Social dimensions of energy supply alternatives in steelmaking: comparison of biomass and coal production scenarios in Australia

Weldegiorgis, Fitsum S. and Franks, Daniel M. (2013) Social dimensions of energy supply alternatives in steelmaking: comparison of biomass and coal production scenarios in Australia. Journal of Cleaner Production, 84 1: 281-288. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.09.056

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Author Weldegiorgis, Fitsum S.
Franks, Daniel M.
Title Social dimensions of energy supply alternatives in steelmaking: comparison of biomass and coal production scenarios in Australia
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-6526
Publication date 2013-10-21
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.09.056
Volume 84
Issue 1
Start page 281
End page 288
Total pages 31
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Highlights
• Renewable technology alternatives in steel making are examined.
• Social life cycle assessment is performed for 3 technology scenarios in Australia.
• Biomass alternatives are significant sources of direct employment at regional level.
• Biomass alternatives represented significant land-use change.
• Mallee biomass has benefits of additional farm revenue and salinity management.

Global climatic change is driving research and development in low emissions technologies. One such technology is the use of charcoal from biomass in steelmaking. This paper adapts social life cycle assessment methodologies to analyse the social dimensions of energy supply alternatives in steelmaking using regionalised production scenarios in Australia. Three energy supply alternatives are investigated: charcoal produced from Radiata pine plantation forestry; charcoal produced from Mallee eucalypt revegetation on agricultural land; and metallurgical coal. Impact indicators analysed include land-use, employment, workplace health & safety and a qualitative analysis of identified stakeholder issues. The research finds that biomass alternatives are significant generators of direct employment at the regional level; have concomitantly higher rates of workplace injuries and represent a significant change in land-use. Charcoal produced from Mallee biomass planted as a conservation measure on farmland, however, has the benefit of representing a shared land-use that provides an additional farm revenue stream and assists dryland salinity management. The paper finds that full substitution of coal by pine or Mallee charcoal does not provide a unique solution for optimising the social performance of the energy supply alternatives across all indicators.
Keyword Social lifecycle assessment
Technology assessment
Bio-energy
Social impact assessment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 21 October 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 28 Oct 2013, 10:53:42 EST by Dr Daniel Franks on behalf of Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining