Ecosystem services is the broad group of valuable services and materials delivered by ecosystems, contributing to economic activity and social well-being. Within the EE-team, ecosystem services are investigated as indicators for efficient natural resources management. Also the structure, feasibility and effects of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) systems are analysed. Selected projects :
Valuing externalities in a business context.
||Cambridge University, CPSL, VNN, UHasselt|
Sustainable and economical efficient ecosystem management: modeling biophysical scale followed by optimizing payments for ecosystem services.
The consequences of climate change over the long term affect multiple aspects of the economy and the society. The EE-team investigates closely the long-term impact of climate change on European agriculture, the distributed effects, and the adaptational behaviour of affected stakeholders. Selected projects :
Ricardian analysis of the impact of climate change on european agriculture.
||UHasselt, Yale University|
||Steven Van Passel|
In order to support promising clean technologies, the EE-team has developed a large experience in the techno-economic and environmental assessment of diverse cleantech solutions. Specific methods have been elaborated for the holistic sustainability assessment of biobased technologies and recycling innovations. Other projects assess the impact of emerging technologies on the economic structure, the contributions to sustainability transitions and societal change. Selected projects:
Energy crops on agricultural land enriched with heavy metals: functional repair through phytoextraction and/or energy crops as a sustainable alternative for classic agriculture.
||2009 - 2010|
||UHasselt, Yale University|
Organext - green nanotechnology: from flexible solar cells to printable electronics
||2009 - 2013|
||UHasselt, IMOMEC, ULG, ICIS, UNU-MERIT, Hogeschool Zuyd, RWTH Aachen, TU Eindhoven, IMEC, TWEED, Cide-Socran |
Closing the circle: enhanced landfill mining (elfm) as part of the transition to sustainable materials management.
||2011 - 2014|
||Group Machiels, UHasselt, KULeuven, VITO|
||Steven Van Passel|
Techno-economic assessment (TEA)
Techno-economic assessments are the most suitable approach for economic analysis of innovative technologies. TEA makes an investment decision, bridging the engineering knowledge of the process with the risk-assessment of an economic evaluation. This leads to the determination of critical technical variables as well as the sensitivity of market circumstances on the new technology.
The sustainability assessment of new Cleantech solutions and innovative technologies requires adapted sustainability methods. Our group has extensive experience in efficiency-based sustainability methods, such as the sustainable value apporach, trade-off analyses or frontier analysis. Holistic methods are also developed for the evaluation of life cycle impacts and costing for biobased technologies. In order to make the step from the sustainability of individual technologies to sustainable policies on sector level, the environmental economics team has developped evolutionary agent-based models to follow emerging technologies during a sector transition.
Ecosystem service valuations
Valuations of intangible benefits from ecosystem services provides constructive solutions to account for the importance of ecosystem process. This valuation can make use of discrete choice experiments, hedonic pricing or contingent valuation. The combination with models for payment for ecosystem services shemes, leads to the development of effective budget transfers to ecosystems according to the value they create.
Projects in the picture
Boundless Biobased Education
Flanders and the Netherlands are at the forefront of the biobased economy. With the presence of a large agricultural and chemical sector, a favourable geographical location (i.e. deep-sea port) and the cooperation between multinationals, SMEs, knowledge centres, educational institutions and governments, we have an entrepreneurial, exclusive and application oriented region. However, opportunities for economic growth, maintaining and expanding jobs are under pressure from a shortage of technically skilled people. Therefore, education is on top of the agenda. This project aims to to ensure the urgent need for skilled employees for the biobased economy, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Sustainable Materials Management
The Policy Research Centre studies Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) from a transition management perspective. Since SMM is a cornerstone of the future green economy, behavior in society should be shifted in a way that cuurent material needs can be fulfilled without destabilizing the natural system nor mortgaging its future. The Policy Centre will investigate and foster the role that policy can and should play in this transition towards SMM.
Full list of all our projects
Hoogmartens, R., Van Passel, S., Van Acker, K., Dubois, M. 2014. Bridging the gap between LCA, LCC and CBA as sustainability tools. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 48: 27-33
Van Dael, M., Van Passel, S., Pelkmans, L., Guisson, R., Reumermann, P., Marquez Luzardo, N., Witters, N., Broeze, J. 2013. A techno-economic evaluation of a biomass energy conversion park. Applied Energy 104: 611-622
Lizin, S., Van Passel, S., De Schepper, E., Maes, W., Lutsen, L., Manca, J. Vanderzande, D. 2013. Life cycle analyses of organic photovoltaics: a review. Energy & Environmental Science, 2013, 6, 3136-3149
Van Passel, S., Dubois, M., Eyckmans, J., de Gheldere, S., Ang, F., Jones, P.T., Van Acker, K. 2013. The economics of enhanced landfill mining: private and societal performance drivers. Journal of Cleaner Production 55: 92-102
Ang, F., Van Passel, S., Mathijs, E. 2011. An aggregate resource efficiency perspective on sustainability: a sustainable value application to the EU-15 countries. Ecological Economics 71:99-110
Full list of all our publications
Education at the Faculty of Business Economics
- Courses: Development of a research project proposal and introduction to environmental and health policy, Economics, Environmental economic evaluation of transport policy, Environmental policy, Intermediate Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Masterthesis, Microeconomic optimisation, Microeconomics, Microeconomics 2, Research plan-Masterthesis, Sustainable development & environmental technology, TIM-management, Tourism management, Transport economics
- Students: Business Engineering (technology, innovation and environmental management), Applied Economics (policy management)
- Master thesis > 10 (annual), Examples :
- Market potential of thin film BIPV in Flanders
- Valuation of ecosystem services: what is the value of nature?
- Solar Cooking Acceptance in Senegal: an application of Best-Worst Scaling
- Food miles: only a concept?
- Costs and benefits of low-energy houses
- Geothermal energy: a case study
- Economic assessment of a photovoltaic noise barrier
- Economic and sustainability assessment of CHP: a case study
Framework Programme EU, FWO, IWT, BOF, INTERREG, EFRO, local, regional and federal authorities in Belgium
Services and advice
The team delivers advice to local, regional and federal authorities, companies and research institutes
Prof. dr. Robert Malina
Prof. dr. ir Steven VAN PASSEL
- dr. Hossein Azadi
- dr. ir. Frederic Ang
- dr. Maheshi Danthurebandara
- dr. ir. Yann de Mey
- dr. Ellen De Schepper
- dr. Rob Hoogmartens
- Sarah Jeanloz
- dr. Sylvestre Njakou DJomo
- dr. Eloi Schreurs
- dr. ir. Annick Vastiau
- Thomas Voets
- Diriba Dadi Debela (Ethiopian Institute of architecture, Building, Construction and City Development, Ethipia)
- Thanh Lan Nguyen (National Economics University, Vietnam)
- Dobane Patricia Sebola (University of Limpopo, South Africa)
- Mahedi Al Masud (Khulna University, Bangladesh)
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mailing adress: Hasselt University | Martelarenlaan 42 | B-3500 Hasselt