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Waste Manag. 2019 Jul 15;95:102-115. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2019.06.005. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

A socio-economic analysis of biomethane in the transport sector: The case of Italy.

Author information

1
Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, University of L'Aquila, Via G. Gronchi 18, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy; Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma Sapienza - University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 295, 00161 Roma, Italy. Electronic address: idiano.dadamo@univaq.it.
2
Department of Law and Economics, Unitelma Sapienza - University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 295, 00161 Roma, Italy. Electronic address: pasquale.falcone@unitelmasapienza.it.
3
Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, University of L'Aquila, Via G. Gronchi 18, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy. Electronic address: francesco.ferella@univaq.it.

Abstract

The transport sector has a low penetration of renewable energy, and this presents a serious obstacle to tackling climate change. Biomethane is seen as a decarbonisation solution, but only some European countries have pursued its development. Italy is one of these countries, having released a decree to stimulate development of the sector. The present work considers two typologies of substrate (the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and by-products) used in three sizes of plants (125 m3/h, 250 m3/h and 500 m3/h). A detailed socio-economic analysis is presented and policy implications are provided. The recovery of waste enables the creation of a circular economy, but the economic feasibility of such a model is verified in only some scenarios. A sensitivity analysis on the critical variables is conducted to support investment in this area. The use of green gas is found to be capable of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, but the economic value of any environmental externality is low due to the value of carbon dioxide.

KEYWORDS:

Biomethane; Case study; Circular economy; Economic analysis; Sustainability; Transport sector

PMID:
31351596
DOI:
10.1016/j.wasman.2019.06.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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