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The interface of sustainability science and bioenergy systems

The deployment of sustainable bioenergy varies significantly across the globe even though there is huge potential to harness it. This project evaluates the sustainability aspects of bioenergy for energy security, climate change mitigation and socioeconomic development in Japan and sub-Saharan African countries. The study uses a systems approach to explore the transition towards modern bioenergy, aiming at identifying the interface of sustainability science and bioenergy systems.

Funded by:

The researcher’s visit at UTokyo is funded by the KTH-UTokyo research collaboration grant.

Time period:

June 2018 – December 2020

Project partners:

1. Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan

(Formerly, IR3S - Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, UTokyo)

Dr. Alexandros Gasparatos, Associate Professor

2. Department of Energy Technology, ITM School

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Dr. Dilip Khatiwada, Assistant Professor


Japan has not harnessed the full potential of bioenergy, despite the country’s modernization in the economy and resource efficiency measures in the industrial sector. On the other hand, bioenergy is the leading energy source in the total energy consumption in Sweden. Low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are simply using traditional biomass in inefficient devices for cooking and heating purposes. This project has been developed as part of ongoing collaboration established Department of Energy Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI) - formerly IR3S, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science - the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan.

Aim and Objectives

What are the sustainable biofuel feedstocks for energy generation? How can biofuel policies help to develop agro-industries in terms of energy security and socioeconomic development? How much energy and climate gains can be accrued in the lifecycle of biofuels production chains? The main objectives of this research/academic collaboration are to (a) initiate a joint research contribution/publication on biofuels sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa, and (b) investigate the factors that can promote the deployment of modern bioenergy systems in Japan. This collaboration will focus in identifying the interface of sustainability science and bioenergy systems.

The exchange of knowledge in the development of sustainability assessment tools such as accounting lifecycle GHG balances (climate change impact), energy balances (resource utilization), and ecological indicators (for maintaining ecosystem services) is also part of this collaboration.

Project contact persons

Project Leader