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B2: Clean Energy

A section of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Section Information

Clean energy is vital to our sustainable futures. It comprises a number of zero- or low-emission, versatile technologies crucial to tackling climate change and other environmental challenges. They represent a paradigm shift in energy system, consumption, production, and in society’s relationship with energy in general—a move away in particular from the inherently unsustainable fossil fuel energy technologies that dominated the 20th century. Other terms closely associated or used interchangeably with clean energy include renewable energy, green energy, sustainable energy, alternative or new energy. The inclusion of nuclear fission technology in the clean energy field is controversial due mainly to ultratoxic waste byproducts and other environmental risk factors.

Clean energy technologies are being applied to all energy sectors—power generation (electricity), transportation, and thermal (heating, cooling, cooking)—but their development here is uneven. In the electricity sector, renewable energies such as solar PV and wind have experienced rapid advances in production, installation, and technological progress. Hydropower continues to play a major contributory role in power generation. Other technologies such as bioenergy, geothermal, marine (e.g., wave, tidal), solar thermal, and renewable hydrogen are at different stages of development.

In the transportation sector (road, rail, aviation, shipping), clean energy has made little penetration to date despite a well-established bioenergy fuel industry and recent, fast expansion of electric vehicles (EVs). Here and in thermal energy, fossil fuels still dominate. High-process temperatures required in key heavy industries such as steel, chemicals, and cement pose a significant challenge to currently available clean energy options. The most promising of these is renewable hydrogen, which, although presently is very expensive and its production capacity limited, has multiple application potential in all energy sectors.

This Section aims to showcase new research, concepts, and ideas concerning the development of clean energy from various disciplinary perspectives. It considers full-length, short communications, perspective, and review articles. Focal points of the Clean Energy Section include but are not limited to:

  • Bioenergy, e.g., biomass and biofuels;
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS);
  • Clean energy infrastructure;
  • Concentrated solar power (CSP);
  • Electric vehicles;
  • Emission control technologies;
  • Energy storage and saving;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Geothermal;
  • Green aviation, including sustainable aviation fuels;
  • Green shipping;
  • Hydrogen (renewable) energy, including fuel cells;
  • Hydropower;
  • Marine energy, e.g., wave, tidal range, tidal and marine currents, thermal and salinity gradients;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Smart grids;
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV);
  • Solar thermal energy;
  • Wind power (onshore and offshore).

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