation at Agrosyms, Bosnia and Hertzovogena, 14 October 2015.

Bryden J M (2014) Keynote on Rural Innovation at the Rural Growth Network SW conference, Devon. February.

Bryden J, B Cavicchi, V Kvakkestad, AS Prestvik & K Refsgaard (2015): Towards inclusive innovation praxis in forest-based bioenergy. Peer reviewed paper presented at the Globelics Conference, Havana, Cuba, Sept 2015.

Bryden J, S S Gezeilus 2014. Innovation as if people mattered: Designing institutions for land based economic development. Presentation at Nordic Ruralities, 3rd Nordic Conference for Rural Research 08-10 September in Trondheim, Norway 2014.

Bryden J, SS Gezelius 2015. Inclusive Innovation, knowledge co-production, and human rights-based triple bottom line for rural development. XXVI ESRS Congress, Aberdeen 18-21 August 2015.

Bryden JM (2013) Sustainable Innovation and the Human Economy. Presentation, Human Economy Programme, University of Pretoria, February.

Bryden JM (2015) Towards a new paradigm of innovation in the rural bioeconomy. Keynote for the Agrosym 2015 Conference, University of East  Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hertzogovina, Oct 15.

Bryden JM (2015) Making the Bioeconomy Work for Rural Development: Some Nordic Experience. OECD Rural Policy Conference, Memphis Tennessee, May 2015.

Bryden JM (2015) Innovation in the Nordic Bioeconomy,  Rural Development and Rural-Urban linkages. Presentation at the NSPA-OECD Seminar, Oulu, Finland, June 13th.

Bryden JM (2015) Bio-energy and Rural Development. AEBIOM Seminar on Renergising Rural Europe – the contribution of Biomass. Brussels, June 17th..

Bryden JM and Refsgaard K (2014) Grounded Rural Innovation. All Russia Forum, St Petersburg, October 2014.

Bryden JM., (2012) Innovation in Rural Regions. Keynote for the OECD Conference on Rural Policies. Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Sept-Oct 2012.

Bryden, JM (2012) Greening: Renewable Energy. Conference on Megatrends in the Arctic. Nordregio, Stockholm, May.

Bryden, JM (2012) Renewable Energy & Rural Innovation. Keynote. OECD Conference Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development: Drivers and Constraints. Paris, OECD. June.

Bryden, JM.,and Gezelius, S (2014) Innovation as if people mattered: Designing institutions for land based economic development, Paper presented at the Nordic Ruralities Conference, Trondheim 8. Sept.

Bryden, John, Stig S. Gezelius. 2013. Innovation as if people mattered, paper presented at GLOBELICS conference, Ankara, Turkey 11-13 Sept 2013.

Cavicchi B 2014. Bioenergy Innovation: governance and the policy side. Nordic Ruralities Conference, Trondheim 8th-10th Sept, 2014

Cavicchi B and J Bryden 2015. Sustainability Inconvenience: Is the Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability key to Bioenergy Adoption? NESS conference, Trondheim, June 2015.

Cavicchi B, Refsgaard K, Bryden J, Kvakkestad V & Lamprinakis L (2016): Innovation paradigms in the bioeconomy. Session at EU-SPRI conference LUND: Annual Conference of the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (EU-SPRI) Organized by CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden, June 7-10, 2016. Conference Theme: “Exploring New Avenues for Innovation and Research Policies”:

Cavicchi, B. ‘Fixing the fixes: a feedback model for sustainability evaluation’ presented at session: Innovation in Sustainability Evaluation, 12th European Evaluation Society Conference, ‘Evaluation Futures in Europe and Beyond: Connectivity, Innovation and Use. Maastricht (Netherland), 26-30th September 2016.

Cavicchi, B. ‘Process evaluation for climate governance innovation’ presented at session: The Role of Evaluation in Climate Governance Innovation. 12th European Evaluation Society Conference, ‘Evaluation Futures in Europe and Beyond: Connectivity, Innovation and Use. Maastricht (Netherland), 26-30th September 2016. 

Cavicchi, B. The burden of sustainability: the case of forest-based bioenergy development in norway’ System Dynamics Conference, ‘Black Swans and Black Lies:
System Dynamics in the Context of Randomness and Political Power-play”, Delft (Netherland) 17-21st July, 2016.

Cavicchi, B. “A typology theory of sustainable bioenergy development governance. Evidence from two case studies”. SPRU DPhil Days 9-10th May, 2016. University of Sussex (UK)

Cavicchi, B. Sustainable Bioenergy Development: implications for innovation policy”. EU-SPRI Conference, ‘Exploring new Avenues for Innovation 
and Research Policies’, Lund (Sweden) 7-10th June, 2016.

Clarke et al. (2015) “Influence of different tree harvesting intensities on forest soil carbon stocks in boreal and northern temperate forest ecosystems” Poster presented at the conferences “Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy” and “Managing Forest to Promote Environmental Services” in Barcelona (21-23 October 2015) and Copenhagen (3-5 November 2015) respectively

Hansen, A. C. (2016) “Bioenergy in Sweden – the making of a niche”. Presentation at 1st International Congress on Bioresource Technology, 23-26 October 2016 in Sitges, Spain

Hansen, A. C. (2016) “Markets strike back – thinking two moves ahead” Nordregio Forum 2016: From Fossil to Bio-based and Sustainable Economy. Helsinki, 22-23 November:

Hegnes, Atle Wehn (2016), ’Hva er flisbasert bioenergi i Troms et kasus av?’ paper presentert ved Norsk sosiologforenings vinterseminar 2016, Hafjell, 22.-24. januar.

Hegnes, Atle Wehn, Flø, Bjørn Egil, Kvakkestad, Valborg & Strøm Prestvik, Anne (2016) ‘Local Conditions and Adaptations for Embedding Bio-Energy in Three Norwegian Regions’ presentation at Nordic Ruralities: Crisis and Resilience 4th Nordic Conference for Rural Research University of Akureyri, Iceland, May 22 – 24, 2016

J Bryden and K Refsgaard 2014. Grounded Innovation for Rural Development  NW RussiaXIII All-Russian Forum
«Strategic Planning in the Regions and Cities of Russia». All-Russia Forum, St. Petersburgh, 27-28 October 2014.

J Bryden and K Refsgaard 2014. Innovation in the context of Rural Regions. St. Petersburgh, RU. Workshop 10-11 April. http://leontief-centre.ru/conference162

K Refsgaard  2016. Municipalities and regions as engines for sustainable rural development – the example of Bioenergy. Presentation at Nordregio Forum, Helsinki 22-23 November 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luyzY8Bmx7c&feature=youtu.be

K Refsgaard and J Bryden 2014. Innovation in the context of rural regions. Best practices of rural innovations in the Nordic countries. A NORDIC-RUSSIA COOPERATION IN THE BALTIC-BARENTS REGION on “Modern entrepreneurship and territorial development in rural areas”. Pskov-conference, May 2014

Kvakkestad V, K Refsgaard and B Cavicchi 2015. Hvordan legge til rette for bærekraftig utvikling og innovasjon med bioenergi? Poster at Bioforsk-konferansen, februar Hamar 2015.

Lamprinakis, Lampros & Hegnes, Atle Wehn (2016) ‘Organizational Embeddedness, Economic Resilience and New Modes of Production: Insights from Four Case Studies’ presentation at the SASE 28th Annual Conference, Moral Economies, Economic Moralities June 24-26, 2016 - University of California, Berkeley

Refsgaard K, J Bryden & V Kvakkestad 2015. Hvordan legge til rette for å lykkes med innovasjon innen bioenergi? Presentasjon på Bioforsk-konferansen 4. februar 2015.

Refsgaard K, J Bryden, A Hegnes & V Kvakkestad 2016: Towards Inclusive Innovation Praxis in Forest-based Bioenergy. Nordic Ruralities Conference, 22-24 May, Akureyri, Iceland

Refsgaard K, J Bryden, B Cavicchi, N Clarke, S Gezelius and V Kvakkestad 2014. Securing triple bottom line outcomes from bioenergy development and innovation in rural Norway (TRIBORN). Presentation at Nordic Ruralities, 3rd Nordic Conference for Rural Research 08-10 September in Trondheim, Norway 2014.

Økland, T., Nordbakken, J. Lange, H., Røsberg, I., Kjønaas, O., Clarke, N., Hanssen, K. 2014. Removing forest harvesting residuals: effects on biodiversity and species composition in Norwegian forests. International forestry review 2014, 16 (5): 518. (IUFRO¸absrtact og poster))

Økland, Tonje; Nordbakken, Jørn-Frode; Lange, Holger; Røsberg, Ingvald; Kjønaas, O. Janne; Hanssen, Kjersti Holt; Clarke, Nicholas. (2016) Removing forest harvesting residuals: effects on biodiversity and species composition in Norwegian forests.. Effect of bioenergy production from forests and agriculture on ecosystem services in the Nordic and Baltic countries; 2016-04-04 - 2016-04-05 (Jeløya)

Økland, Tonje; Nordbakken, Jørn-Frode; Lange, Holger; Røsberg, Ingvald; Kjønaas, O. Janne; Hanssen, Kjersti Holt; Clarke, Nicholas (2015) Effects of whole-tree harvesting and stem-only harvesting on plant biodiversity in Norwegian spruce forest sites.. Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services: Climate change adaptation and mitigation, water protection, biodiversity conservation, and soil quality maintenance; 2015-11-03 - 2015-11-05 (København)

 

Popular

Berlina, A. (2016) TRIBORN project presentation at the meeting of Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research, Stockholm (2 November 2016)

Bryden, John; Refsgaard, Karen and Hegnes, Atle Wehn (2017) Innovating and Governing for a Sustainable Nordic Bioeconomy. Nordregio News 1:2017.p 6-8.

Clarke N, W Dramstad, V Kvakkestad, A Prestvik and K Refsgaard 2016: Innovation in the Bioeconomy – more than biotech and food! NIBIO-conference, February 2016 Trondheim

Fjellstad et al. (2015) “Bruk av skog til bioenergi - betyr det noe for opplevelsesverdier?” paper published in NIBIO’s popular scientific series NIBIO-POP. Fjellstad W, Dramstad W, Clarke N and Gundersen V 2015. Bruk av skog til bioenergi – betyr det noe for opplevelsesverdier. NIBIO Pop 9(1).

Kvakkestad V, K Refsgaard & B Cavicchi 2015. Hvordan legge til rette for bærekraftig utvikling og innovasjon med bioenergi? Bioforsk-Fokus 10(2):94.

Refsgaard K 2015. Hvordan lykkes med innovasjon innen bioøkonomi? Erfaringer fra OECD, TRIBORN, vindmøller, DORA EU-prosjekt og Grounded Innovation forskning. Presentasjon for Akershus fylkeskommune, Follorådet, Ås kommune og NMBU næringsutvikling i Follo. 26. August 2015

Refsgaard K, J Bryden & V Kvakkestad 2015. Hvordan legge til rette for å lykkes med innovasjon innen bioenergi? Bioforsk-Fokus 10(2):16.

Refsgaard K, J M Bryden, S S Gezelius, V Kvakkestad, N Clarke, W Dramstad, W J Fjellstad & EE Hohle 2014. Hvor blir det av satsingen? Kronikk i Nationen 21. november.

 

Other/lectures

Refsgaard, K. (2016) Municipalities and regions as engines for sustainable rural development – the example of Bioenergy. Nordregio Forum “From Fossil to Bio-based and Sustainable Economy”. 22-23 Nov. 2016, Helsinki

Bryden J and K Refsgaard 2015. Renewable Energy, Grounded Innovation and Bioeconomy. Presentations at ICRPS- International Comparative Policies Studies – summer institute, Ireland June/July 2015.

Bryden, JM, Gezelius, S and Refsgaard, K (2013) Governing Innovation for Sustainable Development: Designing creative institutions. NILF Working paper 5-2013. Oslo: NILF.

Cavicchi B 2014. Grounded Innovation for Sustainable Rural Development. Presentation at ICRPS- International Comparative Policies Studies – summer institute, Toluca, Mexico July 2014.

Campo M F 2015. Estudo da distribucion especial dos recursos forestais orientada a xestion de servizos ecosistemicos en Ringsaker e Voss (Noruega). Master Thesis at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Supervisor ERD Varela.

Cavicchi B 2014. Grounded Innovation for Sustainable Rural Development. Presentation at ICRPS- International Comparative Policies Studies – summer institute, Toluca, Mexico July 2014.

Cavicchi, B., Ely, A. Framing and reframing sustainable bioenergy pathways: The case of Emilia Romagna. STEPS working papers 88, University of Sussex, Falmer (Brighton, UK).

Økland, Tonje; Nordbakken, Jørn-Frode; Lange, Holger; Røsberg, Ingvald; Kjønaas, O.

Janne; Hanssen, Kjersti Holt; Clarke, Nicholas. Effects of whole-tree harvesting and stem-only harvesting on plant biodiversity in Norwegian spruce forest sites.. Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services: Climate change adaptation and mitigation, water protection, biodiversity conservation, and soilquality maintenance; 2015-11-03 - 2015-11-05