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Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 16933

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
College of Economics and Management, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
Interests: energy economics; environmental economics; sustainable development; energy finance; regional rural development; economic modeling; health economics; regional agricultural development; food economics; economics and pollution; climate change
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The massive increase in global energy consumption over the previous century may be linked to a host of technical developments and day-to-day improvements. As a result, energy has become more crucial in almost every aspect of human life. All countries, particularly those in the developing world, need inexpensive and reliable energy. Many economies have seen a rise in the need for energy as a result of industrialization, agricultural modernization, globalization, and better transportation. Rising global temperatures, irregular weather patterns, and air pollution are all linked to environmental contamination. These and other harmful environmental effects may jeopardise human health and well-being in different ways. The current scenario is mostly due to the use of fossil fuels. CO2 emissions from global warming are a major cause of greenhouse gas pollution. As CO2 emissions increase and become more difficult to manage, focusing on alternative energy generation is more important than ever. The general public and governments are growing more concerned about the use of fossil fuels, energy security, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The industrial sector largely depends on energy as a development and success factor. Quality of life tends to improve in economies that use a lot of energy. Greenhouse gas emissions are thought to contribute to environmental deterioration as a consequence of energy consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels have recently risen to the top of the list of environmental concerns, especially in developing nations. Because of their rapid growth and large populations, energy use and production in these countries may have an influence on global warming. Energy is required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the environmental consequences of increasing energy use must be addressed, especially at the outset.

It is also important to remember that economic growth and environmental preservation are not mutually incompatible aims. These problems are affecting the lives of people and other animals as a result of the global economy's rapid growth. Improvements in energy efficiency might lower the economy's per-capita energy consumption, lowering greenhouse gas emissions while also assisting in the discovery of long-term sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. In view of growing energy costs and worldwide environmental goals, we must investigate the relationship between renewable energy use and economic development.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Abdul Rehman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability 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 2400 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 consumption
  • environmental sustainability
  • energy policy
  • environmental pollution
  • renewable energy
  • electrical energy
  • economic growth
  • economic modeling
  • clean energy
  • sustainable development
  • fossil fuels
  • energy efficiency improvements
  • energy transition
  • energy finance
  • carbon emission reduction
  • GHG emissions
  • wind energy
  • solar energy
  • thermal energy
  • nuclear energy
  • energy poverty

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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26 pages, 3223 KiB  
Article
How Does Environmental Protection Tax Affect Urban Energy Consumption in China? New Insights from the Intensity Difference-in-Differences Model
by Xianpu Xu and Lingyun Huang
Sustainability 2024, 16(10), 4141; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16104141 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Against the backdrop of accelerating environmental protection and resource conservation, it is of great significance to achieve energy conservation and sustainable growth. In this context, by collecting panel data from 284 cities in China from 2009 to 2021, this paper constructs an intensity [...] Read more.
Against the backdrop of accelerating environmental protection and resource conservation, it is of great significance to achieve energy conservation and sustainable growth. In this context, by collecting panel data from 284 cities in China from 2009 to 2021, this paper constructs an intensity difference-in-differences (I-DID) model, using the implementation of China’s environmental protection law in 2018 as an event shock, to explore the impact of environmental protection tax (EPT) on urban energy consumption. The results indicate that EPT significantly reduces urban energy consumption. After several robustness tests, the estimation results shown above still hold. The mechanism test reveals that EPT mainly reduces energy consumption by promoting urban industrial upgrading, economic openness, and technological innovation. In addition, the heterogeneity test shows that EPT has a greater impact on energy consumption in central and western cities, small and medium-sized cities, non-resource-based cities, and non-old industrial bases. Therefore, to fully improve the positive effect of EPT on urban energy consumption, we suggest increasing energy efficiency, promoting the green transformation of energy structures, enhancing the ability to open-up and innovate, and improving a differentiated regional EPT management system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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21 pages, 970 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Nexus of Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Consumption and Economic Progress in Southeastern Europe: A Panel Data Analysis
by Sanel Halilbegović, Zana Pekmez and Abdul Rehman
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9413; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129413 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
As the fourth industrial revolution drives innovation and economic growth, the energy sector is increasingly recognized for its significant economic contribution. This research aims to investigate the relationship between economic growth and renewable and non-renewable energy consumption in nine southeastern European countries using [...] Read more.
As the fourth industrial revolution drives innovation and economic growth, the energy sector is increasingly recognized for its significant economic contribution. This research aims to investigate the relationship between economic growth and renewable and non-renewable energy consumption in nine southeastern European countries using panel estimation techniques and causal inference. This research employs a unique approach to modeling the energy–growth nexus, incorporating interaction terms to better understand the impact of renewable energy on real GDP growth. The findings are a valuable addendum to the current body of research on the effects of renewable energy consumption on economic growth, and the results contribute to narrowing the empirical research gap in the econometrical field of panel data estimation and endogeneity. This study uses the fully modified OLS (FMOLS) technique for heterogeneous panels to estimate coefficients, while the error correction model (ECM) is used to estimate the cointegration vector between energy variables and GDP. The non-causality test by Dumitrescu and Hurlin (2012) evaluates the causation between energy variables and economic output. Empirical findings indicate that both renewable and non-renewable energy consumption positively affect economic growth. The outcomes of this study hold significant policy ramifications in terms of prioritizing reformation and investment towards specific sectors to foster capital infusion into renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and initiatives, consequently advancing sustainable economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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23 pages, 1516 KiB  
Article
Environmental Regulations and Chinese Energy Sustainability: Mediating Role of Green Technology Innovations in Chinese Provinces
by Lijuan Su, Yating Zheng, Fayyaz Ahmad, Ilhan Ozturk, Yatao Wang, Tian Tian and Abdul Rehman
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8950; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118950 - 1 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1104
Abstract
The stable growth of an economy is based on the coordination between environmental protection and economic development. Environmental regulation may affect energy efficiency because of its function of correcting energy consumption externalities. This paper uses the SBM model and Tobit model to explore [...] Read more.
The stable growth of an economy is based on the coordination between environmental protection and economic development. Environmental regulation may affect energy efficiency because of its function of correcting energy consumption externalities. This paper uses the SBM model and Tobit model to explore the impact on and pathways of environmental regulations of energy efficiency in 30 provincial-level administrative regions in China and explains temporal and regional heterogeneity. The findings suggested that the environmental regulation in all provinces is continuously strengthened and the energy efficiency in eastern China is relatively higher. There is a positive effect of environmental regulation on energy efficiency and there is a temporal and spatial heterogeneity. Environmental regulation affects energy efficiency through green technology innovation, industrial structure upgrading, energy structure transformation and other transmission paths, and its influence mechanism on energy efficiency also has regional heterogeneity. The policy suggestions are: further enhance the intensity of environmental regulation, refine supporting safeguards and implement differentiated environmental regulation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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11 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
Role of Renewable Energy and Financial Innovation in Environmental Protection: Empirical Evidence from UAE and Saudi Arabia
by Samira Ben Belgacem, Ghousia Khatoon and Abad Alzuman
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8684; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118684 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
In modern times, many countries are committed to achieving climate neutrality and environmental sustainability. Without financial innovation and green financing, switching to clean energy, reducing carbon emissions, and mitigating climate change will be impossible. The main objective of this study is to obtain [...] Read more.
In modern times, many countries are committed to achieving climate neutrality and environmental sustainability. Without financial innovation and green financing, switching to clean energy, reducing carbon emissions, and mitigating climate change will be impossible. The main objective of this study is to obtain zero carbon to protect the environment. To analyze sustainable development pathways, this research examines the impact of renewable energy and financial innovation on the environmental protection of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia from 2010 to 2021. The use of renewable energy sources, pollution, and climate change are all significant elements. Innovation can help slow the rate of global warming by lowering carbon emissions and expanding the usage of renewable energy sources. Green financing and innovation are powerful tools for environmental safety and deterioration. The acceleration of renewable energy growth is the primary driver of sustainable development. Moreover, green financing balances the innovation–energy–environment–climate nexus. Similarly, green finance amplifies the positive effects of innovation on using renewable energy. This study provides valuable insights into achieving zero carbon by producing renewable energy sources and modern green technology. Further research is possible by adding more dimensions of renewable energy sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
23 pages, 4866 KiB  
Article
An Appraisal on China’s Feed-In Tariff Policies for PV and Wind Power: Implementation Effects and Optimization
by Xiaohua Song, Yamin Huang, Yulin Zhang, Wen Zhang and Zeqi Ge
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065137 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
China’s FIT policies for PV and wind power are leading policies to promote the low-carbon transformation of the power system. We design composite models based on real options and the cost–benefit analysis, using the Evaluation Model of Implementation Effects and the Optimization Model [...] Read more.
China’s FIT policies for PV and wind power are leading policies to promote the low-carbon transformation of the power system. We design composite models based on real options and the cost–benefit analysis, using the Evaluation Model of Implementation Effects and the Optimization Model for Policy Design to evaluate the design and implementation effects of FIT policies for PV and wind power. The results of the Evaluation Model of Implementation Effects are the following: (1) The economic and environmental competitiveness of developing PV and wind power projects under the parity policy raised significantly (2.524 to 3.136 times increase). (2) The last two-phase FIT policies fail to encourage power generation enterprises to carry out R&D activities, and supporting policies can be considered to offer incentives for R&D activities in upstream industries of power generation. (3) The substitution effect of green certificates on government subsidies is limited, and new market compensation mechanisms such as CCER can be introduced nationwide. The results of the Optimization Model for Policy Design are the following: (1) There is still space for a 10.306% to 22.981% reduction in feed-in tariffs during the parity policy. (2) Due to the risk of the mismatch in the cost attribute and uneven investment across regions, the parity policy is not suitable for long-term implementation, so the feed-in tariffs for PV and wind power should progressively be disconnected from feed-in tariffs for thermal power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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17 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impact of ICT on Disaggregated Energy Consumption in China: A Threshold Regression Analysis
by Zakia Batool, Sajjad Ali and Abdul Rehman
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15600; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315600 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Due to resource scarcity, high energy demand, and environmental degradation, China’s rapid economic growth over the past three decades has been accompanied by certain serious issues that require quick attention. The excessive use of fossil fuels worsens the ecosystem and raises the level [...] Read more.
Due to resource scarcity, high energy demand, and environmental degradation, China’s rapid economic growth over the past three decades has been accompanied by certain serious issues that require quick attention. The excessive use of fossil fuels worsens the ecosystem and raises the level of carbon in the atmosphere. However, the use of ICT has affected the behavior of energy use in various sectors differently. Although ICT-induced activities, on one hand, may affect the environment positively by reducing energy consumption, on the other hand, they may affect the environment adversely by causing an energy rebound effect. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the nonlinear impact of ICT on the environmental effects of energy consumption in the residential, transport, and industrial sectors in China. The study used threshold regression for empirical analysis by employing data for the period from 1990 to 2021. ICT is used as a threshold variable, while energy consumption in the residential, industrial, and transport sectors is used as a regime-dependent variable. Based on the findings, we deduce that the use of ICT asymmetrically affects sectoral energy consumption and the empirical result varies across sectors. Based on the results, we recommend that the possibility of rebound effects should be given more attention in the development of policies regarding the digitalization of the sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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20 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Effects and Regional Differences of Industrialization and Urbanization on China’s Energy Intensity under the Background of “Dual Carbon”
by Qingran Guo, Cuicui Ding, Tingting Guo and Shuaitao Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 9948; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14169948 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Based on China’s provincial panel data during 2012–2019, this paper performs an empirical analysis of the dynamic effect and regional difference of industrialization and urbanization on the energy intensity in China by separating the energy intensity into three levels including low, middle and [...] Read more.
Based on China’s provincial panel data during 2012–2019, this paper performs an empirical analysis of the dynamic effect and regional difference of industrialization and urbanization on the energy intensity in China by separating the energy intensity into three levels including low, middle and high and using the dynamic panel data with system GMM estimation. The results show that the energy intensity will increase by 0.4298% for every 1% increase in the industrialization level on the premise of keeping other variables unchanged. For every 1% increase in the urbanization level, the energy intensity will increase by 0.5674% on average. For every 1% increase in energy intensity in the previous period, the energy intensity in that year will increase by 0.7968% on average. Moreover, there are regional differences in the effects of industrialization and urbanization on the energy intensity in areas with different energy intensities. In addition, all of the factors including the development level of the regional economy, energy price, and technological innovation have different effects on the energy intensity in China. Meanwhile, there exist the rebound effects of the technological innovation in China, and the energy price has an induced effect on the technological innovation. Undoubtedly, industrialization and urbanization jointly promote the increase in energy intensity. At the same time, the level of economic development, energy prices and technological innovation are also reasons for the differences in the energy intensity among regions. Therefore, in order to effectively reduce energy intensity while carrying out technological innovation, promoting high-quality development and increasing income, it is necessary to improve the internal quality of industrialization and urbanization, and to promote new resource-saving and environmentally friendly methods of industrialization and urbanization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
16 pages, 840 KiB  
Article
Electrical Energy Dilemma and CO2 Emission in Pakistan: Decomposing the Positive and Negative Shocks by Using an Asymmetric Technique
by Abdul Rehman, Laura Mariana Cismas and Maria Daniela Otil
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148957 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
The key aim of the current analysis was to examine the impact of electricity production from various sources (oil, nuclear, natural gas and coal) on CO2 emission in Pakistan by utilizing the annual data series varies from 1975–2020. The study employed the [...] Read more.
The key aim of the current analysis was to examine the impact of electricity production from various sources (oil, nuclear, natural gas and coal) on CO2 emission in Pakistan by utilizing the annual data series varies from 1975–2020. The study employed the two unit root tests for the purpose of stationarity, while an asymmetric Nonlinear Autoregressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) technique was applied to expose the influence of electrical energy on CO2 emission via long-run and short-run dynamics. Findings show that via long-run and short-run the variable electricity production from oil and coal sources has a positive impact on CO2 emission in Pakistan via positive and negative shocks. Electricity production from nuclear sources exposed the adverse impact on CO2 emissions. Similarly, electricity production from natural gas demonstrates the positive and adversative linkage with CO2 emission through positive and negative shocks. There is no doubt that Pakistan is still dealing with an electricity deficit because of poor energy generation in the country, but this has contributed to an increase in CO2 emissions. To avoid additional environmental damage, the government should pursue new and major CO2 emission reduction measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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16 pages, 1252 KiB  
Article
Examining the Relationship between Rural and Urban Populations’ Access to Electricity and Economic Growth: A New Evidence
by Ioana Anda Milin, Mariana Claudia Mungiu Pupazan, Abdul Rehman, Irina Elena Chirtoc and Nicolae Ecobici
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138125 - 3 Jul 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
The electric power industry has a dominant contribution to economic development in China, and growth in the industry needs to help the economy grow, protect the environment, and give people access to electricity. The current study’s main goal is to assess the rural [...] Read more.
The electric power industry has a dominant contribution to economic development in China, and growth in the industry needs to help the economy grow, protect the environment, and give people access to electricity. The current study’s main goal is to assess the rural and urban populations’ access to electricity, energy use, and economic development in China using yearly data ranging from 1995 to 2017. We applied two unit root tests to check the variables’ stationarity and a symmetric autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach to discover the variable links using long-run and short-run estimates. The Granger causality test was also used in this study under a vector error correction model (VECM) to assess the variables’ unidirectional connection. Short-run results demonstrate that total population access to electricity, urban population access to electricity, and energy use have positive links with economic development, with probability values of (0.004), (0.000), and (0.007), respectively. Similarly, long-run evidence shows that variables such as total population access to electricity, urban population access to electricity, and energy use have a positive relationship with economic growth, with p-values of (0.005), (0.000), and (0.047), respectively. Unfortunately, throughout the investigation, the variable electricity availability to the rural population demonstrated an adverse relationship with China’s economic growth. Furthermore, the Granger causality test results under the vector error correction model (VECM) show that all variables have unidirectional links. China’s implementation of new plans regarding energy consumption has a significant impact on both future energy supply and the country’s ability to stay sustainable. It will be able to maintain the stability of its energy levels as long as it sticks to suitable choices and policy options. Undoubtedly, China is a huge user of energy and an emitter of CO2 emissions; therefore, possible conservative strategies and policies are required from the Chinese government to use clean energy sources to fulfill its energy demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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Review

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40 pages, 2533 KiB  
Review
Implementation of Renewable Energy from Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Facilities in Peru: A Promising Sustainable Future
by Carlos Cacciuttolo, Ximena Guardia and Eunice Villicaña
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114388 - 22 May 2024
Viewed by 309
Abstract
In the last two decades, Peru has experienced a process of transformation in the sources of its energy matrix, increasing the participation of clean energy such as solar photovoltaic (PV), on-shore wind, biomass, and small hydro. However, hydropower and natural gas remain the [...] Read more.
In the last two decades, Peru has experienced a process of transformation in the sources of its energy matrix, increasing the participation of clean energy such as solar photovoltaic (PV), on-shore wind, biomass, and small hydro. However, hydropower and natural gas remain the main sources of electricity, whereas off-shore wind, biogas, waves, tidal, and geothermal sources are currently underdeveloped. This article presents the enormous potential of Peru for the generation of electrical energy from a solar source equivalent to 25 GW, as it has in one of the areas of the world with the highest solar radiation throughout the year. In addition, this article presents the main advantages, benefits, and considerations of the implementation of solar photovoltaic technology, with emphasis on (i) the potential of solar energy, showing the available potential and an installed capacity by the year 2024 equivalent to 398 MW, (ii) current solar energy sources, characterizing existing industrial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy plants, and (iii) future solar energy facilities projections, stating the portfolio of solar renewable energy plant projects to be implemented in the future considering an installed capacity of 7.2 GW by 2028. Additionally, lessons learned, challenges, and directions for the future development of solar energy in the country are presented. Finally, the article concludes that if Peru takes advantage of solar potential by considering a sustainable future perspective and implementing strategic land-use planning, the southern region will be transformed into a world-class territory for renewable energy development considering the hybridization of concentrated solar power (CSP) systems with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar energy storage systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Environment: Policy, Economics and Modeling)
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