From Benefits to Value(s): Biogas Systems Valuation Practices from a Swedish Regional Perspective

  •  Nancy Brett    


Local and regional contexts are essential spaces to promote sustainable energy transitions. Within this space, biogas production and use are one choice considered part of a regional sustainable transition. The valuation of different options has become a recurrent and vital activity in connection with strategic energy decisions in the public sector. However, capturing the diverse benefits of biogas is challenging. This study scrutinises the socially and politically bounded practice that (re)produces value(s) by examining the valuation practices related to biogas performed by regional and national actors in Sweden. It finds that although the valuation practice has a degree of formality, it still reflects local needs and specific contexts. A wide range of benefits undergoes a translation process to produce value(s) using qualitative and quantitative rationalities. Still, there is tension between the desire to prioritise quantitative methods while at the same time acknowledging that some benefits are too difficult to quantify. This paper contributes to the literature on the valuation of non-market objects by highlighting the connections between established scientific and economic procedures and performative processes and the importance of rejecting a binary view of quantification and qualification.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.