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CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences


Research

CMK - Centre for Environmental Sciences

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ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

The research group Environmental Economics within the U Hasselt Center for Environmental Sciences (CMK) focuses on economic, environmental and social assessments of clean technologies and the valuation of ecosystem services. Environmental issues are analyzed by extending neoclassical economic tools and principles. Using and developing ecological economic methodologies, environmental problems are addressed in an interdisciplinary way.


The research group strives to be an international academic leader in sustainability assessments of clean technologies and the economic valuation of ecosystem services, a visible source of robust science-driven advice for policy-makers, governmental agencies, businesses and education, and an active promoter of academic expertise in developing countries.


The research group Environmental Economics collaborates closely with its research partners, such as: Purdue University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RWTH Aachen, EU Joint Research Center, Argonne National Laboratory, KU Leuven, Ghent University, Antwerp University, VITO and TNO.

 


Ecosystem Services

Lupine

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.

Timing 2012
Partners        Cambridge University, CPSL, VNN, UHasselt
Contact Silvie Daniels

 

Sustainable and economical efficient ecosystem management: modeling biophysical scale followed by optimizing payments for ecosystem services.

Timing 2012-2016
Partners        FWO
Contact Nele Witters

 

Climate Change

World in Danger

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.

Timing 2012
Partners        UHasselt, Yale University
Contact Steven Van Passel

 

Clean Technologies

PV-pannels

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.

Timing 2009 - 2010
Partners        UHasselt, Yale University
Contact Nele Witters

 

Organext - green nanotechnology: from flexible solar cells to printable electronics

Timing 2009 - 2013
Partners        UHasselt, IMOMEC, ULG, ICIS, UNU-MERIT, Hogeschool Zuyd, RWTH Aachen, TU Eindhoven, IMEC, TWEED, Cide-Socran
Contact Sebastien Lizin

 

Closing the circle: enhanced landfill mining (elfm) as part of the transition to sustainable materials management.

Timing 2011 - 2014
Partners        Group Machiels, UHasselt, KULeuven, VITO
Contact 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.

 

Sustainability assessment

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

Alternative Jet Fuel Supply Chain Analysis'

In this project, the researchers are approaching sustainable jet fuel production holistically, considering technological, environmental, economic, and social elements. The project aims to use these analyses to identify key barriers throughout the alternative jet fuel supply chain that must be overcome to produce and effectively market 1 billion gallons of alternative jet fuel in the near term and 10 billion gallons in the longer term in the United States of America.

Ascent website

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.

More information

CO2 for energy storage (EnOp)

The project objective of EnOp is the development and demonstration of embryonic CO2 conversion technologies for the storage of renewable energy. The ultimate goal is a set of demonstrators and working pilots that convert sunlight or renewable electricity into chemical energy carriers and / or specialty chemicals. CO2 is the first choice as a starting material.

Project Website

Intense

INTENSE will contribute to sustainable increase in food production, novel products for agriculture and new perspectives for European rural landscapes. Future land use must embrace efficient production and utilization of biomass for improved economic, environmental and social outcomes.

Website FACCE


Full list of all our projects

Projects

Selected publications

  

Staples, Mark; Malina, Robert & Barrett, Steven (2017) The limits of bioenergy for mitigating global lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Nature Energy, 2 (Art N° 16202)

Daniels, Silvie; Witters, Nele; Beliën, Tim; Vrancken, Kristof; Vangronsveld, Jaco & Van Passel, Steven (2017) Monetary Valuation of Natural Predators for Biological Pest Control in Pear Production. Ecological economics (Amsterdam), 134, p. 160-173.

Chossière, Guillaume P.; Malina, Robert; Akshay Ashok, Robert; Dedoussi, Irene C.; Eastham, Sebastian D.; Speth, Raymond L. & Barrett, Steven R. H. (2017) Public health impacts of excess NOx emissions from Volkswagen diesel passenger vehicles in Germany. Environmental research letters, 12 (3), p. 1-14.

Van Passel, Steven; Massetti, Emanuele & Mendelsohn, Robert (2017) A Ricardian Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on European Agriculture. Environmental & Resource Economics, 67(4), p. 725-760.

Vanschoenwinkel, Janka; Mendelsohn, Robert & Van Passel, Steven (2016) Do Western and Eastern Europe have the same agricultural climate response? Taking adaptive capacity into account. Global Environmental Change - Human and Policy Dimensions, 41, p. 74-87

 

Full list of all our publications

Publications

 

Education at the Faculty of Business Economics

Funding

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

Team

Prof. dr. Robert Malina

Prof dr. Sebastien LIZIN

Prof. dr. ir Steven VAN PASSEL

Former researchers

  • dr. Hossein Azadi
  • dr. ir. Frederic Ang
  • dr. Tine Compernolle
  • dr. Maheshi Danthurebandara
  • dr. ir. Yann de Mey
  • dr. Ellen De Schepper
  • dr. Marieke Franck
  • dr. Rob Hoogmartens
  • Sarah Jeanloz
  • Noah Larvoe
  • dr Dries Maes
  • dr. Sylvestre Njakou DJomo
  • dr. Eloi Schreurs
  • dr. Miet Van Dael
  • dr. ir. Annick Vastiau
  • Thomas Voets

Guest researchers

  • 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)

Environmental Economics

Hasselt University
Campus Diepenbeek
Agoralaan - Building D
BE- 3590 Diepenbeek

(p): +32 (0)11 26 87 55
(f): +32 (0)11 26 87 00
(e): eec@uhasselt.be
(w): www.uhasselt.be/eec

mailing adress: Hasselt University | Martelarenlaan 42 | B-3500 Hasselt

Campus Diepenbeek