Bounded Biofuels? Sustainability of Global Biogas Developments

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Compared to liquid biofuels biogas has hardly drawn any attention from social sciences researchers lately. Although the share of biogas and liquid biofuels in the energy portfolio of many countries are comparable, biogas systems are strongly place-based and are non-controversial in terms of sustainability. But is that a fundamental distinction between the two biofuel systems; or is it just a matter of time before biogas becomes globally integrated and subject to sustainability controversies? In using a sociology of networks and flows frame, the current state of and developments in biogas systems around the world are analysed. It is concluded that biogas systems are most likely to further globally integrate, but that it remains to be seen whether that will result in similar sustainability controversies as with respect to liquid biofuels. One determining factor is whether governance arrangements manage to condition the sustainability of globalising biogas developments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • renewable energy
  • ecological modernization
  • trade
  • flows
  • perspectives
  • governance
  • prospects
  • china
  • urban


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