Establishing local biogas transport systems: Policy incentives and actor networks in Swedish regions

Biogas from waste and residues is a renewable transportation fuel, which can contribute directly to the fulfillment of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In this paper, we address the question of how biogas value chains, and the respective actor networks, emerge at the local level. The purpose of the paper is to empirically assess the development of local biogas transport systems in three Swedish regions, and how policy – including so-called network management – can support this development. The analysis draws on an analytical framework describing how emerging actor networks can be strengthened, and multiple data collection methods (personal interviews, workshop, and secondary sources). The results indicate that four factors explain the success of developing effective local biogas systems: (i) a clear political vision and an adequate basis for decision-making; (ii) a reliance on green public procurement giving priority to biogas vehicles (including follow-up); (iii) integrated actor networks, facilitating knowledge development and sharing of information; and (iv) strategies to deal with an uneven system growth.

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