Biomass Technologies,’ held at Aston University in the UK, the Interuniversity Research Centre on Environmental Psychology in Italy (CIRPA) offered an in-depth look at the objectives and implementation methods of an interdisciplinary approach to techno-economic evaluation, considering socio-economic and environmental aspects. As an introduction, some brief notes on Social Science methodologies i.e. ways of analysing and mapping stakeholders, as well as qualitative/quantitative tools for socio-economic and environmental assessment, were noted.
The session ended with an open discussion on this feedback, resulting in some interesting comments. For instance, a high level of knowledge about biofuel issues is attained, and a growing desire and interest to pay more for biofuels than for fossil fuels. This could in part be due to a better understanding of the high production costs of biofuels compared to traditional fuels. This begged the questions, could this result help in designing a communication strategy aimed at improving biofuel acceptance? In addition, how could the potential negative implications of such an argument act as a barrier in the adoption of new technology and how could these be bypassed?