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Feature Papers in Energy, Environment and Well-Being

A topical collection in Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This collection belongs to the section "B: Energy and Environment".

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Editors


E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
1. Department of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, Centro Direzionale, Isola C4, 80143 Napoli, Italy
2. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China
Interests: life cycle assessment; energy–exergy–emergy; environmental impact assessment; circular economy; urban metabolism and sustainability; food and water security; disparity in access to energy sources; large efforts invested in energy and resource efficiency, prosperous way down, and environmental integrity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry “Scuola Medica Salernitana”, University of Salerno, 84081 Baronissi, Italy
Interests: applied physics; ecophysics; environmental monitoring and accounting; vibro-acoustics; environmental science and cultural heritage applications; environment; health and well-being
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Group on Energy, Economics and System Dynamics (GEEDS),University of Valladolid Paseo del Cauce, 59, 47011 Valladolid, Spain
Interests: environmental impact assessment; environmental analysis; sustainability; environment; sustainable development; biodiversity; ecology; conservation biology; environmental management; conservation.

Topical Collection Information

Dear colleagues,

The Guest Editors are inviting submissions for a Special Issue that addresses radically innovative scenarios and frameworks to assess the interplay of energy, environment, and societal well-being. This is especially needed for the present condition of world societies that have shown their fragility in regards to pollution and pollution-favored disasters and diseases (the last of which has been the coronavirus pandemic). In particular, we are seeking feature papers that consider the following:

a) Energy is a fundamental resource for societal and economic metabolisms; not only we need energy, but we clearly need to address crucial questions about its use (energy to do what?) and appropriate management (top-down vs bottom-up energy policy making).

b) Not all energies have the same quality and environmental costs: extraction, processing, use, turnover time, land and water demand. This makes energy planning a challenge, much beyond the achieved or achievable technological progress. We cannot disregard that different energy sources (either renewable or nonrenewable) have pros and cons, in that their use affects the environment and life quality to different but not negligible extents. This is especially true considering CO2 emissions, the hard co-existence of birds and wind turbines, and the impacts of large dams on water availability to farming, among other claimed constraints and trade-offs. Furthermore, a new kind of energy scarcity is occurring, not due to limited abundance, but increasingly due to environmental constraints and trade-offs, to unequal availability worldwide and market prices. The latter also affects the spread of renewables and energy efficiency efforts and programs.

c) Achieving sustainable economies and shared well-being calls for urgent re-framing of the energy problem towards a balanced mix of different solutions, including technological improvement, use of energy resources consistent with their thermodynamic properties, a selection of environmentally friendly sources and carriers, suitable approaches to monitoring of impacts, efficiency measures with rebound control, life-style equity and reduction of energy poverty, decrease of wasteful habits, recognition of environmental limits in a limited planet, and careful management of the energy-water-food-environment nexus. A deeper understanding of these crucial aspects including ways to address them in our production and consumption patterns may help us develop qualitative growth and sustainable lifestyles, beyond the illusion of unlimited energy availability and technological fix.

Prof. Dr. Sergio Ulgiati
Dr. Marco Casazza
Dr. Pedro L. Lomas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 and environmental constraints and trade-offs
  • sustainable energy use
  • energy-water-food-environment nexus
  • energy quality
  • energy poverty
  • energy price
  • energy and well-being
  • energy accounting and management

Published Papers (100 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020

25 pages, 2695 KiB  
Review
Advanced Technology for Energy, Plant Nutrients and Water Recovery at Wastewater Treatment Plants
by Andrzej G. Chmielewski, Marcin Sudlitz and Monika Żubrowska-Sudoł
Energies 2024, 17(11), 2749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17112749 - 4 Jun 2024
Viewed by 334
Abstract
In present times, with increasing emphasis on circular economies, municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are considered resource recovery facilities. The targeted resources are water, biogas, and sludge, organic residuals containing nutrients and elements needed by plants (nitrogen and phosphorus). Sludge is a byproduct [...] Read more.
In present times, with increasing emphasis on circular economies, municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are considered resource recovery facilities. The targeted resources are water, biogas, and sludge, organic residuals containing nutrients and elements needed by plants (nitrogen and phosphorus). Sludge is a byproduct that constitutes the largest volume of all other byproducts obtained in wastewater treatment plants. Its processing and disposal are challenging for environmental engineers because of its complexity. Thus, quick development and implementation in industrial practice of sludge valorization and utilization technologies is required, where high nutrient content must be taken into account. Also, the occurrence of a variety of pathogens in sewage sludge is a matter of concern, even in the case of developed countries. The use of untreated sludge or wastewater in agricultural activities poses a serious risk of bacterial and parasitic infection in human beings. To overcome such issues, the application of ionizing radiation processing, especially electron beam (EB), can be considered a promising method. Its effectiveness in pathogen removal has been proven by researchers. Water radiolysis products created during irradiation of water are highly reactive and cause some effects such as DNA damage, OH  radical production, etc. Additionally, ionizing radiation technologies in sewage sludge treatment enhance the efficiency of the methane fermentation process. Depending on specific needs, different types of ionizing radiation sources can be discussed. Based on the review information and our research results, the basic engineering parameters of hybrid installation have been presented as the conclusion of the report. In this technical solution, a notably effective additional step would be the use of EB irradiation, combined with conventional wastewater treatment, to achieve efficient removal of pollutants. Full article
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15 pages, 4639 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study of Pollutant Emissions from Biomass Combustion and Modeling of PM Transportation
by François Delcourt, Abdelkader Izerroukyene, Damien Méresse, David Uystepruyst, François Beaubert and Céline Morin
Energies 2024, 17(11), 2586; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17112586 - 27 May 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Experimental measurements and modeling have been performed in the chimney of a biomass boiler to study the gaseous and particulate matter (PM) emissions during the combustion of wood pellets. A 10 kW boiler with an underfeed burner is equipped with different sensors located [...] Read more.
Experimental measurements and modeling have been performed in the chimney of a biomass boiler to study the gaseous and particulate matter (PM) emissions during the combustion of wood pellets. A 10 kW boiler with an underfeed burner is equipped with different sensors located in the chimney (anemometer, thermocouples). The PM emissions were measured in the chimney through the engine exhaust particle sizer (EEPS) technique. Moreover, the gaseous emissions (CO2, CO, total hydrocarbons THC, O2) were obtained through infrared (IR) spectroscopy and flame ionization detector (FID). The emissions were recorded during the steady phase of the boiler and averaged over several tests. Four locations were investigated in the chimney to evaluate the evolution of the particle size and the potential deposition on the surface. The experimental results were compared with a CFD model with particle transportation. The modeling of turbulent flow in the chimney is based on a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) approach with turbulent viscosity closure. To account for flow anisotropy, the v2¯f turbulence model was selected for this study. The effect of turbulent fluctuations on the discrete phase is considered by the discrete random walk (DRW) turbulent dispersion model. The results obtained provide access to the topology of the carrier phase flow as well as the complete distribution of the particle field within the chimney enclosure. Advanced measurement of pollutant emissions and modeling of the PM transportation are developed for the first time in a domestic biomass boiler operating in real conditions. Experimental results demonstrate several relevant information. The CO and THC emissions show a similar evolution versus time. The PM granulometric distribution measured along the chimney highlights the particle agglomeration phenomena. Moreover, the CFD model and experimental results give similar results in terms of flow characteristics and PM granulometry. Full article
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21 pages, 1935 KiB  
Article
Consumption-Based Energy Footprints in Iceland: High and Equally Distributed
by Anna Kristín Einarsdóttir, Gereon tho Pesch, Kevin Joseph Dillman, Marta Rós Karlsdóttir and Jukka Heinonen
Energies 2024, 17(10), 2375; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17102375 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 724
Abstract
With the urgent global need to limit warming to 2 °C as well as a localized need in our case study to address rising energy demand amid electrical and thermal network limitations, a critical examination of demand-side energy reductions and the concept of [...] Read more.
With the urgent global need to limit warming to 2 °C as well as a localized need in our case study to address rising energy demand amid electrical and thermal network limitations, a critical examination of demand-side energy reductions and the concept of energy sufficiency is needed. This paper contributes to the sparse literature on bottom-up analysis by utilizing Iceland—a leader in renewable energy generation—as a case study to explore the socio-economic factors influencing energy footprints. Our findings reveal significant energy footprints across various consumption domains, particularly housing and mobility, influenced by income levels, urbanization, and lifestyle choices. The study highlights the paradox of a high renewable energy supply leading to potential misconceptions regarding abundant and low-cost energy, resulting in substantial energy consumption-related environmental impacts. Using detailed household consumption survey data, this research provides insights crucial for developing sustainable energy policies that not only target technological advancements but also address the need for a reduction in energy demand and a shift towards energy sufficiency. This work marks a contribution to the literature through the provision of a case study of low income inequality and high energy footprints in a highly renewable energy system context. Further, this work is useful for Icelandic and international policymakers to understand in such high-demand contexts which consumption domains would be most relevant for sufficiency policies. This comprehensive analysis opens pathways for future research to further explore the intersections of energy consumption, socio-economic factors, and well-being, offering a nuanced understanding necessary for crafting sufficiency and demand-side policies aimed at a sustainable energy future. Full article
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18 pages, 3618 KiB  
Article
Air Purification Performance Analysis of Magnetic Fluid Filter with AC Non-Thermal Plasma Discharge
by Takuya Kuwahara and Yusuke Asaka
Energies 2024, 17(8), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17081865 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Air pollution caused by particulate matter (PM) is a worldwide concern. PM is particularly problematic from fossil-fuel-based energy conversion devices. For PM collection, a low-pressure loss method is ideal. Although PM collection via electrostatic force is an effective method with low pressure loss [...] Read more.
Air pollution caused by particulate matter (PM) is a worldwide concern. PM is particularly problematic from fossil-fuel-based energy conversion devices. For PM collection, a low-pressure loss method is ideal. Although PM collection via electrostatic force is an effective method with low pressure loss for PM with a wide range of diameters, it is difficult to apply to low-resistive PM, such as diesel particulates, owing to re-entrainment on the collection electrode. A magnetic fluid filter with an AC non-thermal plasma discharge solves the problem of re-entrainment. Based on our previous study, we hypothesized that an increase in the number of magnetic fluid spikes leads to an improvement in collection efficiencies with energy conservation. In this study, experiments are performed to verify this hypothesis. By improving our previous experimental methodology, the experiments include not only collection efficiency but also pressure loss, power consumption, and ozone generation efficiency. PM collection efficiencies using diesel fine particles and the ozone generation efficiencies required for air purification are investigated under different discharge conditions. The results revealed that the PM collection and ozone generation efficiencies increase proportionally with the number of spikes of the magnetic fluid with discharge, as hypothesized. The resulting PM collection and ozone generation efficiencies are sufficiently high for air purification. Full article
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18 pages, 3304 KiB  
Article
Unlocking the Technology Potential for Universal Access to Clean Energy in Developing Countries
by Boucar Diouf and Ekra Miezan
Energies 2024, 17(6), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17061488 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
Access to clean energy remains a major issue in developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, despite successive policies and the assistance of international institutions or organizations. The United Nations (UN) launched some of the most ambitious initiatives with the Millennium Development Goals and, more [...] Read more.
Access to clean energy remains a major issue in developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, despite successive policies and the assistance of international institutions or organizations. The United Nations (UN) launched some of the most ambitious initiatives with the Millennium Development Goals and, more recently, the Sustainable Development Goals and Power Africa, a United States (US) government initiative. Sub-Saharan Africa has an important potential in renewable energy for both biogas and solar photovoltaic energy, but they remain underexploited. This paper presents the challenges of access to clean energy in developing countries and the failure of remedial policies mostly based on public–private partnerships (PPPs) in the context of endemic poverty of rural populations. In addition, the development of modern energy technologies remains very limited. Appropriate reforms should be carried out to change the paradigm and allow universal access to clean energy. This paper also addresses the different structural barriers that hinder access to technology in Sub-Saharan Africa and the consequences of access to clean energy in the context of poverty. Full article
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19 pages, 4855 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Energy Self-Sufficiency of Wastewater Treatment Plants—A Case Study from Poland
by Adam Masłoń, Joanna Czarnota, Paulina Szczyrba, Aleksandra Szaja, Joanna Szulżyk-Cieplak and Grzegorz Łagód
Energies 2024, 17(5), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17051164 - 1 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Currently, one of the main goals is to make municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) energy-neutral. However, advanced wastewater treatments and sewage sludge processing are still classified as highly energy-intensive. In this study, the energy self-sufficiency potential assessment of the WWTP located in Krosno [...] Read more.
Currently, one of the main goals is to make municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) energy-neutral. However, advanced wastewater treatments and sewage sludge processing are still classified as highly energy-intensive. In this study, the energy self-sufficiency potential assessment of the WWTP located in Krosno (Poland) was evaluated. Moreover, the possible paths for improving the energy balance of the analyzed facility are presented in this paper. The performed evaluation indicated that in 2016–2019, the energy consumption at WWTP Krosno varied from 0.25 to 0.71 kWh/m3 of wastewater (average 0.51 kWh/m3), and the highest energy utilization values in each year were recorded around the summer season. An analysis of the data showed that as the pollutant load flowing into the WWTP increased, its energy utilization decreased. Such results indicate that the treatment cost per cubic meter decreases as the load increases due to the capital cost being the same. The estimated self-sufficiency of the facility in the years analyzed was 50.5%. The average energy recovery from 1 m3 of wastewater was 0.27 kWh/m3, and the average energy recovery from 1 m3 of biogas was 1.54 kWh/m3. Since the energy balance of this wastewater treatment plant, determined primarily by the continuously increasing cost of energy purchases, has to be improved, two courses of action were identified that will allow for increasing self-sufficiency. The co-digestion strategy was indicated as the easiest solution to implement, given the on-going anaerobic stabilization of sewage sludge at this WWTP. Moreover, the possible co-substrates that can be obtained from local suppliers were indicated. The second course of action, which requires a thorough economic analysis, is sludge pre-treatment, which might improve sewage sludge properties, resulting in a more favorable biogas yield. Full article
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25 pages, 411 KiB  
Article
Digitization Meets Energy Transition: Shaping the Future of Environmental Sustainability
by Lin Wang, Yugang He and Renhong Wu
Energies 2024, 17(4), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17040767 - 6 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
This paper presents an empirical investigation into the effects of energy transition and digitization on carbon dioxide emissions, serving as a proxy for environmental sustainability, across 28 Chinese provinces from 2000 to 2021. Utilizing both static and dynamic regression analyses, the study reveals [...] Read more.
This paper presents an empirical investigation into the effects of energy transition and digitization on carbon dioxide emissions, serving as a proxy for environmental sustainability, across 28 Chinese provinces from 2000 to 2021. Utilizing both static and dynamic regression analyses, the study reveals a significant driving effect of the energy transition on environmental sustainability, primarily through a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Notably, this influence is more pronounced in the eastern region of China, followed by the central and western regions, indicating regional heterogeneity in the impact of the energy transition. Furthermore, digitization is found to have a substantial moderating effect, enhancing energy conservation and emission reductions. As digitization progresses, its capability to diminish the impact of energy transitions on carbon dioxide emissions becomes more apparent, particularly in the eastern region, while this effect is less marked in central and western China. The study also delves into the nonlinear relationship between energy transitions and carbon dioxide emissions, discovering that increased levels of digitization can exacerbate the negative effects of energy transitions on emissions. These findings offer valuable insights into the dynamics of energy transition and digitalization, highlighting their crucial roles in shaping environmental sustainability in China. Full article

2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022, 2021, 2020

16 pages, 1694 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Real-Emitted Particulate Matter and PM-Bound Chemicals from Residential and Automotive Sources: A Case Study in Poland
by Katarzyna Szramowiat-Sala, Katarzyna Styszko, Lucyna Samek, Magdalena Kistler, Mariusz Macherzyński, Jiří Ryšavý, Kamil Krpec, Jiří Horák, Anne Kasper-Giebl and Janusz Gołaś
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6514; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186514 - 9 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 849
Abstract
The awareness of environmental pollution has been continuously growing in recent decades and is currently reaching its maximum. Europe and most developed countries are determined to ensure safe breathing air for their citizens, and the measures to do so are stricter than ever [...] Read more.
The awareness of environmental pollution has been continuously growing in recent decades and is currently reaching its maximum. Europe and most developed countries are determined to ensure safe breathing air for their citizens, and the measures to do so are stricter than ever before. Combustion procedures remain the primary means of producing energy and warmth in Poland. Among the notable constituents of flue gases produced as a result of fuel combustion, solid particles (or particulate matter) hold significant prominence. The paper presents the chemical characterisation of particulate matter emitted from stationary and automotive emission sources. Stationary emission sources included the combustion process of fossil fuels (soft wood, bituminous coal, ecopea coal, culm) in domestic heating units and the process of combustion of bituminous coal in a power plant. Automotive emission sources included light duty and medium duty vehicles fuelled by diesel. Exhaust toxicity tests were carried out maintaining the real conditions of PM emission. In all field measurements particulate matter was gravimetrically measured and collected on quartz or glass fibre filters. Subsequently, the content of carbonaceous fraction, inorganic ions, and metals and metalloids was analyzed using different analytical techniques. The chemical composition of the particulate matter differed depending on the emission source. With respect to stationary combustion sources, the main factors determining solid particle emission are related primarily to the fuel quality. The duty of vehicles was also a factor that influenced the chemical characterisation of the particulate matter emitted from the engines. Full article
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18 pages, 821 KiB  
Article
Impact of Environmental Policy Mix on Carbon Emission Reduction and Social Welfare: Scenario Simulation Based on Private Vehicle Trajectory Big Data
by Wenjie Chen, Xiaogang Wu and Zhu Xiao
Energies 2023, 16(15), 5839; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16155839 - 7 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 911
Abstract
Analyzing and investigating the impact of implementing an environmental policy mix on carbon emission from private cars and social welfare holds significant reference value. Firstly, based on vehicle trajectory big data, this paper employs reverse geocoding and artificial neural network models to predict [...] Read more.
Analyzing and investigating the impact of implementing an environmental policy mix on carbon emission from private cars and social welfare holds significant reference value. Firstly, based on vehicle trajectory big data, this paper employs reverse geocoding and artificial neural network models to predict carbon emissions from private cars in various provinces and cities in China. Secondly, by simulating different scenarios of carbon tax, carbon trading, and their policy mix, the propensity score matching model is constructed to explore the effects of the policy mix on carbon emission reduction from private cars and social welfare while conducting regional heterogeneity analysis. Finally, policy proposals are proposed to promote carbon emission reduction from private cars and enhance social welfare in China. The results indicate that the environmental policy mix has a significant positive impact on carbon emission reduction from private cars and social welfare. Furthermore, in the regional heterogeneity analysis, the implementation of the policy mix in eastern regions has a significant positive effect on both carbon emission reduction from private cars and social welfare, while in central and western regions, it shows a significant positive impact on social welfare but has no significant effect on carbon emission reduction in the private car sector. Full article
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30 pages, 6750 KiB  
Review
Addressing Multidimensional Energy Poverty Implications on Achieving Sustainable Development
by George E. Halkos and Panagiotis-Stavros C. Aslanidis
Energies 2023, 16(9), 3805; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16093805 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2565
Abstract
This study examines whether shifts in the stance of policymaking can account for the observed predictability in excess energy poverty (EP) or fuel poverty (FP) levels. Energy-related poverty is a subcategory of global poverty and can be categorized into accessibility problems related to [...] Read more.
This study examines whether shifts in the stance of policymaking can account for the observed predictability in excess energy poverty (EP) or fuel poverty (FP) levels. Energy-related poverty is a subcategory of global poverty and can be categorized into accessibility problems related to EP and affordability issues associated with FP, which have a similar but not identical meaning. Furthermore, developed and developing countries have different energy issues, as the former deal with FP and the latter with EP. However, there are discrepancies in EP not only between countries but within counties as well; for instance, there are differences in urban and rural areas too. Difficulties in energy access can be devastating for people living at risk of poverty. Social welfare, although at stake due to the energy crisis sparked at the same time as the warfare in eastern Europe. Renewables and green fossil fuels have price fluctuations, and inflation is also a stress factor in EP. Generally, solutions to EP and FP could be, inter alia, the adoption of renewables, governmental regulation, and supranational support through the green deals and sustainable development goals (SDGs). In short, the inflationary trend disequilibrium and raging war have put Agenda 2030 at stake due to the provocation of sustainability via energy-related vulnerability, insecurity, and poverty phenomena. Full article
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26 pages, 1423 KiB  
Article
Energy Behaviors of Prosumers in Example of Polish Households
by Bożena Gajdzik, Magdalena Jaciow, Radosław Wolniak, Robert Wolny and Wieslaw Wes Grebski
Energies 2023, 16(7), 3186; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073186 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
This paper explores ways to save energy in households with energy prosumers who generate energy using photovoltaic panels and heat pumps. On the basis of a literature analysis, we formulated a research gap in the case of the energy behaviors of prosumers. This [...] Read more.
This paper explores ways to save energy in households with energy prosumers who generate energy using photovoltaic panels and heat pumps. On the basis of a literature analysis, we formulated a research gap in the case of the energy behaviors of prosumers. This research is important due to the growing demand for energy and the transitions of countries toward renewable energy sources. The role of prosumers in the economy is growing as they ensure energy independence and cost savings. The main purpose of this research is to understand the energy behaviors of prosumers and to examine the differences in energy behaviors between users of photovoltaic systems and heat pumps. A sample of 326 Polish prosumer households was selected using the CAWI method in order to obtain empirical data. The results suggest that prosumers show advanced ecological behaviors, and more than half of the respondents implement pro-ecological behaviors in their homes. Being a prosumer is associated with energy independence, which leads to economic stability and less dependence on traditional energy sources. The results indicate that prosumers show a general inclination toward pro-ecological behavior. Thus, this study recommends promoting prosumers and encouraging the use of pro-ecological energy as a priority for the economy. This initiative will contribute to a reduction in energy consumption in various areas, thus raising ecological awareness and a sense of responsibility for the environment. Full article
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18 pages, 668 KiB  
Article
The Role of Environmental Regulations, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency in Finding the Path to Green Economic Growth
by Henryk Dzwigol, Aleksy Kwilinski, Oleksii Lyulyov and Tetyana Pimonenko
Energies 2023, 16(7), 3090; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073090 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
European Union (EU) countries pay meticulous attention to environmental issues and achieve carbon-free development. In this direction, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and extending renewable energy are the primary goals. At the same time, the energy price and declining energy efficiency increase countries’ environmental [...] Read more.
European Union (EU) countries pay meticulous attention to environmental issues and achieve carbon-free development. In this direction, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and extending renewable energy are the primary goals. At the same time, the energy price and declining energy efficiency increase countries’ environmental expenditures and hinder their capabilities for economic growth. Against this backdrop, this research aims to examine the influence of environmental regulations, renewable energy, and energy efficiency on green economic growth. The originality of the study is twofold: first, it evaluates the green economic growth of a country, which simultaneously reveals the options for economic growth and the capability to eliminate its negative effect on the environment by applying the Global Malmquist–Luenberger productivity index; second, it develops an econometric model based on panel data for EU countries for 2000–2020 to investigate the nonlinear impact of environmental regulations, the effect of extending renewable energies, and the growth of energy efficiency on a country’s green economic growth. The study applies the following methodology: a system generalized method of moments (GMM) analysis. The empirical results confirm the U-shape, nonlinear impact of environmental regulations on a country’s green economic growth along with a gradual increase in energy efficiency. In addition, the findings indicate that renewable energy is crucial for furthering a country’s green economic growth. At the same time, environmental regulation has a significant role in extending renewable energy. The study results could be used as the basis for implementing green economic growth for EU countries and improving the policy of carbon-free development of these countries. Full article
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22 pages, 3296 KiB  
Review
Pricing and Simulating Energy Transactions in Energy Communities
by João Mello, Cristina de Lorenzo, Fco. Alberto Campos and José Villar
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1949; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041949 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
Extensive literature is available for modeling and simulating local electricity markets, often called P2P electricity markets, and for pricing local energy transactions in energy communities. Market models and pricing mechanisms provide simulation tools to better understand how these new markets behave, helping to [...] Read more.
Extensive literature is available for modeling and simulating local electricity markets, often called P2P electricity markets, and for pricing local energy transactions in energy communities. Market models and pricing mechanisms provide simulation tools to better understand how these new markets behave, helping to design their main rules for real applications, and assessing the financial compensations of the internal energy transactions. As such, pricing mechanisms are often needed in energy management systems when centralized management approaches are preferred to market-based ones. First, this paper highlights the links between local electricity markets, pricing mechanisms for local electricity transactions, and other approaches to sharing the collective benefits of participating in transactive energy communities. Then, a standard nomenclature is defined to review some of the main pricing mechanisms for local energy transactions, an innovative pricing mechanism based on the economic principles of a post-delivery pool market is proposed, and other relevant approaches for local electricity market simulation such as Nash equilibrium or agent-based simulation are also revisited. The revision was based on systematic searches in common research databases and on the authors’ experience in European and national projects, including local industrial applications for the past five years. A qualitative assessment of the reviewed methods is also provided, and the research challenges are highlighted. This review is intended to serve as a practical guide to pricing mechanisms and market simulation procedures for practical designs of internal financial compensation to share the collective benefits of energy communities. Full article
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23 pages, 3611 KiB  
Article
Strategies of Energy Suppliers and Consumer Awareness in Green Energy Optics
by Aleksandra Sus, Rafał Trzaska, Maciej Wilczyński and Joanna Hołub-Iwan
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041613 - 6 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
This research aims to identify (1) whether consumers have an impact on the energy sector, (2) to what extent consumers have an impact on the energy sector, and (3) whether there is so-called energy communism. We understand this phenomenon as the process of [...] Read more.
This research aims to identify (1) whether consumers have an impact on the energy sector, (2) to what extent consumers have an impact on the energy sector, and (3) whether there is so-called energy communism. We understand this phenomenon as the process of energy suppliers imposing energy sources on which the end consumer has zero or very little influence. The research, therefore, focused on a B2C analysis, in five selected countries: the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Poland (N = 500). The research subjects are a homogeneous group in terms of the sources of green energy, and the volume of production of this type of energy and its increments. The investigation was conducted using the procedure appropriate for the triangulation of research methods. Three hypotheses were verified. The first one was rejected, which aimed to determine whether individual consumers are guided by green energy in their choices. The second hypothesis—that energy suppliers do not take into account customer needs/expectations and pursue their strategies—was partially confirmed but was also directed for further exploration. The third hypothesis was whether the consumer is free to make the decision to switch energy suppliers—if so, what is the hierarchy of the most and least decisive factors in the choice of supplier? The verification of this hypothesis indicates that there is no specific pattern that consumers follow when choosing an energy supplier. Full article
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24 pages, 13093 KiB  
Article
A Three-Stage Model to Manage Energy Communities, Share Benefits and Provide Local Grid Services
by Rogério Rocha, Ricardo Silva, João Mello, Sérgio Faria, Fábio Retorta, Clara Gouveia and José Villar
Energies 2023, 16(3), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031143 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
This paper proposes a three-stage model for managing energy communities for local energy sharing and providing grid flexibility services to tackle local distribution grid constraints. The first stage addresses the minimization of each prosumer’s individual energy bill by optimizing the schedules of their [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a three-stage model for managing energy communities for local energy sharing and providing grid flexibility services to tackle local distribution grid constraints. The first stage addresses the minimization of each prosumer’s individual energy bill by optimizing the schedules of their flexible resources. The second stage optimizes the energy bill of the whole energy community by sharing the prosumers’ energy surplus internally and re-dispatching their batteries, while guaranteeing that each prosumer’s new energy bill is always be equal to or less than the bill that results for this prosumer from stage one. This collective optimization is designed to ensure an additional collective benefit, without loss for any community member. The third stage, which can be performed by the distribution system operator (DSO), aims to solve the local grid constraints by re-dispatching the flexible resources and, if still necessary, by curtailing local generation or consumption. Stage three minimizes the impact on the schedule obtained at previous stages by minimizing the loss of profit or utility for all prosumers, which are furthermore financially compensated accordingly. This paper describes how the settlement should be performed, including the allocation coefficients to be sent to the DSO to determine the self-consumed and supplied energies of each peer. Finally, some case studies allow an assessment of the performance of the proposed methodology. Results show, among other things, the potential benefits of allowing the allocation coefficients to take negative values to increase the retail market competition; the importance of stage one or, alternatively, the need for a fair internal price to avoid unfair collective benefit sharing among the community members; or how stage three can effectively contribute to grid constraint solving, profiting first from the existing flexible resources. Full article
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2022

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18 pages, 3202 KiB  
Article
Photovoltaic Production Management in a Hall of Residence with High Energy Consumption
by Ivo Araújo, Leonel J. R. Nunes, David Patíño Vilas and António Curado
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8412; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228412 - 10 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1534
Abstract
A hall of residence with low energy performance was subjected to an extensive retrofitting program due to its high energy consumption, to enhance the building’s energy efficiency and reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The retrofitting program included the integration of [...] Read more.
A hall of residence with low energy performance was subjected to an extensive retrofitting program due to its high energy consumption, to enhance the building’s energy efficiency and reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The retrofitting program included the integration of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the building’s flat roof, among other factors. Nevertheless, the electricity supply provided by the system during the daytime proved insufficient to cover the building’s energy demand. Based on this, a study was implemented to analyze the contribution of the electricity produced by the solar PV system throughout the year to reduce power consumption under distinct solar radiation conditions, and to define a strategy to optimize renewable energy use by drawing up a set of organizational measures to be implemented to manage the PV solar system energy strategically. The strategic measures are mainly related to selecting the residence tasks with higher energy consumption to fit into higher PV energy production periods. Additionally, it is fundamental to raise the residence’s occupants’ education and awareness of energy efficiency, optimize the excess PV energy produced in specific periods by converting it into other energy forms, and install complementary storage systems for surplus production. Full article
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18 pages, 2649 KiB  
Article
Waste Incineration and Heavy Metal Emission—Laboratory Tests
by Danuta Król, Przemysław Motyl and Sławomir Poskrobko
Energies 2022, 15(21), 8130; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15218130 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
The main sources of environmental pollution with heavy (ecotoxic) metals include industry, including utility and municipal power engineering, but also waste incineration plants. Fuel shortages and their constantly growing prices raise concerns that energy will be commonly obtained from waste outside of installations [...] Read more.
The main sources of environmental pollution with heavy (ecotoxic) metals include industry, including utility and municipal power engineering, but also waste incineration plants. Fuel shortages and their constantly growing prices raise concerns that energy will be commonly obtained from waste outside of installations intended for this purpose (i.e., outside waste incineration plants). The greatest concern stems from the risk of burning waste in low-power boilers—domestic boilers. Waste incineration plants and utility power plants are equipped with flue gas cleaning installations (FGD), but low-power boilers are not. The exhaust gases are directly introduced into the atmosphere, which results in the introduction into the air of, inter alia, toxic heavy metals. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct activities aimed at retaining ecotoxic metals in the solid–slag residue. The paper presents the results of laboratory tests of the emission capacity of Cd, Cu, Zn bound in various chemical forms—nitrates (V), chlorides and sulphates (VI). The tests were carried out at 1073 K, 1173 K and 1273 K. It was found that the emissivity of metals increased with increasing temperature. This is innovative as there are no reports of experiments with pure forms of metal salts. The advantage of this type of research is the lack of influence from other factors, apart from temperature, on metal emissions. To check the possibility of reducing metal emissions, additives (bauxite, dolomite, V2O5) immobilized in a solid residue were tested. The mechanism of action of each of the additives to limit the mobility of metals was different. The use of V2O5 for this purpose is new. The additives kept the metals solid in the residue, but their effect was different for each of the metals. The effectiveness of the tested additives was checked in the same temperature conditions, burning waste such as: rubber, sewage sludge and SRF fuel from waste. The effect of the additives depended on the type of waste, type of metal and the furnace temperature. If the additive effectively retained metals, then their amounts in the ashes were higher by several to several dozen percent in relation to the amount in the ashes remaining after waste incineration without additives. The results of the experiment with waste are open to research on the influence of other factors (except temperature) on the emissivity of Cd, Cu, Zn and the possibility of its reduction. The next step will be to verify the effects of laboratory tests in real conditions. Full article
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21 pages, 3897 KiB  
Article
Model to Determine the Best Modifications of Products with Consideration Customers’ Expectations
by Grzegorz Ostasz, Dominika Siwiec and Andrzej Pacana
Energies 2022, 15(21), 8102; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15218102 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
The current situation in the energy market contributes not only to the sales growth of photovoltaic panels (PV) but also to the intense search for possibilities for its improvement. The purpose of this research was to develop a model to determine, where possible, [...] Read more.
The current situation in the energy market contributes not only to the sales growth of photovoltaic panels (PV) but also to the intense search for possibilities for its improvement. The purpose of this research was to develop a model to determine, where possible, the most beneficial modifications to improve products. The model used combination techniques, i.e., the SMARTER method, brainstorming (BM), the 7 ± 2 rule, questionnaire, ant colony optimization (ACO), and importance-performance analysis (IPA). In addition, an algorithm supporting ACO was proposed in the MATLAB program. The test was carried out on PV and showed that it is possible to determine the way of product (PV) improvement by determining a sequence of modifications for product criteria states while simultaneously considering customers’ expectations. It was shown that each state of the short-circuit electricity and peak power was satisfactory for customers. It was necessary to modify the maximum current and idle voltage. In addition, the selected modification states of the weight and dimensions will be more satisfactory compared to the current states. The proposed model is based on searching for the best changes in product criteria to achieve the highest possible customer satisfaction (i.e., product quality level). Originality is the ability to define a product improvement method (PV) depending on customer expectations but also taking into account the requirements of the company. Full article
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34 pages, 1570 KiB  
Review
Understanding Urban Heat Vulnerability Assessment Methods: A PRISMA Review
by Fei Li, Tan Yigitcanlar, Madhav Nepal, Kien Nguyen Thanh and Fatih Dur
Energies 2022, 15(19), 6998; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15196998 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3959
Abstract
Increasingly people, especially those residing in urban areas with the urban heat island effect, are getting exposed to extreme heat due to ongoing global warming. A number of methods have been developed, so far, to assess urban heat vulnerability in different locations across [...] Read more.
Increasingly people, especially those residing in urban areas with the urban heat island effect, are getting exposed to extreme heat due to ongoing global warming. A number of methods have been developed, so far, to assess urban heat vulnerability in different locations across the world concentrating on diverse aspects of these methods. While there is growing literature, thorough review studies that compare, contrast, and help understand the prospects and constraints of urban heat vulnerability assessment methods are scarce. This paper aims to bridge this gap in the literature. A systematic literature review with the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) approach is utilized as the methodological approach. PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The results are analyzed in three aspects—i.e., indicators and data, modelling approaches, and validation approaches. The main findings disclose that: (a) Three types of indicators are commonly used—i.e., demographic properties and socioeconomic status, health conditions and medical resources, and natural and built environmental factors; (b) Heat vulnerability indexing models, equal weighting method, and principal component analysis are commonly used in modelling and weighting approaches; (c) Statistical regressions and correlation coefficients between heat vulnerability results and adverse health outcomes are commonly used in validation approaches, but the performance varies across studies. This study informs urban policy and generates directions for prospective research and more accurate vulnerability assessment method development. Full article
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14 pages, 2384 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Herbicide Decomposition Efficiency by Means of Detonative Combustion
by Jolanta Biegańska and Krzysztof Barański
Energies 2022, 15(19), 6980; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15196980 - 23 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
The decomposition of seven herbicides (atrazine, linuron, lenacil, chloridazon, dinoseb acetate, prometryn, and diuron) was carried out by detonative combustion. The investigated blasting material was produced on the basis of porous ammonium nitrate, which served as an oxidizer, while the pesticides played the [...] Read more.
The decomposition of seven herbicides (atrazine, linuron, lenacil, chloridazon, dinoseb acetate, prometryn, and diuron) was carried out by detonative combustion. The investigated blasting material was produced on the basis of porous ammonium nitrate, which served as an oxidizer, while the pesticides played the role of the fuel. Detonative decomposition of the mixtures was carried out in blast-holes in soil. The efficiency of the decomposition process was assessed using the techniques of gas chromatography, high-efficiency liquid chromatography, and additionally by biological tests according to the grading of the European Weed Research Council. The results demonstrate an efficient decomposition of the tested herbicides. In the tested soil samples taken after the detonation decomposition of the herbicide, no symptoms of phytotoxic effects on the plants were found. This was confirmed by the lack (or at most negligible amounts) of residual herbicides in the soil samples. Only for the samples of chloradizine and diuron were large amounts of residual biologically active substance found. Full article
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22 pages, 3248 KiB  
Article
Environmental Assessment of the Life Cycle of Electricity Generation from Biogas in Polish Conditions
by Izabela Samson-Bręk, Marlena Owczuk, Anna Matuszewska and Krzysztof Biernat
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5601; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155601 - 2 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
Life cycle analysis allows for the assessment of the qualitative and quantitative relationship between selected areas of human activity and the consequences for the environment. One of the important areas is the production of electricity and heat, for which the main raw material [...] Read more.
Life cycle analysis allows for the assessment of the qualitative and quantitative relationship between selected areas of human activity and the consequences for the environment. One of the important areas is the production of electricity and heat, for which the main raw material in Poland is hard coal. An alternative may be to use biogas as a fuel for energy purposes. This article presents the assessment of environmental hazards caused by the production of energy from biogas. The analysis took into account the change of the substrate from maize silage, commonly used in Polish biogas plants, to waste from the domestic agri-food industry. The evaluation covered the acquisition of substrates, their transport to a biogas plant, generation of electricity from biogas, and management of the generated by-products. The analysis was done in terms of both the impact and sensitivity categories. It was found that the emission of pollutants related to the acquisition of the substrate plays a key role and the use of waste for the production of biogas used for energy production brings environmental benefits. The analysis has shown that replacing coal with biogas, regardless of the raw materials used in its production, results in a positive environmental effect, especially in the areas of human health and resources categories. The positive environmental effect of the production of electricity from biogas can be enhanced by switching raw materials from purpose-grown crops to waste from the agri-food industry and agriculture. An important factor influencing the environmental impact is the degree of heat utilization (the greater the percentage of heat utilization, the greater the environmental benefits) and management of all by-products. Full article
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20 pages, 2136 KiB  
Article
Life Cycle Assessment Model of a Catering Product: Comparing Environmental Impacts for Different End-of-Life Scenarios
by Judit Lovasné Avató and Viktoria Mannheim
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5423; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155423 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4200
Abstract
This paper assesses the primary energy and environmental impacts of a restaurant main course product’s lifecycle, especially focusing on end-of-life (EoL) stage. In the first step, a cradle-to-grave complex life cycle assessment (LCA) model of the product has been set up from the [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the primary energy and environmental impacts of a restaurant main course product’s lifecycle, especially focusing on end-of-life (EoL) stage. In the first step, a cradle-to-grave complex life cycle assessment (LCA) model of the product has been set up from the extraction of the required raw materials through the preparation, cooking and use phase to the end-of-life. In the second step, three scenarios (landfilling, incineration, and composting) were compared for the generated food waste in the end-of-life stage given that one of the biggest challenges in waste management is the optimal management of food waste. We calculated eleven environmental impact categories for the examined food product with the help of GaBi 9.0 software. During our research work, the primary energy was examined in each phase. In the third step, a comparison between the traditional and “sous vide” cooking technologies has been created to optimise of the cooking/frying life cycle phase. This paper basically answers three main questions: (1) How can the main environmental impacts and primary energy throughout the whole life cycle of the examined product be characterised? (2) What methods can optimise the different life cycle stages while reducing and recycling energy and material streams? and (3) what is the most optimal waste management scenario at the end-of-life stage? Based on the analysis, the highest environmental impact comes from the preparation phase and the end-of-life scenario for the traditional incineration caused almost twice the environmental load as the landfilling of the food waste. Composting has the lowest environmental impact, and the value of the primary energy for composting is very low. The sous vide cooking technique is advantageous, and the continuously controlled conditions result in a more reliable process. These research results can be used to design sustainable cooking and catering with lower environmental impacts and energy resources in catering units. Full article
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19 pages, 1823 KiB  
Article
Technological and Energetic Aspects of Multi-Component Co-Digestion of the Beverage Industry Wastes and Municipal Sewage Sludge
by Aleksandra Szaja, Agnieszka Montusiewicz, Sylwia Pasieczna-Patkowska and Magdalena Lebiocka
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5395; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155395 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
In the present study, the co-digestion effectiveness of the selected beverage wastes and municipal sewage sludge in two- and three-component mixtures was evaluated. Orange peels and orange pulp, as well as brewery spent grain were applied as co-substrates to sewage sludge at the [...] Read more.
In the present study, the co-digestion effectiveness of the selected beverage wastes and municipal sewage sludge in two- and three-component mixtures was evaluated. Orange peels and orange pulp, as well as brewery spent grain were applied as co-substrates to sewage sludge at the following doses: 1.5 and 3.0 g of orange peels, 2.5 and 5 g of orange pulp, and 1.5 g brewery spent grain. Mono-digestion of sewage sludge was used as a control. The experiments were performed under mesophilic conditions in batch reactors. As compared to the control, only in the presence of the highest dose of pulp, brewery spent grain and sewage sludge was the increased methane production of 395 mL CH4 g−1 VS accompanying an additional energy profit of 82% observed. Moreover, in this case, the enhanced volatile solids removal and lower accumulation of p-cymene were found. These results were despite the increased limonene and phenol content in the feedstock, confirming a synergistic effect at the highest dose of pulp, brewery spent grain and sewage sludge. Full article
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21 pages, 1094 KiB  
Article
Unfolding FDI, Renewable Energy Consumption, and Income Inequality Nexus: Heterogeneous Panel Analysis
by Sakib Bin Amin, Yaron Nezleen Amin, Mahatab Kabir Khandaker, Farhan Khan and Faria Manal Rahman
Energies 2022, 15(14), 5160; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15145160 - 16 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
We aim to examine the nexus between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Renewable Energy Consumption (REC), and income inequality across selected High-Income Countries (HIC), Upper Middle-Income Countries (UMIC), Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), and Low-Income Countries (LIC). Given the cross-sectional dependency, slope homogeneity, and stationarity [...] Read more.
We aim to examine the nexus between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Renewable Energy Consumption (REC), and income inequality across selected High-Income Countries (HIC), Upper Middle-Income Countries (UMIC), Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), and Low-Income Countries (LIC). Given the cross-sectional dependency, slope homogeneity, and stationarity properties, we find that the aforementioned variables across all the regions are cointegrated in the long run (LR). For LR estimation, we use the Cross-Sectional-Autoregressive Distributed Lag (CS-ARDL) approach. For the HIC and the UMIC, an increase in FDI increases REC, which in turn causes income inequality to decrease. In the case of LMIC, an increase in REC causes an increase in FDI and decreases income inequality. However, we could not establish a significant relationship with the LIC. We also provide some useful recommendations, such as increased institutional efficiency and promotion of renewable energy investments through higher access to finance. Full article
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24 pages, 1675 KiB  
Review
Assessing Lifestyle Transformations and Their Systemic Effects in Energy-System and Integrated Assessment Models: A Review of Current Methods and Data
by Andreas Andreou, Panagiotis Fragkos, Theofano Fotiou and Faidra Filippidou
Energies 2022, 15(14), 4948; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15144948 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2582
Abstract
Achieving the ambitious climate targets required to limit global warming to 1.5 °C requires a deep transformation of the supply-and-demand side of energy–environmental–economic systems. Recent articles have shown that environmentally sustainable consumer behaviors driven by lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to climate-change mitigation [...] Read more.
Achieving the ambitious climate targets required to limit global warming to 1.5 °C requires a deep transformation of the supply-and-demand side of energy–environmental–economic systems. Recent articles have shown that environmentally sustainable consumer behaviors driven by lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to climate-change mitigation and sustainable development goals. However, lifestyle changes are not adequately captured by scenarios developed with integrated assessment and energy-system models (IAMs/ESMs), which provide limited policy insights. This article conducts a systematic review of the IAM and ESM literature to identify the most important lifestyle changes in current mitigation pathways for the residential and transport sectors, review the employed state-of-the-art modeling approaches and scenario assumptions, and propose improvements to existing methodological frameworks. The review finds that mode shifts towards public transport and active transport modes, shared mobility, and eco-driving have the greatest impact in the transport sector, while actions that reduce space and water-heating requirements and the circular economy are the most effective practices in households. Common modeling approaches lack sophistication as they omit (1) the dynamics and costs of demand-side transitions, (2) the heterogenous responses of different consumer groups, and (3) the structural effects of lifestyles on the macro-economy. New approaches employing innovative methodologies combined with big data collected from users offer new avenues to overcome these challenges and improve the modeling of lifestyle changes in large-scale models. Full article
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17 pages, 5297 KiB  
Article
Computation and Analysis of an Offshore Wind Power Forecast: Towards a Better Assessment of Offshore Wind Power Plant Aerodynamics
by Yongnian Zhao, Yu Xue, Shanhong Gao, Jundong Wang, Qingcai Cao, Tao Sun and Yan Liu
Energies 2022, 15(12), 4223; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15124223 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
For the first time, the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model with the Wind Farm Parameterization (WFP) modeling method is utilized for a short-range wind power forecast simulation of 48 h of an offshore wind farm with 100 turbines located on the east [...] Read more.
For the first time, the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model with the Wind Farm Parameterization (WFP) modeling method is utilized for a short-range wind power forecast simulation of 48 h of an offshore wind farm with 100 turbines located on the east coast of the China Yellow Sea. The effects of the horizontal multi-grid downsize method were deployed and investigated on this simulation computation. The simulation was validated with the field data from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, and the results showed that the horizontal mesh downsize method improved the accuracy of wind speed and then wind power forecast. Meanwhile, the wind power plant aerodynamics with turbine wake and sea–land shore effects were investigated, where the wake effects from the wind farm prolonged several miles downstream, evaluated at two wind speeds of 7 m/s and 10 m/s instances captured from the 48 h of simulation. At the same time, it was interesting to find some sea–land atmospheric effects with wind speed oscillation, especially at the higher wind speed condition. Finally, the research results show that the WRF + WFP model for the wind power forecast for production operation may not be ready at this stage; however, they show that the methodology helps to evaluate the wind power plant aerodynamics with wake effects and micrometeorology of the sea–land interconnection region. This plant aerodynamics study set the stage for a wake turbine interaction study in the future, such as one utilizing the NREL FAST.FARM tool. Full article
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20 pages, 961 KiB  
Article
Impact and Potential of Sustainable Development Goals in Dimension of the Technological Revolution Industry 4.0 within the Analysis of Industrial Enterprises
by Patrik Richnák and Helena Fidlerová
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3697; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103697 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
Sustainable technologies, including clean energy in manufacturing and green and reverse logistics, generate conditions for industry development and future growth with the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies and innovations in the context of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The objective of the article is [...] Read more.
Sustainable technologies, including clean energy in manufacturing and green and reverse logistics, generate conditions for industry development and future growth with the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies and innovations in the context of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The objective of the article is to identify and analyse the potential of sustainable technologies in synergy with Industry 4.0 innovations and renewable energy initiatives in manufacturing and logistics in the context of SDGs. Qualitative analysis was performed on 105 enterprises of various business sizes, in several regions of Slovakia, within various industry sectors, and within geographical coverage. Based on the summarised results, we can state that more than 82% of surveyed enterprises implement the SDGs. Currently, more than 70% of enterprises prefer environmental aspects in business management. Based on the results, we find a significant relationship between the environmental management of the enterprise in the context of SDGs and sustainability in production and logistics. Statistical analysis confirmed the relationship between the use of renewable energy technology in the industrial sector. A significant relationship was also demonstrated between sustainability in logistics activities in the industrial sector in waste separation and recycling; environmental certification; environmental training of employees; the use of renewable energy sources and the continuous reduction of CO2 in all logistics activities. The results of the study indicate a significant relationship between green manufacturing, green logistics, reverse logistics and selected Industry 4.0 technologies: autonomous robots, renewable energy, advanced materials, virtual technologies, and simulation. We conclude the significant influence of environmental management on business production and logistics. Full article
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24 pages, 3499 KiB  
Article
Hydrological and Environmental Conditions and Implications of the Operation of a Thermal Power Plant with an Open Cooling System—An Example from Poland
by Tomasz Walczykiewicz and Mateusz Żelazny
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3600; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103600 - 14 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
In Poland, coal-based thermal energy for cooling power plant installations uses a large amount of surface water. Historically, there have been cases of limitations in electricity supply due to low water levels and high temperature of water in rivers. Moreover, environmental requirements limit [...] Read more.
In Poland, coal-based thermal energy for cooling power plant installations uses a large amount of surface water. Historically, there have been cases of limitations in electricity supply due to low water levels and high temperature of water in rivers. Moreover, environmental requirements limit the possibility of using water resources for cooling purposes, pointing to the necessity to leave inviolable flows in rivers. This raises questions about the future of the operation of thermal power plants with open cooling systems and hence the research undertaken by the authors. The research consisted of a questionnaire survey, hydrological analyses, the impact assessment of climate change on the operation of power plants, and a discussion of technical solutions for water abstraction and power loss analysis in a particular power plant. The results indicate that there are power plants that are more sensitive to hydrological and environmental conditions and the temperature of the water required for cooling. In one case, keeping a power plant in operation requires the maintenance of periodic artificial damming of water. The conclusions from the research indicate that in Poland, regardless of the source of thermal energy, it is necessary to implement only closed cooling circuits. Full article
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22 pages, 2133 KiB  
Article
The Role of Local Government in Implementing Renewable Energy Sources in Households (Podkarpacie Case Study)
by Ryszard Kata, Kazimierz Cyran, Sławomir Dybka, Małgorzata Lechwar and Rafał Pitera
Energies 2022, 15(9), 3163; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15093163 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
The implementation of renewable energy in households can contribute to achieving climate goals, improving air quality and improving energy security. At the local level, this goal may be supported by local authorities, but in Poland, as in many countries, the use of renewable [...] Read more.
The implementation of renewable energy in households can contribute to achieving climate goals, improving air quality and improving energy security. At the local level, this goal may be supported by local authorities, but in Poland, as in many countries, the use of renewable energy is not a mandatory task of local government units. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of local government, i.e., municipalities, in the adaptation of RES installations in residents’ households. The source of empirical materials was a survey of households using renewable energy installations, carried out in 2021 in the Podkarpacie region in Southeastern Poland. It has been shown that the inhabitants benefit from the support of municipalities in financing the installations, as well as information and consulting support. Municipalities support renewable energy in the “civic” segment mainly through the implementation of the so-called umbrella projects. They have a positive effect on the adaptation of RES not only in the households of the project participants, but through the imitation effect, also in other households in the immediate vicinity. The municipality effectiveness in this type of activities depends on the efficiency of project implementation and the quality of information on the conditions of participation in the project and the benefits of renewable energy. Full article
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12 pages, 1492 KiB  
Article
Emission and Performance Evaluation of a Diesel Engine Using Addition of Ethanol to Diesel/Biodiesel Fuel Blend
by Emmanuelle Soares de Carvalho Freitas, Lílian Lefol Nani Guarieiro, Marcus Vinícius Ivo da Silva, Keize Katiane dos Santos Amparo, Bruna Aparecida Souza Machado, Egidio Teixeira de Almeida Guerreiro, José Fernando Carneiro de Jesus and Ednildo Andrade Torres
Energies 2022, 15(9), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15092988 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
Many countries have adopted the addition of biodiesel to diesel as a way of inserting renewable content into mineral fuel and making a contribution to the environment. The addition of ethanol to the diesel/biodiesel blend to increase the renewable content of the added [...] Read more.
Many countries have adopted the addition of biodiesel to diesel as a way of inserting renewable content into mineral fuel and making a contribution to the environment. The addition of ethanol to the diesel/biodiesel blend to increase the renewable content of the added fuel blend and reduce the percentage of biodiesel could be a strategysince the demand for biodiesel production is high, and this fuel has a high production cost when compared to ethanol. Thus, this study evaluated the performance and the content of NOx, CO and CO2 exhaust gases from a diesel engine fueled with blends of diesel/biodiesel/ethanol: pure B7, B7E3 (B7 with 3% ethanol) and B7E10 (B7 with 10% ethanol). Emissions of fuel blends were evaluated using the engine speed variation and tested at a speed of 1500 rpm under constant load (185 Nm). Assays were performed at engine speeds of 1000, 1100, 1250, 1500 and 1750 rpm and with loads of 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100% of the maximum torque. Through the performance curves, the specific consumption and thermal efficiency were evaluated. The increase in speed and ethanol content in the diesel/biodiesel mixture increased approximately 5 to 7 and 1.4 times, respectively, in terms of the emission of exhaust gases. There was a 6% decrease in the maximum torque and power available at each speed with increasing ethanol content in the blend. However, in a vehicular application, this decrease would be perceived only at some points of the part-load regime, causing considerable reductions in thermal efficiency. Full article
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12 pages, 1969 KiB  
Article
Energy Optimization in a Paper Mill Enabled by a Three-Site Energy Cooperation
by Alexander Hedlund, Olof Björkqvist, Anders Nilsson and Per Engstrand
Energies 2022, 15(8), 2715; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15082715 - 7 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Although there are opportunities to reduce electrical energy demand in unit processes of mechanical pulp-based paper and paperboard production, this may not be financially beneficial. This is generally because energy optimization opportunities connected to reduced refiner electricity demand in mechanical pulping systems also [...] Read more.
Although there are opportunities to reduce electrical energy demand in unit processes of mechanical pulp-based paper and paperboard production, this may not be financially beneficial. This is generally because energy optimization opportunities connected to reduced refiner electricity demand in mechanical pulping systems also results in less steam available for the drying of the paper. As modern high consistency refiner systems produce approximately one ton of steam for each MWh of electricity when producing one ton of pulp, a reduction in electric energy demand leads to increased fuel demand in steam boilers to compensate for the steam shortage. In this study, we investigated what the financial and environmental situation would look like if we were to expand the system border from a paper mill to a larger system consisting of a mechanical pulp-based paper or paperboard mill, a district heating system with an incineration boiler and a chemical pulp mill. Mechanical pulp production has a wood to product yield of >90%, a high electric energy demand to separate woodchips to pulp and is a net producer of heat and steam while chemical pulp-based production has a wood to product yield of 50%, a low electric energy demand and is a net heat and electricity producer due to the combustion of dissolved wood polymers. The aim of this research is to create useful and robust models of how to use excess heat from certain industry sites to cover the steam shortage in other industry sites by means of utilizing and optimizing the district heating systems connecting these sites. For this purpose, we used a simulation tool which dynamically allows us to evaluate different scenarios. Our results shows that there is great potential to reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and production costs for industry sites and society by means of these tools. Full article
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17 pages, 423 KiB  
Article
Voluntary Simplicity and Green Buying Behavior: An Extended Framework
by Elena Druică, Călin Vâlsan and Andreea-Ionela Puiu
Energies 2022, 15(5), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15051889 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
Green consumption is usually understood in the context of green consumption values and receptivity to green communication. Voluntary simplicity, a related yet distinct construct that relies on ecological responsibility, has not been included in the same framework. This paper bridges this gap and [...] Read more.
Green consumption is usually understood in the context of green consumption values and receptivity to green communication. Voluntary simplicity, a related yet distinct construct that relies on ecological responsibility, has not been included in the same framework. This paper bridges this gap and extends the original model to consider green consumption and voluntary simplicity in a unified structure. Based on a study conducted in Romania, it was found that 70% of the variation in buying behavior is explained by a combination of direct and mediated influences. The main takeaway is that any serious attempt to encourage responsible buying has to rely on a reduction in the absolute level of consumer demand. This result has far-reaching implications because the current paradigm of economic growth and prosperity is tributary to consumerism. The question is not how to avoid curtailing consumption and substitute green products for those harming the environment, but rather how to make voluntary frugality palatable. Full article
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16 pages, 7400 KiB  
Article
Profile of a Sustainable Manager from the Perspective of Pro-Ecological and Pro-Social Management of Energy Company
by Arnold Pabian and Barbara Pabian
Energies 2022, 15(4), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15041363 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1564
Abstract
The objective of the paper is to present an original (own) concept of a model profile of a sustainable manager from the sustainability perspective and then confront this model profile with the opinions of managers employed in energy companies. This problem domain has [...] Read more.
The objective of the paper is to present an original (own) concept of a model profile of a sustainable manager from the sustainability perspective and then confront this model profile with the opinions of managers employed in energy companies. This problem domain has not been reflected in the scientific literature. Sustainable managers are the ones who are fully prepared to implement the principles of sustainability in energy companies, respecting the principles of sustainable management. Their activity can, to a considerable extent, accelerate sustainable development. According to the model profile, a sustainable manager should be sensitive to ecological and social problems; be knowledgeable about sustainability and demand the same from subordinates; comply with ethical standards; implement pro-environmental and pro-social innovations; and also plan, organize, motivate, and control the contribution, in this way, to sustainable development. Research was conducted aimed at discovering the views/opinions of energy companies’ managers pertaining to the above-specified model profile of a sustainable manager. As the research demonstrates, managers assign various significance to the analyzed traits and actions. The largest number of managers recognized the following to be the most important for them: compliance with ethical standards (86.1%), planning and organizing in accordance with the principles of sustainable development (52.8%), and being knowledgeable about sustainable development (38.9%). The paper contributes to the trait theory of leadership and the theory of sustainable management. It is also of practical value—it can prove useful in the processes of educating, recruiting, and evaluating sustainable managers. Full article
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14 pages, 4313 KiB  
Article
Flashover Voltage Prediction Models under Agricultural and Biological Contaminant Conditions on Insulators
by Shabana Khatoon, Asfar Ali Khan, Mohd Tariq, Basem Alamri and Lucian Mihet-Popa
Energies 2022, 15(4), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15041297 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2221
Abstract
The flashover performance of contaminated insulators highly depends on the type of pollutant and its present concentration. In this paper, important agricultural salts (NaCl, K2SO4, NaHCO3, CaSO4, KHCO3, MgSO4, NH4 [...] Read more.
The flashover performance of contaminated insulators highly depends on the type of pollutant and its present concentration. In this paper, important agricultural salts (NaCl, K2SO4, NaHCO3, CaSO4, KHCO3, MgSO4, NH4), 2Fe(SO4)2, and 6H2O (ferrous ammonium sulphate, dust, and urea) at different concentrations, and biological contaminants, such as algae and fungi, were taken as pollutants, and the AC flashover behavior of a porcelain-cap-and-pin-type insulator polluted with these two different pollutants was investigated. The experiment was carried out by a semi-natural method, wherein the insulator was first polluted artificially; thereafter, natural fog was applied to measure the wet flashover voltage. Test results indicated that the flashover voltages were affected by both soluble salts and non-soluble components deposited on the insulator surface. In the case of the thickly contaminated layers, non-soluble deposits greatly reduced the flashover voltage. Moreover, by using regression analysis, four empirical models based on different variables were developed. The empirical models developed in the present work represented a good degree of relation in predicting the flashover voltage of naturally contaminated insulators. Full article
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18 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
Can Education Save Money, Energy, and the Climate?— Assessing the Potential Impacts of Climate Change Education on Energy Literacy and Energy Consumption in the Light of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act
by Lars Keller, Maximilian Riede, Steffen Link, Katharina Hüfner and Johann Stötter
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031118 - 2 Feb 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3337
Abstract
The Austrian Education Energy Initiative ETSIT has been established as a response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act. This paper investigates the energy literacy of its young participants, i.e., 6000 primary and secondary school students altogether, on [...] Read more.
The Austrian Education Energy Initiative ETSIT has been established as a response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act. This paper investigates the energy literacy of its young participants, i.e., 6000 primary and secondary school students altogether, on a cognitive, affective and behavioural level, and it compares the putative energy-saving effectiveness of the workshops to that of conventional energy audits.For the current analysis, data from, 640 students who validly answered an online survey shortly after participating in one of the energy education workshops, and 353 students who validly answered the online survey approximately one year after having participated (overall n = 993) were analysed. The results indicate that ETSIT raises students’ energy literacy on a cognitive, affective and behavioural level with about three-quarters of participants claiming they will positively change their energy consumption behaviour in the future as a result of workshop participation. This is true shortly after participation in the workshops, and also at the 1-year follow-up. In its second impact perspective, this paper delivers an innovative attempt to look at education from a cost-benefit analysis. A default formula for energy audits is adopted to quantify the kilowatt hours (and thus emissions and costs) saved through workshop participation. Despite limitations, the surprising results show that such workshops can compete with conventional energy audits, and that education can, in fact, help save money, resources, and, most important of all, the climate. Full article

2021

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17 pages, 471 KiB  
Article
Polish Cittaslow Local Governments’ Support for Renewable Energy Deployment vs. Slow City Concept
by Iwona M. Batyk, Eliza Farelnik, Joanna Rakowska and Mariusz Maciejczak
Energies 2022, 15(1), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010201 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
The slow city concept is associated with great care for the protection of the natural environment and the use of renewable energy sources. Thus, the study aimed to discuss the potential of the slow city model and the actual role of Cittaslow local [...] Read more.
The slow city concept is associated with great care for the protection of the natural environment and the use of renewable energy sources. Thus, the study aimed to discuss the potential of the slow city model and the actual role of Cittaslow local governments in deploying renewable energy, based on the case study of the Polish Cittaslow Network. To achieve this aim, we carried out qualitative and quantitative data analyses, based on literature review and data for all 35 Polish Cittaslow municipalities, retrieved from: (i) development strategies (ii) a survey (iii) the Local Data Bank of Statistics Poland, (iv) the Quality of Life Synthetic Index (QLI). To process the data, we applied descriptive statistics, the Shapiro-Wilk test, the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test, and the Spearman’s rank test. Findings showed that the support for renewable energy deployment was not at a high level and did not correlate with the goals set in the Cittaslow development strategies. This was the result of a cumulation of pressing social and economic problems, which the local authorities in Poland are legally obliged to solve, while the implementation of renewable energy is not obligatory. The QLI for these municipalities was low and renewable energy was not a significant element in improving the quality of life of citizens. Full article
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14 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on Surface Water Quality in North-Eastern Poland
by Monika Puchlik, Janina Piekutin and Katarzyna Dyczewska
Energies 2022, 15(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010164 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2626
Abstract
This article presents the influence of climatic conditions on surface water quality. The research methodology, including physicochemical analysis from the Gołdapa and Bludzia rivers, is presented. The research lasted for two years. The results of the physicochemical studies of the Gołdapa and Bludzia [...] Read more.
This article presents the influence of climatic conditions on surface water quality. The research methodology, including physicochemical analysis from the Gołdapa and Bludzia rivers, is presented. The research lasted for two years. The results of the physicochemical studies of the Gołdapa and Bludzia rivers in early spring, spring, and autumn show that each of these seasons impacts the quality of surface waters. Moreover, it was proven that all the parameters are strongly correlated with the air temperature, the sum of daily precipitation, and water levels. For detailed analysis, the obtained results of own research were compared with meteorological and hydrological data from the last 15 years (2005–2021) for the region of north-eastern Poland. It was proven that temperature changes contribute to increased surface water pollution in the north-eastern part of Poland. Waters from areas that humans have not developed are of better quality than those that drain the urban area, which is reflected in the case of the superior quality of the Bludzia river compared to the Gołdapa river. The upward trend in temperature in the Gołdap region indicates that global warming will continue. Full article
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19 pages, 7354 KiB  
Article
Calculation of Building Heat Losses through Slab-on-Ground Structures Based on Soil Temperature Measured In Situ
by Iwona Pokorska-Silva, Marta Kadela, Bożena Orlik-Kożdoń and Lidia Fedorowicz
Energies 2022, 15(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010114 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3417
Abstract
The article aims to assess the effects of soil temperature measured in situ on the heat loss analyses of a building. Numerical analyses and in situ measurements of soil temperature profiles for real conditions under a residential building (profile I) in Poland and [...] Read more.
The article aims to assess the effects of soil temperature measured in situ on the heat loss analyses of a building. Numerical analyses and in situ measurements of soil temperature profiles for real conditions under a residential building (profile I) in Poland and under the area outside the building (profile II) were performed. Based on the measurement results, a proprietary geometric model of the partition was proposed. The heat flux and heat flow results obtained for reliable models are 4.9% and 6.9% higher compared to a model based on a typical meteorological year for the wall–foundation system and 10.0% and 10.1% higher for the slab-on-ground structure for profile I. The adoption of temperatures from the area outside the building as the boundary condition (profile II) results in greater differences between the obtained results. The difference in heat flow obtained in the numerical analyses for profiles I and II is about 2 W/m2, both for the wall–foundation system and for the slab-on-ground structure calculations. The adoption of temperatures for the ground outside the building led to overestimation in the heat flux calculations, this being due to lower temperatures in these particular layers of the ground. Full article
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15 pages, 1074 KiB  
Article
Revisiting Environmental Kuznets Curve in Relation to Economic Development and Energy Carbon Emission Efficiency: Evidence from Suzhou, China
by Ming Wen, Mingxing Li, Naila Erum, Abid Hussain, Haoyang Xie and Hira Salah ud din Khan
Energies 2022, 15(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010062 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
This study empirically examines the effect of economic development on carbon emissions and revisits the environmental Kuznets curve in Suzhou, China. The study made use of the Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (GDPPC) of Suzhou, China as an indicator of economic development as [...] Read more.
This study empirically examines the effect of economic development on carbon emissions and revisits the environmental Kuznets curve in Suzhou, China. The study made use of the Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (GDPPC) of Suzhou, China as an indicator of economic development as it depicts the entire developmental ecosystem that indicates the level of production activities and total energy consumption. Bearing this in mind, the authors postulate that economic development directly increases carbon emissions through industrial and domestic consumptions. For this purpose, linear and non-linear approaches to cointegration are applied. The study finds the existence of an inverted U-shape relationship between economic development and carbon emission in the long run. Trade openness and industrial share are positively contributing to increasing carbon emissions. Energy use shows a positive sign but an insignificant association with carbon emissions. The study concludes that carbon emissions in Suzhou should be further decreased followed by policy recommendations. Full article
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16 pages, 4713 KiB  
Article
(Not So) Stranded: The Case of Coal in Poland
by Waldemar Karpa and Antonio Grginović
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8476; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248476 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2678
Abstract
This paper provides an evaluation of the stranding risks of coal in Poland. Combining an industrial organization and financial analysis approach, we assess the current economic situation of companies operating within the coal industry and draft forecasts for the future. Based on the [...] Read more.
This paper provides an evaluation of the stranding risks of coal in Poland. Combining an industrial organization and financial analysis approach, we assess the current economic situation of companies operating within the coal industry and draft forecasts for the future. Based on the global economic outlook for coal, we claim that phasing-out coal will take at least two decades, due to the slow transformation of the energy sector and increasing energy demand. The financial evaluation of coal-dependent companies revealed sound financial conditions due to favorable trends in coal prices in international markets. Therefore, instead of prioritizing a rapid phasing-out of coal, we pledge to make more technological investments that would make burning coal less harmful for the planet and thus efficiently mitigate the negative effects of climate change. Full article
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15 pages, 1537 KiB  
Article
The Role of Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) in Complex Adaptive Systems
by Ilaria Perissi, Alessandro Lavacchi and Ugo Bardi
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8411; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248411 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4448
Abstract
The energy return on energy invested, EROI or EROEI, is the ratio of the energy produced by a system to the energy expended to build, maintain, and finally dismantle the system. It is an important parameter for evaluating the efficiency of energy-producing technologies. [...] Read more.
The energy return on energy invested, EROI or EROEI, is the ratio of the energy produced by a system to the energy expended to build, maintain, and finally dismantle the system. It is an important parameter for evaluating the efficiency of energy-producing technologies. In this paper, we examine the concept of EROEI from the general viewpoint of dynamic dissipative systems, providing insights on a wider range of applications. In general, natural resources can be assimilated to energy stocks characterized by a potential that can be exploited by creating intermediate stocks. This transformation is typical of dissipative systems and for the first time, we report that the Lotka–Volterra model, usually confined to the study of the biology of populations, can represent a powerful tool to estimate the EROEI of dissipative systems and, in particular, those systems subjected to depletion. This assessment is important to evaluate the ongoing energy transition since it provides us with a model for the decline of the EROEI in the exploitation of fossil fuels. Full article
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22 pages, 3607 KiB  
Article
Key Factors Which Contribute to the Participation of Consumers in Demand Response Programs and Enable the Proliferation of Renewable Energy Sources
by Adrian Tantau, András Puskás-Tompos, Costel Stanciu, Laurentiu Fratila and Catalin Curmei
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8273; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248273 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
Consumer behaviour in the energy field is playing a more important role in the new approach dominated by the proliferation of renewable energy sources. In this new context, the grid has to balance the intermittent and uncertain renewable energy generated, and find solutions, [...] Read more.
Consumer behaviour in the energy field is playing a more important role in the new approach dominated by the proliferation of renewable energy sources. In this new context, the grid has to balance the intermittent and uncertain renewable energy generated, and find solutions, also, on the consumer side for increasing the stability and reliability of the energy system. The main de-mand response solutions are price and incentive based, but there is a need to identify the main factors which can influence their efficiency due to the fact that there is a lack of knowledge about the preferences of consumers. The main goal of this article is to identify the main demand response solutions and the related key factors which influence the participation of consumers in demand response programs and may contribute to the spread of renewable energy sources. For this research, semi-structured interviews were organised with experts in energy from Romania, Hungary and Serbia, as well as workshops with experts in energy, and an online survey with customers for electricity. This article reduces the gap between the results of technical studies, related in demand response programs, and their practical implementations, where the consumer behaviour and its social dimensions are neglected even though, in reality, they are playing the main role. The results suggest that the consumer’s participation in demand response programs is highly influenced by different aspects related to the promotion of the renewable energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions and the global warming impact. Full article
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19 pages, 1646 KiB  
Article
The Health Impact and External Cost of Electricity Production
by Janusz Zyśk, Artur Wyrwa, Marcin Pluta, Tadeusz Olkuski, Wojciech Suwała and Maciej Raczyński
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8263; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248263 - 8 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2412
Abstract
The use of fossil fuels, which still dominate global primary energy consumption, results not only in emissions of greenhouse gas but also in emissions of pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and PM. Damage caused by air pollution can be [...] Read more.
The use of fossil fuels, which still dominate global primary energy consumption, results not only in emissions of greenhouse gas but also in emissions of pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and PM. Damage caused by air pollution can be expressed in monetary terms in the form of external costs to society. The goal of this paper is to answer the following questions: How much will the energy sector’s emissions change as a result of decarbonization? What is the estimated level of external costs related to human health in future energy scenarios? How large are the estimated external costs compared to the planned investments in this sector? The study conducted for the period 2018–2050 used the impact pathway approach and covered the centralized power and heat generation sector in Poland. The reported values of the concentration–response functions that relate human exposure to air pollution with health impact were reviewed. The results show that external costs decrease from an estimated annual level in the range of EUR 782–1911 million in 2018 to EUR 36–876 million in 2050. The cumulative value of avoided external costs between 2018 and 2050 is significantly lower than the planned capital expenditures in the energy sector in Poland. Full article
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19 pages, 5134 KiB  
Article
Future-Generation Perception: Equal or Not Equal? Long-Term Individual Discount Rates for Poland
by Monika Foltyn-Zarychta
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8218; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248218 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Energy-related investments gain increasing attention nowadays, particularly in Poland due to clean-energy investment needed to limit greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and counteract climate change. However, economic appraisal is problematic: the longevity of impacts inextricably involves intergenerational ethical considerations. A crucial parameter is the [...] Read more.
Energy-related investments gain increasing attention nowadays, particularly in Poland due to clean-energy investment needed to limit greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and counteract climate change. However, economic appraisal is problematic: the longevity of impacts inextricably involves intergenerational ethical considerations. A crucial parameter is the choice of a discount rate. The predominant approach to estimate the discount rate in EU countries is the Ramsey rule, based on macroeconomic data, but not referring directly to society’s preferences. Those are considered by studies using surveys to elicit individual discount rates (IDR), but rarely concentrating on intergenerational time frame. The paper aims at delivering an insight into the intergenerational intertemporal preferences for Poland (households, n = 471) focusing on whether respondents are willing to declare zero discount rate intergenerationally and whether their choices differ between the short- and long-term perspectives and between human lives and money. To elicit IDR, two hypothetical investment scenarios were designed: lifesaving programs and lottery gains with delays from 10 to 150 years accompanied by attitude and socioeconomic questions. The results indicate that IDR follows hyperbolic time-decline, and a considerable share of respondents (around 20%) are willing to treat future generations as equally important in the case of human lives, while this proportion for monetary gains is two times lower. The IDR drivers differ between lives and money in respect of socioeconomic profile and attitude characteristics as well as between intragenerational and intergenerational time frames. The findings support (a) the rationale for distinct treatment of intergenerational allocations, (b) the divergence of preferences between public and private impacts, and (c) the switch from single to declining discount rate regime in Poland. Full article
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25 pages, 2337 KiB  
Article
Physical Constraints on Global Social-Ecological Energy System
by Marco Casazza, Francesco Gonella, Gengyuan Liu, Antonio Proto and Renato Passaro
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8177; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238177 - 6 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Energy is the main driver of human Social-Ecological System (SES) dynamics. Collective energy properties of human SES can be described applying the principles of statistical mechanics: (i) energy consumption repartition; (ii) efficiency; (iii) performance, as efficient power, in relation to the least-action principle. [...] Read more.
Energy is the main driver of human Social-Ecological System (SES) dynamics. Collective energy properties of human SES can be described applying the principles of statistical mechanics: (i) energy consumption repartition; (ii) efficiency; (iii) performance, as efficient power, in relation to the least-action principle. International Energy Agency data are analyzed through the lens of such principles. Declining physical efficiency and growth of power losses emerge from our analysis. Losses mainly depend on intermediate system outputs and non-energy final output. Energy performance at Country level also depends on efficient power consumption. Better and worse performing Countries are identified accordingly. Five policy-relevant areas are identified in relation to the physical principles introduced in this paper: Improve efficiency; Decouple economic growth from environmental degradation; Focus on high value added and labor-intensive sectors; Rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption; Upgrade the technological capabilities. Coherently with our findings, policies should support the following actions: (1) redefine sectoral energy distribution shares; (2) Improve Country-level performance, if needed; (3) Reduce intermediate outputs and non-energy final output; (4) Reduce resources supply to improve eco-efficiency together with system performance. Full article
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22 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
The Challenges of Poland’s Energy Transition
by Sylwia Mrozowska, Jan A. Wendt and Krzysztof Tomaszewski
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8165; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238165 - 6 Dec 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4565
Abstract
The ongoing climate changes necessitate an effective climate policy. The energy transition is now an important topic and problem, especially in Poland. (1) The undertaken analysis of the problem of energy transition is important for political, social and technological reasons. Political, because it [...] Read more.
The ongoing climate changes necessitate an effective climate policy. The energy transition is now an important topic and problem, especially in Poland. (1) The undertaken analysis of the problem of energy transition is important for political, social and technological reasons. Political, because it shows the weakness of the implementation of Polish energy policy in regards to climate change. Social, because energy transition will bring about significant social changes in the largest industrial region of Poland. Technological, as the departure from fossil fuels requires the introduction of other sources of energy on a massive scale, for which Poland is not prepared. The aim of the study was to critically analyse the activities to date in the field of energy transition in Poland. The second goal of the analysis was an attempt to answer the question of whether the process of energy transition and achieving the goals set in the EU’s European Green Deal are possible at all until 2050. (2) To achieve the goals, the system method and the decision-making method were primarily used. These methods allowed for an examination of the main determinants of the Polish energy transformation. (3) The main results include the confirmation, contrary to the announcements of the Polish government, that despite the adoption in Poland of the strategy “Poland’s energy policy until 2040”, the effective implementation of the energy transition before 2050 is not only very difficult, but may even be impossible to implement in the assumed time. This is due to political, economic, social and technological conditions. Coal energy is outdated, expensive and ineffective. Due to natural conditions, wind energy is not able to meet the energy demand of the industry. The development of nuclear energy is only in the planning phase. (4) To sum up, in the next thirty years, Poland will not be able to achieve the assumed effects of the energy transition, which is in contradiction with the official declaration of the government. Full article
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20 pages, 6840 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study on Coupled Operation of Stratified Air Distribution System and Natural Ventilation under Multi-Variable Factors in Large Space Buildings
by Ziwen Dong, Liting Zhang, Yongwen Yang, Qifen Li and Hao Huang
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8130; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238130 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Stratified air distribution systems are commonly used in large space buildings. The research on the airflow organization of stratified air conditioners is deficient in terms of the analysis of multivariable factors. Moreover, studies on the coupled operation of stratified air conditioners and natural [...] Read more.
Stratified air distribution systems are commonly used in large space buildings. The research on the airflow organization of stratified air conditioners is deficient in terms of the analysis of multivariable factors. Moreover, studies on the coupled operation of stratified air conditioners and natural ventilation are few. In this paper, taking a Shanghai Airport Terminal departure hall for the study, air distribution and thermal comfort of the cross-section at a height of 1.6 m are simulated and compared under different working conditions, and the effect of natural ventilation coupling operation is studied. The results show that the air distribution is the most uniform and the thermal comfort is the best (predicted mean vote is 0.428, predicted percentage of dissatisfaction is 15.2%) when the working conditions are 5.9% air supply speed, 11 °C cooling temperature difference and 0° air supply angle. With the coupled operation of natural ventilation, the thermal comfort can be improved from Grade II to Grade I. Full article
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20 pages, 3243 KiB  
Article
A Fast and Accurate Wind Speed and Direction Nowcasting Model for Renewable Energy Management Systems
by Saira Al-Zadjali, Ahmed Al Maashri, Amer Al-Hinai, Rashid Al Abri, Swaroop Gajare, Sultan Al Yahyai and Mostafa Bakhtvar
Energies 2021, 14(23), 7878; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237878 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
To plan operations and avoid any grid disturbances, power utilities require accurate power generation estimates for renewable generation. The generation estimates for wind power stations require an accurate prediction of wind speed and direction. This paper proposes a new prediction model for nowcasting [...] Read more.
To plan operations and avoid any grid disturbances, power utilities require accurate power generation estimates for renewable generation. The generation estimates for wind power stations require an accurate prediction of wind speed and direction. This paper proposes a new prediction model for nowcasting the wind speed and direction, which can be used to predict the output of a wind power plant. The proposed model uses perturbed observations to train the ensemble networks. The trained model is then used to predict the wind speed and direction. The paper performs a comparative assessment of three artificial neural network models. It also studies the performance of introducing perturbed observations to the model using six different interpolation techniques. For each technique, the computational efficiency is measured and assessed. Furthermore, the paper presents an exhaustive investigation of the performance of neural network types and several techniques in training, data splitting, and interpolation. To check the efficacy of the proposed model, the power output from a real wind farm is predicted and compared with the actual recorded measurements. The results of the comprehensive analysis show that the proposed model outperforms contending models in terms of accuracy and execution time. Therefore, this model can be used by operators to reliably generate a dispatch plan. Full article
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20 pages, 26447 KiB  
Article
Influence of Photovoltaic Development on Decarbonization of Power Generation—Example of Poland
by Grzegorz Lew, Beata Sadowska, Katarzyna Chudy-Laskowska, Grzegorz Zimon and Magdalena Wójcik-Jurkiewicz
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7819; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227819 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2818
Abstract
Climate change is becoming a global problem. In many countries, actions are taken with the main aim of reducing CO2 emissions. The main action, especially in developed countries, is decarbonization. The European Union has become one of the organizations that plays a [...] Read more.
Climate change is becoming a global problem. In many countries, actions are taken with the main aim of reducing CO2 emissions. The main action, especially in developed countries, is decarbonization. The European Union has become one of the organizations that plays a leading role in decarbonization of the economy. For this reason, renewable energy sources are being intensively developed in the EU countries. Solar energy with the use of PV installations is developing the fastest. Poland is one of the European leaders in photovoltaic development, and according to estimates for 2021–2025, it will continue to be. The aim of this study was to find out the opinions of people toward actions related to the decarbonization policy in Poland. These opinions were obtained through the prism of respondents’ attitudes toward energy produced by means of PV micro-installations. A questionnaire survey was used in this research. The survey was conducted using the CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interview) technique. To analyze the results of the study, a Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA test and U–Mann Whitney test were used. Responses were obtained from 633 people. The results obtained from the survey allowed us to draw conclusions, which include the following: (1) a lack of general conviction of respondents about the effectiveness of Poland’s decarbonization policy on reducing global CO2 emissions, especially among those who show a higher willingness to use PV installations, (2) the willingness to use PV installations is motivated by economic rather than environmental benefits, (3) the need for more widespread public campaigns aimed at promoting the benefits of decarbonization and renewable energy sources, and (4) the finding that the respondents’ region of residence (with a different degree of insolation) mattered for the willingness to use PV installations. Full article
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14 pages, 1078 KiB  
Article
Role of Natural Gas Consumption in the Reduction of CO2 Emissions: Case of Azerbaijan
by Sarvar Gurbanov
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7695; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227695 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4056
Abstract
Azerbaijan signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and committed to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% in 2030. Meanwhile, natural gas has been vital component in the total energy mix of Azerbaijan economy and accounted for almost 65% of the total energy [...] Read more.
Azerbaijan signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and committed to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% in 2030. Meanwhile, natural gas has been vital component in the total energy mix of Azerbaijan economy and accounted for almost 65% of the total energy consumption. In the overall electricity mix, natural gas-fired power plants generate 93% of the country’s electricity. Since global energy consumption is responsible for 73% of human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, and CO2 makes up more than 74% of the total, this study investigates possible mitigation effects of the natural gas consumption on CO2 emissions for Azerbaijan. Author employed several cointegration methodologies, namely Bound testing Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach, Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS), Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (DOLS), and Structural Time Series model (STSM). Author of this paper found that when the share of natural gas increases 1 percent in the total energy mix, CO2 emission per capita decreases approximately 0.14 percent as a result of the ARDL, FMOLS, and DOLS models. All three models provide cointegration between the share of natural gas in the total energy mix and reduction in CO2 emissions. Full article
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14 pages, 2414 KiB  
Article
Monetising Air Pollution Benefits of Clean Energy Requires Locally Specific Information
by Mandana Mazaheri, Yvonne Scorgie, Richard A. Broome, Geoffrey G. Morgan, Bin Jalaludin and Matthew L. Riley
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7622; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227622 - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2348
Abstract
Meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change requires substantial investments in low-emissions energy and significant improvements in end-use energy efficiency. These measures can also deliver improved air quality and there is broad recognition of the health benefits of decarbonising energy. Monetising these health [...] Read more.
Meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change requires substantial investments in low-emissions energy and significant improvements in end-use energy efficiency. These measures can also deliver improved air quality and there is broad recognition of the health benefits of decarbonising energy. Monetising these health benefits is an important part of a robust assessment of the costs and benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs (clean energy programs (CEP)) and a variety of methods have been used to estimate health benefits at national, regional, continental and global scales. Approaches, such as unit damage cost estimates and impact pathways, differ in complexity and spatial coverage and can deliver different estimates for air pollution costs/benefits. To date, the monetised health benefits of CEP in Australia have applied international and global estimates that can range from 2–229USD/tCO2 (USD 2016). Here, we calculate the current health damage costs of coal-fired power in New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, and the health benefits of CEP. Focusing on PM2.5 pollution, we estimate the current health impacts of coal-fired power at 3.20USD/MWh, approximately 10% of the generation costs, and much lower than previous estimates. We demonstrate the need for locally specific assessment of the air pollution benefits of CEP and illustrate that without locally specific information, the relative costs/benefits of CEP may be significantly over- or understated. We estimate that, for NSW, the health benefits from CEP are 1.80USD/MWh and that the current air pollution health costs of coal-fired power in NSW represent a significant unpriced externality. Full article
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12 pages, 3230 KiB  
Article
Resiliency Analysis of Hybrid Energy Systems within Interconnected Infrastructures
by Hossam A. Gabbar
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7499; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227499 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1595
Abstract
There are world tendencies to implement interconnected infrastructures of energy-water-waste-transportation-food-health-social systems to enhance the overall performance in normal and emergency situations where there are multiple interactions among them with possible conversions and improved efficiencies. Hybrid energy systems are core elements within interconnected infrastructures [...] Read more.
There are world tendencies to implement interconnected infrastructures of energy-water-waste-transportation-food-health-social systems to enhance the overall performance in normal and emergency situations where there are multiple interactions among them with possible conversions and improved efficiencies. Hybrid energy systems are core elements within interconnected infrastructures with possible conversions among electricity, thermal, gas, hydrogen, waste, and transportation networks. This could be improved with storage systems and intelligent control systems. It is important to study resiliency of hybrid energy systems within interconnected infrastructures to ensure reduced risks and improved performance. This paper presents framework for the analysis of resiliency layers as related to protection layers. Case study of hybrid energy system as integrated with water, waste, and transportation infrastructures is presented where different resiliency and protection layers are assessed. Performance measures are modeled and evaluated for possible interconnection scenarios with internal and external factors that led to resiliency demands. Resiliency layers could trigger protection layers under certain conditions, which are evaluated to achieve high performance hybrid energy systems within interconnected infrastructures. The proposed approach will support urban, small, and remote communities to achieve high performance interconnected infrastructures for normal and emergency situations. Full article
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14 pages, 2208 KiB  
Article
Modelling the Interaction between Air Pollutant Emissions and Their Key Sources in Poland
by Alicja Kolasa-Więcek, Dariusz Suszanowicz, Agnieszka A. Pilarska and Krzysztof Pilarski
Energies 2021, 14(21), 6891; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14216891 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between key sources of air pollutant emissions (sources of energy production, factories which are particularly harmful to the environment, the fleets of cars, environmental protection expenditure) and the main environmental air pollution [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between key sources of air pollutant emissions (sources of energy production, factories which are particularly harmful to the environment, the fleets of cars, environmental protection expenditure) and the main environmental air pollution (SO2, NOx, CO and PM) in Poland. Models based on MLP neural networks were used as predictive models. Global sensitivity analysis was used to demonstrate the significant impact of individual network input variables on the output variable. To verify the effectiveness of the models created, the actual data were compared with the data obtained through modelling. Projected courses of changes in the variables under study correspond with the real data, which confirms that the proposed models generalize acquired knowledge well. The high MLP network quality parameters of 0.99–0.85 indicate that the network generalizes the acquired knowledge accurately. The sensitivity analysis for NOx, CO and PM pollutants indicates the significance of all input variables. For SO2, it showed significance for four of the six variables analysed. The predictions made by the neural models are not very different from the experimental values. Full article
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20 pages, 2364 KiB  
Article
Green Growth in the OECD Countries: A Multivariate Analytical Approach
by Beata Gavurova, Silvia Megyesiova and Matej Hudak
Energies 2021, 14(20), 6719; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206719 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2465
Abstract
Green growth is about merging environmental and social protection with economic growth. The OECD countries follow the progress toward greening though a set of indicators. The aim of the study is to analyze the condition and development of the OECD countries using a [...] Read more.
Green growth is about merging environmental and social protection with economic growth. The OECD countries follow the progress toward greening though a set of indicators. The aim of the study is to analyze the condition and development of the OECD countries using a set of green growth indicators. The univariate and multivariate statistical approach was used to identify the main features of green growth development in two time spans. The achieved success of the OECD countries toward the green growth was measured from period 1 (years 2000–2009) to period 2 (years 2010–2019). For stimulant indicators, an increase was achieved, while for the destimulant variables, a decrease was reached between the analyzed periods. CO2 productivity increased by more than 31%, material productivity by 25%, and the energy productivity by nearly 21%. From the ecological point of view, a positive sign was achieved by an intensive increase of the percentage of municipal waste treatment by recycling or composting. The real GDP increased between periods in each of the OECD countries, except in Greece. The destimulant indicators decreased over time. The mortality declined by about 20% from exposure to ambient PM2.5 and thus the welfare costs of premature death from exposure to PM2.5 also declined. The decline of the mean population exposure to PM2.5 by 12.5% on average for the OECD countries is a positive signal for environmental protection and public health of the OECD population. Some uncertainty exists as the municipal waste generated per capita decreased only slightly by 2%. Full article
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22 pages, 15402 KiB  
Article
Social Responsibility of Economic Units and the Well-Being of Society in the Tourism Sector: Example of Accommodation Facility
by Julia Wojciechowska-Solis, Agata Kobyłka and Adam Gawryluk
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6270; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196270 - 1 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) assumes that companies should justify their existence with services for various stakeholders and not with profit alone. There is a strong emphasis on the implications of CSR for managing human resources in hotels and other accommodation services, supporting local [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) assumes that companies should justify their existence with services for various stakeholders and not with profit alone. There is a strong emphasis on the implications of CSR for managing human resources in hotels and other accommodation services, supporting local communities, and promoting environmental sustainability. This article aims to present the adjustment of business entities providing accommodation services in Poland to the CSR principles. Two aspects were examined: the environmental aspect, i.e., waste segregation and the use of economic energy receivers, while the social aspect included engaging employees, as well as investing in improving their qualifications towards pro-ecological awareness. The study was conducted on a sample of 207 owners and managers of economic entities in the accommodation sector in Poland. The Statistica software was used to analyze the obtained results, including Chi2 statistics and correspondence analysis. Based on the obtained results, it can be concluded that the employees of accommodation centers usually deal with the final segregation of waste because they believe that tourists do not follow the rules of proper segregation. Most hotels are equipped with bins for all fractions of waste. The affiliation of a center to a specific macroregion in Poland was not statistically significant in terms of waste segregation practices. Only in the southern macroregion of Poland, ordinary light bulbs are used in accommodation establishments, which account for 0.97% of the surveyed population. In other regions, ¾ establishments use energy-saving receivers in all rooms. Only 1/3 of the facilities invested in developing their staff by organizing training courses toward sustainable development. The most popular subjects were topics related to waste segregation, energy and water saving, and environmental protection. Full article
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24 pages, 8136 KiB  
Article
Living in the “Age of Humans”. Envisioning CAD Architecture for the Challenges of the Anthropocene—Energy, Environment, and Well-Being
by Krystyna Januszkiewicz, Natalia Paszkowska-Kaczmarek, Fekadu Aduna Duguma and Karol G. Kowalski
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6093; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196093 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
The Anthropocene thesis poses new challenges to human activity on the planet. These challenges also apply to the built environment. Climate change will increase existing threats, and create new ones, for both human and natural systems. Above all, the built environment is expected [...] Read more.
The Anthropocene thesis poses new challenges to human activity on the planet. These challenges also apply to the built environment. Climate change will increase existing threats, and create new ones, for both human and natural systems. Above all, the built environment is expected to provide structural stability, access to water necessary for life, and safe production of clean energy. This research-by-design was focused on designing an adaptive built environment for Anthropocene societies and the maintenance of their well-being, and on envisioning and conceptualizing new architectural solutions based on multidisciplinary knowledge and CAD parametric design methods and tools. The conceptual designs are the result of these studies. These visions show how wind loads can be reduced, water can be stored, diverse energy sources can be integrated into one work of architecture, and thermal comfort can be provided to support local communities and the life of the environment in the belief that the coexistence of species on the planet will happen. They also illustrate how humanity will be able to use the Earth and its atmosphere as an energy producer and conductor and create a global, wireless, non-commercial energy network, accessible to all. Full article
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19 pages, 937 KiB  
Article
Increasing Energy Prices as a Stimulus for Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energies: Ownership Structure, Company Size and Energy Policy in Companies in Poland
by Piotr Żuk and Paweł Żuk
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5885; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185885 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2133
Abstract
Can rising electricity prices be a driving force for energy transition in countries where the energy sector is d pendent on coal? The goals of the article are to determine the readiness of entrepreneurs to invest in renewable energy and indicate the variables [...] Read more.
Can rising electricity prices be a driving force for energy transition in countries where the energy sector is d pendent on coal? The goals of the article are to determine the readiness of entrepreneurs to invest in renewable energy and indicate the variables (company size, the length of time it has operated in the market, the form of ownership and the sector of the economy represented) that influence companies’ greater interest in making savings in energy costs. The research sample in the survey carried out using the computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) method included representatives of entrepreneurs from all regions of Poland. The result for all respondents was checked with the z-test (proportion test). The results obtained on a sample of 400 Polish entrepreneurs responsible for development policies in their companies explain which variables have the greatest impact on the decisions of companies in the context of investments in renewable energy: in Poland, greater interest in renewable energy can be observed in the public sector and in larger companies. The conclusion that can be drawn from this research is that the ownership structure of a company plays an important role in looking for savings by investing in renewable energy. Full article
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25 pages, 9631 KiB  
Article
The Data-Driven Modeling of Pressure Loss in Multi-Batch Refined Oil Pipelines with Drag Reducer Using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Network
by Shengshi Wang, Lianyong Zuo, Miao Li, Qiao Wang, Xizhen Xue, Qicong Liu, Shuai Jiang, Jian Wang and Xitong Duan
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5871; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185871 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Due to the addition of the drag reducer in refined oil pipelines for increasing the pipeline throughput as well as reducing energy consumption, the classical method based on the Darcy-Weisbach Formula for precise pressure loss calculation presents a large error. Additionally, the way [...] Read more.
Due to the addition of the drag reducer in refined oil pipelines for increasing the pipeline throughput as well as reducing energy consumption, the classical method based on the Darcy-Weisbach Formula for precise pressure loss calculation presents a large error. Additionally, the way to accurately calculate the pressure loss of the refined oil pipeline with the drag reducer is in urgent need. The accurate pressure loss value can be used as the input parameter of pump scheduling or batch scheduling models of refined oil pipelines, which can ensure the safe operation of the pipeline system, achieving the goal of energy-saving and cost reduction. This paper proposes the data-driven modeling of pressure loss for multi-batch refined oil pipelines with the drag reducer in high accuracy. The multi-batch sequential transportation process and the differences in the physical properties between different kinds of refined oil in the pipelines are taken into account. By analyzing the changes of the drag reduction rate over time and the autocorrelation of the pressure loss sequence data, the sequential time effect of the drag reducer on calculating pressure loss is considered and therefore, the long short-term memory (LSTM) network is utilized. The neural network structure with two LSTM layers is designed. Moreover, the input features of the proposed model are naturally inherited from the Darcy-Weisbach Formula and on adaptation to the multi-batch sequential transportation process in refined oil pipelines, using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm for network hyperparameter tuning. Case studies show that the proposed data-driven model based on the LSTM network is valid and capable of considering the multi-batch sequential transportation process. Furthermore, the proposed model outperforms the models based on the Darcy-Weisbach Formula and multilayer perceptron (MLP) from previous studies in accuracy. The MAPEs of the proposed model of pipelines with the drag reducer are all less than 4.7% and the best performance on the testing data is 1.3627%, which can provide the calculation results of pressure loss in high accuracy. The results also indicate that the model’s capturing sequential effect of the drag reducer from the input data set contributed to improving the calculation accuracy and generalization ability. Full article
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31 pages, 6926 KiB  
Article
Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Aspects of Cold Ironing Planning for a Maritime Route in the Adriatic Sea
by Tobia Piccoli, Matteo Fermeglia, Daniele Bosich, Paolo Bevilacqua and Giorgio Sulligoi
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5836; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185836 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3334
Abstract
The technology of cold ironing (or shore-to-ship power) can meaningfully reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutant emissions from ships at the berth by powering the vessels from the electrical shore grid. While cold ironing constitutes an effective and affordable solution in northern Europe [...] Read more.
The technology of cold ironing (or shore-to-ship power) can meaningfully reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutant emissions from ships at the berth by powering the vessels from the electrical shore grid. While cold ironing constitutes an effective and affordable solution in northern Europe and America, economic, legal, and environmental factors still render this technology less attractive in southern Europe. This paper aims to unpack and analyze the economic, regulatory, and environmental factors that can foster cold ironing as a standard installation in the Mediterranean Sea. Based on a model design for the port of Trieste (Italy) as applied to a cluster of target ports in the Adriatic Sea (in Italy, Croatia, and Greece), this article evaluates the cold ironing payback period by comparing costs of shore side-plants with environmental externalities and O&M costs. Moreover, the paper addresses key regulatory bottlenecks arising in different European jurisdictions with regard to the setting-up and development of cold ironing, while appraising the legal and economic consequences of deploying cold ironing in light of the future inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU Emission Trading System. Full article
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14 pages, 643 KiB  
Article
Public Acceptance and Support of Renewable Energy in the North-East Development Region of Romania
by Dumitru-Tudor Jijie, Alexandru Maxim, Teodora Roman and Mihail Roșcovan
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5834; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185834 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Concern about energy in the European Union (EU) has been a recurrent issue from the very beginning. Though initially addressed at the state level, energy is now a shared competency as stressed by article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the [...] Read more.
Concern about energy in the European Union (EU) has been a recurrent issue from the very beginning. Though initially addressed at the state level, energy is now a shared competency as stressed by article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. New challenges, added from time to time, need public support in order to be properly addressed. Such is the case of substituting traditional energy production with renewable energy sources. Our paper seeks to determine whether the Romanian public opinion favors such an evolution, which is traditionally associated with significant investment efforts. The study is focused on the north-east development region, which has the highest population and registered the fastest economic growth in 2019. The topic was explored through a survey applied to a sample of 649 household respondents. The results suggest strong support for introducing renewable energy sources, serious concerns about climate change, and a preoccupation for energy saving. Concerns regarding climate change or various economic factors, behaviors oriented towards reducing energy waste, as well as perceived knowledge on the matter are the factors with the biggest impact on supporting electricity production based on renewable energy sources. However, TV and online exposure have a negative impact on support. Demographics, along with social and political values remain mostly not significant. Full article
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16 pages, 2788 KiB  
Article
Escaping Energy Poverty: A Comparative Analysis of 17 European Countries
by Lilia Karpinska and Sławomir Śmiech
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5761; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185761 - 13 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
A comparative analysis of energy poverty transitions and persistence can provide valuable suggestions for long-term policy actions. This study examines the dynamics of energy poverty in 17 European countries based on the longitudinal household data from the EU Survey on Income and Living [...] Read more.
A comparative analysis of energy poverty transitions and persistence can provide valuable suggestions for long-term policy actions. This study examines the dynamics of energy poverty in 17 European countries based on the longitudinal household data from the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions, waves 2015–2018. The study pursues two goals. First, we explore households’ chances of transitioning in and out of energy poverty in each country following the discrete-time Markov process. On average, the probability to stay in energy poverty is 51.5%, and there is a lot of heterogeneity across countries. Households in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Lithuania are quite close to the energy poverty trap. Second, we identify factors that help energy-poor households leave energy poverty. Demographic, technical, and socio-economic factors are the drivers in escaping energy poverty, which suggests common EU policy. Full article
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19 pages, 789 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Plants and Business Models: A New Rural Development Perspective
by María-José Prados, Marta Pallarès-Blanch, Ramón García-Marín and Carolina del Valle
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5438; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175438 - 1 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2892
Abstract
The paper evaluates the rural development (RD) contribution of local economic activities (LEAs), whether generated or affected by the proximity of renewable energy plants (REPs). The study also informs about LEAs’ role as co-players in the fight against climate change. Semi-structured research interviews [...] Read more.
The paper evaluates the rural development (RD) contribution of local economic activities (LEAs), whether generated or affected by the proximity of renewable energy plants (REPs). The study also informs about LEAs’ role as co-players in the fight against climate change. Semi-structured research interviews have been applied to identify LEAs’ BM (business model) in Andalusia, Murcia, and Catalonia, autonomous communities of Spain. Most LEAs present a BM based on the RE plant, and others do not, but they still contribute to RD, rural communities’ well-being and global sustainability. Results show, first, that certain LEAs, due to their inter-connection with large REPs, can innovate and create a significant number of stable jobs. Second, land leasing to REPs allows for temporary farms’ diversification, which is conditioned to its bargaining power. Third, advice on integration RE projects in RD strategies should be provided. Conclusions suggest the need for new governance to favor energy transition coherent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Full article
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17 pages, 6898 KiB  
Article
Stochastic Generation of District Heat Load
by Andrea Menapace, Simone Santopietro, Rudy Gargano and Maurizio Righetti
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5344; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175344 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Modelling heat load is a crucial challenge for the proper management of heat production and distribution. Several studies have tackled this issue at building and urban levels, however, the current scale of interest is shifting to the district level due to the new [...] Read more.
Modelling heat load is a crucial challenge for the proper management of heat production and distribution. Several studies have tackled this issue at building and urban levels, however, the current scale of interest is shifting to the district level due to the new paradigm of the smart system. This study presents a stochastic procedure to model district heat load with a different number of buildings aggregation. The proposed method is based on a superimposition approach by analysing the seasonal component using a linear regression model on the outdoor temperature and the intra-daily component through a bi-parametric distribution of different times of the day. Moreover, an empirical relationship, that estimates the demand variation given the average demand together with a user aggregation coefficient, is proposed. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, the study of a group of residential users connected to the district heating system of Bozen-Bolzano is carried out. In addition, an application on a three-day prevision shows the suitability of this approach. The final purpose is to provide a flexible tool for district heat load characterisation and prevision based on a sample of time series data and summary information about the buildings belonging to the analysed district. Full article
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60 pages, 4818 KiB  
Review
A Review of Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass for Biofuels Production with a Special Focus on the Effect of Process Parameters, Co-Solvents, and Extraction Solvents
by Ankit Mathanker, Snehlata Das, Deepak Pudasainee, Monir Khan, Amit Kumar and Rajender Gupta
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4916; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164916 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 8196
Abstract
Hydrothermal liquefaction is one of the common thermochemical conversion methods adapted to convert high-water content biomass feedstocks to biofuels and many other valuable industrial chemicals. The hydrothermal process is broadly classified into carbonization, liquefaction, and gasification with hydrothermal liquefaction conducted in the intermediate [...] Read more.
Hydrothermal liquefaction is one of the common thermochemical conversion methods adapted to convert high-water content biomass feedstocks to biofuels and many other valuable industrial chemicals. The hydrothermal process is broadly classified into carbonization, liquefaction, and gasification with hydrothermal liquefaction conducted in the intermediate temperature range of 250–374 °C and pressure of 4–25 MPa. Due to the ease of adaptability, there has been considerable research into the process on using various types of biomass feedstocks. Over the years, various solvents and co-solvents have been used as mediums of conversion, to promote easy decomposition of the lignocellulosic components in biomass. The product separation process, to obtain the final products, typically involves multiple extraction and evaporation steps, which greatly depend on the type of extractive solvents and process parameters. In general, the main aim of the hydrothermal process is to produce a primary product, such as bio-oil, biochar, gases, or industrial chemicals, such as adhesives, benzene, toluene, and xylene. All of the secondary products become part of the side streams. The optimum process parameters are obtained to improve the yield and quality of the primary products. A great deal of the process depends on understanding the underlined reaction chemistry during the process. Therefore, this article reviews the major works conducted in the field of hydrothermal liquefaction in order to understand the mechanism of lignocellulosic conversion, describing the concept of a batch and a continuous process with the most recent state-of-art technologies in the field. Further, the article provides detailed insight into the effects of various process parameters, co-solvents, and extraction solvents, and their effects on the products’ yield and quality. It also provides information about possible applications of products obtained through liquefaction. Lastly, it addresses gaps in research and provides suggestions for future studies. Full article
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21 pages, 3921 KiB  
Article
Synergies between Direct Air Capture Technologies and Solar Thermochemical Cycles in the Production of Methanol
by Enric Prats-Salvado, Nathalie Monnerie and Christian Sattler
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4818; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164818 - 7 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3446
Abstract
Methanol is an example of a valuable chemical that can be produced from water and carbon dioxide through a chemical process that is fully powered by concentrated solar thermal energy and involves three steps: direct air capture (DAC), thermochemical splitting and methanol synthesis. [...] Read more.
Methanol is an example of a valuable chemical that can be produced from water and carbon dioxide through a chemical process that is fully powered by concentrated solar thermal energy and involves three steps: direct air capture (DAC), thermochemical splitting and methanol synthesis. In the present work, we consider the whole value chain from the harvesting of raw materials to the final product. We also identify synergies between the aforementioned steps and collect them in five possible scenarios aimed to reduce the specific energy consumption. To assess the scenarios, we combined data from low and high temperature DAC with an Aspen Plus® model of a plant that includes water and carbon dioxide splitting units via thermochemical cycles (TCC), CO/CO2 separation, storage and methanol synthesis. We paid special attention to the energy required for the generation of low oxygen partial pressures in the reduction step of the TCC, as well as the overall water consumption. Results show that suggested synergies, in particular, co-generation, are effective and can lead to solar-to-fuel efficiencies up to 10.2% (compared to the 8.8% baseline). In addition, we appoint vacuum as the most adequate strategy for obtaining low oxygen partial pressures. Full article
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