The global biofuels industry is growing fast, involving many different actors, such as producers, forestry companies, biofuel producers and others. This development forces industry actors and policy makers to take biofuels into consideration as a source of energy and to also consider arising and shifting stakeholder interests. Experience has shown that the role of stakeholders can be critical to commercial success especially where environmentally sensitive activities are involved or when strong lobby groups exist.
The purpose of the first part of this study is to identify the interests of different stakeholder groups involved in the biofuel industry in Canada. This study is based on primary data collected from representatives of each stakeholder group. It follows a framework developed by Turcksin et al. (2011), who use a similar stakeholder analysis as input to a Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA) to assess different biofuel alternatives and opportunities. This study draws on the definition of stakeholders and their interests, and uses pairwise comparisons of the interests for each stakeholder group. The responses are analyzed using a methodology commonly used in the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP, Saaty, 1990) to derive a ranking of stakeholder interests for each group. The key results of this study are the weighted rankings of interests for each stakeholder group. These results also allow for a comparison between Canada and Belgium, based on the earlier work of Turcksin et al. (2011), which shows noticeable differences between the priorities of stakeholders in Canada and Belgium.
The second part of this study explores first the potential impact of public research on stakeholders and then the opinions of all stakeholders on public policies and programs of relevance to the development of the biofuels industry. The results suggest that researchers generally expect positive impacts of their work on all stakeholder groups. They anticipate that the greatest impact of their work will be on end-users, in terms or allowing them to project a green image. The second highest impact is anticipated on increasing the production capacity for biofuels producers. In terms of the importance of public policies and programs on biofuels commercialization, respondents generally anticipate tax measures and research and development support to facilitate the commercialization of biofuels. Agricultural and trade policies are considered less important. However, there are differences between the stakeholder groups. For example, government respondents are least optimistic about the effectiveness of research and development measures, yet most optimistic about biofuel mandates. Biofuel producers show the greatest appreciation for agricultural and trade measures, and consider tax measures as less important than all other stakeholders.
Comparing the results from all three parts of the study, the results document considerable differences between the stakeholder groups, and they suggest that the main contributions of researchers to the different stakeholder groups are not necessarily aligned with the priorities stakeholders have for their interests in biofuels.
|Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa
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