Biogas as a boundary object for policy integration - the case of Stockholm
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 98, 185-193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Policy integration between autonomous policy sectors is a tool for managing interdependent technical systems to avoid suboptimization. Biogas, regarded as a renewable energy carrier usable in the energy and transport systems, is produced from organic material such as municipal organic waste (MOW). It is connected to a number of systems and policy sectors, making biogas management an instructive case for studying policy integration processes. Swedish biogas production has increased in recent years, and in the Stockholm region there has been enormous interest in biogas production for vehicle use since the early 2000s. In this paper biogas will be discussed in the perspective that it is or has potential to be a vital part of three systems: waste, energy, and transportation. The aim is to analyse whether policy integration occurs between the systems and to explore if boundary objects can play a role when understanding policy integration processes. In examining the biogas development process, regional policy documents and interviews with stakeholders in the biogas process are used. The results indicate consensus among regional actors that biogas should be used in vehicles and that MOW should be collected for this purpose, indicating congruence of understanding of biogas. Biogas functions as a boundary object in these cases and contributes to high policy integration between the energy and waste systems. Despite consensus that biogas should be used in the transport system, there is little policy integration between the energy and transport sectors. The policy sectors of transport infrastructure and spatial planning are not concerned with fuel or biogas issues. Public transport policy focuses on the use of biogas for their vehicles, but even if biogas serves as a boundary object it is not developing into policy integration processes. The conclusion is that biogas development has resulted in integrated policymaking between the energy and waste sectors and biogas has served as a strong boundary object which has spurred that development. Between the energy and transport sectors there is little policy integration, and biogas is not a boundary object in the cases of transport infrastructure and spatial planning policy sectors. What this case shows is that if there is a lack of presence of a boundary object it suggests no preconditions for policy integration processes to start.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2015. Vol. 98, 185-193 p.
Transport system; Energy system; Policy integration; Boundary object; Regional policy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120150DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.10.042ISI: 000356194300019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120150DiVA: diva2:841523
Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy Agency2015-07-132015-07-132016-08-23