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Renewable and Sustainable Energy in Light of Energy Transition Processes

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 4059

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Interests: renewable energy; environmental conservation; sustainable energy; pro-ecological technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The subject of this Special Issue is the processes of the global energy transition and the related issues of energy use and production. It should be emphasized that energy in the framework of the energy transition is understood as a fundamental engine of economic development and a factor in improving the quality of life. Reliable access to energy is a key element in economic and social development. Conventional fuel resources are limited and non-renewable, and their use contributes to atmospheric pollution by the emission of greenhouse gases, resulting in ever-increasing global warming. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the production of energy from renewable energy (RE) sources. Importantly, any type of RE should be sourced sustainably, as this is the only way to achieve the energy transition. The development of RE promotes the creation of a decentralized society, powered by a network of smaller and safer power plants, and the strengthening of local communities.

This Special Issue addresses the current status, potential and prospects for renewable and sustainable energy development in light of energy transition processes. Research is being conducted around the world to improve the various RE sectors. As a result, technologies related to RE production are characterized by increasing energy efficiency, with decreasing costs for their purchase and installation. There are also beneficial socioeconomic aspects of scientific and technological development, such as improved quality of life and new jobs. This Special Issue will present the latest scientific, technical and economic developments in problems of energy transition and renewable and sustainable energy.

Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Energy transition and determinants of the energy transition processes;
  • Energy production, heat, transportation, transformation of economies and social changes;
  • Primary fuels, energy, and the renewable energy market;
  • Possibilities of RE development;
  • Institutional determinants of the RE sector;
  • Biomass technology and biofuels applications;
  • Biogas and biomethane production;
  • Wind energy technology;
  • Solar, thermal and photovoltaic technology;
  • Hydropower technology, wave, tide, and ocean thermal energies;
  • Geothermal technology;
  • Hydrogen production and fuel cells;
  • Proecological aspects in the energy sector;
  • Low-emission economy, decarbonization strategy, prosumers;
  • Socio-economic consequences of the development of the RE sector.

Dr. Bartłomiej Igliński
Prof. Dr. Michał Bernard Pietrzak
Guest Editors

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.

Keywords

  • energy transition
  • renewable and sustainable energy
  • renewable energy sources
  • energy conversion
  • proecological technologies
  • low-emission economy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3213 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Possibility of Improving the Performance of a Silicon Cell Using Selected Dye Concentrator
by Ewa Brągoszewska, Bartłomiej Milewicz and Agata Wajda
Energies 2024, 17(10), 2332; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17102332 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
There are many opportunities to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. These include solutions such as tracking mechanisms, hybrid systems or dye concentrators. Importantly, their implementation can reduce the number of silicon cells in installations, leading to reduced environmental impact. The principle of [...] Read more.
There are many opportunities to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. These include solutions such as tracking mechanisms, hybrid systems or dye concentrators. Importantly, their implementation can reduce the number of silicon cells in installations, leading to reduced environmental impact. The principle of a dye concentrator is to focus sunlight onto the surface of PV modules, increasing electricity production. In this study, the potential for increased PV cell efficiency is investigated using a selected dye concentrator—tinted and luminescent acrylic glass (polymethylmethacrylate, PMMA) in yellow and red colors. The experiment included multiple measurement calibrations, such as the temperature of the silicon cell under test and the irradiation, as well as different variants of PV systems consisting of a silicon cell and different types of PMMA. Overall, the results show an increase in PV cell performance and the dependence of the increase on the type of PMMA used. The most favorable of the PV systems tested appeared to be the combination of a PV cell with a red luminescent PV, for which an average efficiency improvement of 1.21% was obtained. Full article
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14 pages, 1884 KiB  
Article
Energy Integration of Thermal Pretreatment in Anaerobic Digestion of Wheat Straw
by Alfonso García Álvaro, César Ruiz Palomar, Israel Díaz Villalobos, Daphne Hermosilla, Raúl Muñoz and Ignacio de Godos
Energies 2024, 17(9), 2030; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17092030 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Cereal straw stands out as one of the most abundant and globally distributed agricultural residues. Traditional applications cope with a limited amount of production, leaving the remainder in the field for natural decomposition. Managing cereal straw through controlled biological transformation under anaerobic conditions [...] Read more.
Cereal straw stands out as one of the most abundant and globally distributed agricultural residues. Traditional applications cope with a limited amount of production, leaving the remainder in the field for natural decomposition. Managing cereal straw through controlled biological transformation under anaerobic conditions holds the potential to generate added value in the form of bioenergy. However, the lignocellulosic composition of these substrates poses challenges for organic degradation, often requiring energy-intensive pretreatments. A detailed study with a comprehensive calculation of the overall energy balance of the integrated process is proposed, aiming to provide real added value and replicability. Three scenarios for wheat straw transformation were investigated, incorporating two preliminary pre-treatment stages—mechanical milling and physicochemical steam explosion. Three conditions of pretreatment were essayed, varying the time exposure of the steam explosion. The subsequent energy integration analysis revealed that the process was optimized by up to 15% in the final energy balance when the steam explosion was set to 10 min. The macromolecular composition determination revealed that the thermal pretreatment reduced the lag phase of the hydrolysis step through hemicellulose breakdown. Full article
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28 pages, 5924 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Smart City Technologies and Their Impact on Users’ Energy Consumption Behaviour
by Hidayati Ramli, Zahirah Mokhtar Azizi and Niraj Thurairajah
Energies 2024, 17(4), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17040771 - 6 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1482
Abstract
Sustainable smart cities (SSCs) target decarbonisation by optimising energy consumption through the emerging capabilities of technology. Nevertheless, the energy consumption behaviour of end users has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of technological interventions, reflecting the importance of active social engagement in realising [...] Read more.
Sustainable smart cities (SSCs) target decarbonisation by optimising energy consumption through the emerging capabilities of technology. Nevertheless, the energy consumption behaviour of end users has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of technological interventions, reflecting the importance of active social engagement in realising decarbonisation goals. Although extensive research exists on energy consumption behaviour, little is known about how technology engagement affects it, the nature of these technologies, and their role in SSC. The paper aims to identify, categorise, and investigate the smart technologies that impact household energy consumption behaviours and their integration into the larger SSC system. Following a systematic review of 60 articles from the Scopus database (2013–2023), the study found 45 smart technologies cited, with 49% affecting efficiency behaviour and 51% affecting curtailment behaviour. While these technologies inform the city administration level in the SSC framework, the role of end users remains unclear, suggesting a technocratic approach. The study proposes the Sustainable Smart City Network to facilitate a grassroots approach, identifying five key domains: government policies, smart technology adoption, smart technology engagement, smart city infrastructure, and urban sustainability. The study provides an original contribution to knowledge by unveiling the key technologies affecting energy consumption behaviour and outlining the pragmatic requirements for achieving decarbonisation through a grassroots approach. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 3964 KiB  
Review
Assessing the Role of Hydrogen in Sustainable Energy Futures: A Comprehensive Bibliometric Analysis of Research and International Collaborations in Energy and Environmental Engineering
by Paweł Kut, Katarzyna Pietrucha-Urbanik and Martina Zeleňáková
Energies 2024, 17(8), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17081862 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 552
Abstract
The main results highlighted in this article underline the critical significance of hydrogen technologies in the move towards carbon neutrality. This research focuses on several key areas including the production, storage, safety, and usage of hydrogen, alongside innovative approaches for assessing hydrogen purity [...] Read more.
The main results highlighted in this article underline the critical significance of hydrogen technologies in the move towards carbon neutrality. This research focuses on several key areas including the production, storage, safety, and usage of hydrogen, alongside innovative approaches for assessing hydrogen purity and production-related technologies. This study emphasizes the vital role of hydrogen storage technology for the future utilization of hydrogen as an energy carrier and the advancement of technologies that facilitate effective, safe, and cost-efficient hydrogen storage. Furthermore, bibliometric analysis has been instrumental in identifying primary research fields such as hydrogen storage, hydrogen production, efficient electrocatalysts, rotary engines utilizing hydrogen as fuel, and underground hydrogen storage. Each domain is essential for realizing a sustainable hydrogen economy, reflecting the significant research and development efforts in hydrogen technologies. Recent trends have shown an increased interest in underground hydrogen storage as a method to enhance energy security and assist in the transition towards sustainable energy systems. This research delves into the technical, economic, and environmental facets of employing geological formations for large-scale, seasonal, and long-term hydrogen storage. Ultimately, the development of hydrogen technologies is deemed crucial for meeting sustainable development goals, particularly in terms of addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen serves as an energy carrier that could substantially lessen reliance on fossil fuels while encouraging the adoption of renewable energy sources, aiding in the decarbonization of transport, industry, and energy production sectors. This, in turn, supports worldwide efforts to curb global warming and achieve carbon neutrality. Full article
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16 pages, 5499 KiB  
Review
The Application of Pyrolysis Biochar Obtained from Waste Rapeseed Cake to Remove Copper from Industrial Wastewater: An Overview
by Krzysztof Mazurek, Sebastian Drużyński, Urszula Kiełkowska, Adriana Wróbel-Kaszanek, Bartłomiej Igliński and Marcin Cichosz
Energies 2024, 17(2), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17020498 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 763
Abstract
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical technology for converting biomass into energy and chemical products consisting of bio-gas, bio-oil, and biochar. Several parameters influence the process efficiency and properties of pyrolysis products. These include the type of biomass, biomass preliminary preparation, gaseous atmosphere, final temperature, [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical technology for converting biomass into energy and chemical products consisting of bio-gas, bio-oil, and biochar. Several parameters influence the process efficiency and properties of pyrolysis products. These include the type of biomass, biomass preliminary preparation, gaseous atmosphere, final temperature, heating rate, and process time. This manuscript provides a general summary of the properties of the pyrolytic products of waste rapeseed cake, with particular emphasis on the sorption properties of biochar. Biochar, produced by the pyrolysis process of biomass, is emerging as a powerful tool for carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and purifying water from contaminants such as potentially toxic elements and antibiotics. The review found that the biochar obtained as a result of pyrolysis of chemically modified waste rapeseed cake is characterised by its excellent sorption properties. The obtained sorbents are characterised by sorption capacity relative to the copper(II) ion, ranging from 40 mg·g−1 to 100 mg·g−1, according to the pyrolysis conditions and chemical modification method. The purified pyrolysis gas obtained in the high-temperature process can be used to generate heat and energy. Bio-oil, with its significant combustion heat of 36 MJ·kg−1, can be a source of environmentally friendly green biofuel. Full article
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