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Environmental Footprint of Energy Production and Storage Systems Based on Renewable Energy Sources

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 April 2025 | Viewed by 173

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Energy Production Technology from Non-Conventional Sources, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, GR-67100 Xanthi, Greece
Interests: renewable energy sources (RESs); renewable energy storage systems; hydrogen production and storage technologies; technologies for the use of hydrogen for the production of electricity; control and automation of hybrid power supply systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Major environmental shifts such as climate change can be attributed to human activities. In socio-economic terms, the generation and consumption of required materials—energy, water, and land—produce emissions and waste, which are released back to the natural environment, causing a plethora of sequential implications. As sustainable alternatives to conventional energy sources, a variety of renewable energy technologies and storage (RETS) systems have emerged which mainly provide advantages during their operation, like reduced greenhouse gas emissions and waste products. However, long-term environmental impacts, whether adverse or beneficial, should be studied in more depth, considering discrete time horizons and taking into account recent technological advances like the smart grid, the digitalization of the energy sector, higher recycling rates, and individual manufacturing and decommissioning processes. In view of the above considerations, up-to-date cradle-to-cradle assessments are needed that allow for the comparison of environmental impacts between different RETS systems from creation to disposal throughout the entire life span of materials. Inquiries which highlight the current strengths and weaknesses of the economies (industry, infrastructure, policy framework) dealing with the cradle-to-cradle of RETS are in demand. The formulation of public policies which ensure truly circular lifecycles is also vitally important for the creation of growth and job opportunities. The proposed Special Issue will try to unify a series of research papers that discuss the various aspects of RETS systems concerning the use of circular economy principles in examining the sustainability of RETS and register the currently available and developing techniques in the manufacturing and recycling of RETS. More specifically, potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following: The currently available and developing techniques in the manufacturing and recycling of RETS. The current environmental impact of RETS across the whole life cycle and cradle-to-cradle thinking. The current strengths and weaknesses of the EU economy (industry, infrastructure, policy framework) for dealing with the lifecycle of RETS. Public policies to ensure truly circular lifecycles of RETS and opportunities for growth and jobs in the EU.

Dr. Costas Elmasides
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Energy Poverty and Democratic Values: A European Perspective
Authors: Prof. Aleksy Kwilinski; Prof. Oleksii Lyulyov; Prof. Tetyana Pimonenko,
Affiliation: 1. The London Academy of Science and Business, London, UK 2. WSB University, Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland
Abstract: This paper examines the intricate relationship between energy poverty and the sustenance of democratic values within the European context, arguing that energy poverty not only undermines economic stability and health outcomes but also poses significant challenges to democratic engagement and equity. The composite index has been designed to measure energy poverty through the entropy method. Unlike traditional indicators that primarily focus on access to energy, or the developmental aspects related to energy use, this index targets the deprivation of access to modern energy services. Thus, it allows considering the incidence and intensity of energy poverty. Through the analysis of annual data collected from European countries between 2000 and 2022, the paper underscores the significant impact of a country's level of democracy on energy poverty. This relationship is influenced by factors such as income inequality, energy efficiency, and energy pricing. Findings suggest that improvements in income distribution and energy resource management could mitigate energy poverty. However, the analysis also points to a critical need for policymakers to consider the influence of democratic values and practices on energy poverty outcomes. By highlighting the role of democracy in addressing energy poverty, the study provides valuable insights for policymakers, suggesting that enhancing democratic engagement and ensuring fair income distribution and efficient energy use are crucial steps in combating energy poverty. This comprehensive approach offers a new tool for supporting policy decisions, aimed at reducing energy poverty and promoting a more equitable and democratically engaged society in Europe.

Title: The Electrical Energy Transition in Europe: Risks, Impacts, and Scenarios for its Future Implementation
Authors: Georgios Fotis
Affiliation: Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Educators, ASPETE—School of Pedagogical and Technological Education, 141 21 Heraklion, Greece
Abstract: The European Union's members have accelerated the process of the energy transition driven by climate change, and public authorities' involvement in this process is impressive. This is a politically driven process where corporate actions, guided by policies and directives based on stability at the European level, take precedence over the efforts of public authorities. The goal of this study is to present a broad overview of the electrical energy technologies that are currently being developed and how they might be used to improve the reliability and stability of the interconnected power system in Europe. The European Union's 2030 target of decreasing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% has resulted in a significant uptake of renewable energy sources (RES) in the European power system, primarily wind and solar power, as well as the closure of conventional power plants that mostly used fossil fuels. Unfortunately, this environmentally friendly transition is taking place without the required amount of investment in electrical energy storage technology, which raises the risk of a blackout due to the high predicted variability of RES. Consequently, the European Power System frequently faces a paradox: it rejects green power originating from high-RES production because of low demand, a lack of transmission line interconnections, or extremely low energy storage capacity! The paper examines all the prerequisites, including how the European electrical transmission and distribution system will develop in the future and how new energy storage technologies like hydrogen will be used. Lastly, case studies about Europe's energy future and potential risks associated with realizing the environmental goals of the European Green Deal are being studied.

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