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Incorporating ecosystem services into the design of future energy systems

Incorporating ecosystem services into the design of future energy systems
Incorporating ecosystem services into the design of future energy systems

There is increasing recognition that a whole systems approach is required to inform decisions on future energy options. Based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of forty influential energy and ecosystem services scenario exercises, we consider how the benefits to society that are derived from the natural environment are integrated within current energy scenarios. The analysis demonstrates a set of common underlying themes across scenario exercises. These include the relative contribution of fossil sources of energy, rates of decarbonisation, the level of international cooperation and globalisation, rate of technological development and deployment, and societies focus on environmental sustainability. Across energy scenario exercises, ecosystem services consideration is primarily limited to climate regulation, food, water resources, and air quality. In contrast, ecosystem services scenarios consider energy systems in a highly aggregated narrative form, with impacts of energy options mediated primarily through climate and land use change. Emerging data and tools offer opportunities for closer integration of energy and ecosystem services scenarios. This can be achieved by incorporating into scenarios exercises both monetary and non-monetary values of ecosystem services, and increasing the spatial representation of both energy systems and ecosystem services. The importance of ecosystem services for human well-being is increasingly recognised in policy at local, national and international scales. Tighter integration of energy and ecosystem service scenarios exercises will allow policy makers to identify pathways consistent with international obligations relating to both anthropogenic climate change and the loss and degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Ecosystem services, Energy, Scenarios, Self Organising Map (SOM)
0306-2619
812-822
Holland, Robert A.
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Beaumont, Nicola
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Hooper, Tara
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Austen, Melanie
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Gross, Robert J.K.
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Heptonstall, Philip J.
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Ketsopoulou, Ioanna
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Winskel, Mark
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Watson, Jim
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Taylor, Gail
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Holland, Robert A.
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Beaumont, Nicola
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Hooper, Tara
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Austen, Melanie
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Gross, Robert J.K.
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Heptonstall, Philip J.
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Ketsopoulou, Ioanna
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Winskel, Mark
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Watson, Jim
b2ca3ac7-c819-441b-8e1b-06539c83eead
Taylor, Gail
f3851db9-d37c-4c36-8663-e5c2cb03e171

Holland, Robert A., Beaumont, Nicola, Hooper, Tara, Austen, Melanie, Gross, Robert J.K., Heptonstall, Philip J., Ketsopoulou, Ioanna, Winskel, Mark, Watson, Jim and Taylor, Gail (2018) Incorporating ecosystem services into the design of future energy systems. Applied Energy, 222, 812-822. (doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.022).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is increasing recognition that a whole systems approach is required to inform decisions on future energy options. Based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of forty influential energy and ecosystem services scenario exercises, we consider how the benefits to society that are derived from the natural environment are integrated within current energy scenarios. The analysis demonstrates a set of common underlying themes across scenario exercises. These include the relative contribution of fossil sources of energy, rates of decarbonisation, the level of international cooperation and globalisation, rate of technological development and deployment, and societies focus on environmental sustainability. Across energy scenario exercises, ecosystem services consideration is primarily limited to climate regulation, food, water resources, and air quality. In contrast, ecosystem services scenarios consider energy systems in a highly aggregated narrative form, with impacts of energy options mediated primarily through climate and land use change. Emerging data and tools offer opportunities for closer integration of energy and ecosystem services scenarios. This can be achieved by incorporating into scenarios exercises both monetary and non-monetary values of ecosystem services, and increasing the spatial representation of both energy systems and ecosystem services. The importance of ecosystem services for human well-being is increasingly recognised in policy at local, national and international scales. Tighter integration of energy and ecosystem service scenarios exercises will allow policy makers to identify pathways consistent with international obligations relating to both anthropogenic climate change and the loss and degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 April 2018
Published date: 15 July 2018
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Energy, Scenarios, Self Organising Map (SOM)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420168
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420168
ISSN: 0306-2619
PURE UUID: e7fb4d64-6d14-4a7d-998e-228f1e5084cc
ORCID for Robert A. Holland: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3038-9227
ORCID for Gail Taylor: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8470-6390

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:58

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Contributors

Author: Nicola Beaumont
Author: Tara Hooper
Author: Melanie Austen
Author: Robert J.K. Gross
Author: Philip J. Heptonstall
Author: Ioanna Ketsopoulou
Author: Mark Winskel
Author: Jim Watson
Author: Gail Taylor ORCID iD

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