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Sufficiency, Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Energy Scenarios

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2023) | Viewed by 9290

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Energy Institute, LT-44403 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: energy economics; energy poverty; computable general equilibrium; housing economics; household finance; household microsimulation; energy trnsition

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Guest Editor
Department of Planning, Aalborg University, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: sustainable energy transition; democratic and just energy transition; renewable energy; energy planning; energy consumption; energy sufficiency; social practices

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Governance, University of Latvia, LV-1586 Riga, Latvia
Interests: forest sustainability; environmental impact assessment; carbon footprint
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Energy Instiute, LT-44403 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: sustainable energy development; climate change mitigation in the energy sector; behavioral changes; assessment of willingness to pay
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Improving energy efficiency and increasing the renewable energy share in the energy balance are universally understood as the cornerstones of the transition toward a low-carbon and sustainable economy. However, changes in our energy-consuming practices such as indoor comfort, mobility, etc. are as important parts of the transition as previously mentioned elements. The complementary roles of sustainable social practices, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in the overall picture provide a better chance for sustainable energy transition. Nevertheless, numerous research gaps need to be fulfilled. The most critical research questions are related to implementing each element, their feasibility measures, and the possibility of combining them to achieve synergies in sustainable energy scenarios.

In this context, energy sufficiency represents practices that lead to more sustainable energy resource consumption. It refers to reduced consumption of energy services while ensuring that basic needs related to energy services are covered in each household. Energy sufficiency is rarely reflected in the modeling of energy scenarios. Still, universal access to energy, energy poverty reduction, decent quality of life, and energy justice are inseparable elements of the sustainable energy transition. Thus, energy sufficiency has a potential to leverage the impact of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy development.

This Special Issue welcomes review papers, original research, and case studies dealing with the role and impact of energy sufficiency, energy efficiency and renewable energies, and their combinations and integration into future sustainable energy scenarios. Furthermore, we welcome papers dealing with modeling of sufficiency as part of modeling of sustainable energy scenarios. It is expected that contributions will extend our existing knowledge on the role of sufficiency, efficiency, and/or renewable energy in  energy scenarios and/or provide policy recommendations and/or valuable insights for methodology improvements and practical solutions at the local, national, or global level.

Dr. Vidas Lekavičius
Prof. Michael Søgaard Jørgensen
Dr. Jānis Brizga
Prof. Dr. Dalia Streimikiene
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. 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 sufficiency
  • energy efficiency
  • renewable energy
  • energy scenarios
  • energy economics
  • energy modeling
  • energy poverty
  • energy transition
  • democracy and justice in energy transition
  • social practices
  • behavioral change

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 695 KiB  
Article
Save Myself or Others? The Influence of Attitude toward FMCG Products from Recycled Material on the Intention to Buy Them: Hidden Motives and the Role of Income
by Viktorija Grigaliūnaitė, Aušra Pažėraitė and Mantautas Račkauskas
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11528; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511528 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
Buying products made from recycled materials is an important way to support sustainability, especially in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) context. Because these are the products that make up a very large part of consumer spending, it is very important to encourage consumers [...] Read more.
Buying products made from recycled materials is an important way to support sustainability, especially in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) context. Because these are the products that make up a very large part of consumer spending, it is very important to encourage consumers to buy them when they are made from recycled materials. Therefore, this research aimed to determine the relationship between income, egoistic and altruistic motives, attitude toward FMCG products from recycled material, and intention to buy them. To reach the research aim, questionnaire research was applied and structural equation modeling was carried out to analyze the research results. Based on the analysis of research results, income negatively influenced egoistic motives regarding buying recycled FMCG. Moreover, egoistic motives influenced attitude but did not directly or indirectly influence intention. Altruistic motives were not influenced by income but directly influenced attitude and intention to buy FMCG from recycled materials. When communicating about the benefits of recycled FMCG, altruistic motives should be highlighted, including rationalization of these aspects with specific calculations supporting these statements. Based on research results, such communication could facilitate the highest possibility of developing a sustainable FMCG market from recycled materials. Full article
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26 pages, 2251 KiB  
Article
A Digital Twin Approach to City Block Renovation Using RES Technologies
by Vytautas Bocullo, Linas Martišauskas, Ramūnas Gatautis, Otilija Vonžudaitė, Rimantas Bakas, Darius Milčius, Rytis Venčaitis and Darius Pupeikis
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129307 - 08 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1204
Abstract
The building sector accounts for over 40% of global energy consumption, and many buildings are old and inefficient. However, the current pace of building renovation is not sufficient to make a tangible impact. A new strategy is needed to accelerate the renovation process. [...] Read more.
The building sector accounts for over 40% of global energy consumption, and many buildings are old and inefficient. However, the current pace of building renovation is not sufficient to make a tangible impact. A new strategy is needed to accelerate the renovation process. Renovation at the district level and the use of digital tools, such as a digital twin (DT) of a city district, can provide a solution. This paper proposes a novel approach to city block renovation using renewable energy sources (RES), including photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, heat pumps (HP), and electric heaters (EH), while utilizing a DT of a city district to provide a user-friendly representation of the results and data needed for holistic solutions. The proposed method combines an optimization model of the optimal heating system with a solar PV simulation technique to analyse hybrid RES solutions and potential on-site energy generation and supply. Several scenarios are simulated to evaluate RES solutions in the renovation process of the city block using the DT concept. The simulation results demonstrate that a hybrid RES solution, which includes a PV system and a heating system, is optimal when the on-site generated energy is used not only for domestic electricity consumption, but also for the operation of HPs and EHs for heat generation. This study highlights the importance and significance of a DT approach to city block renovation and provides a new solution to accelerate the renovation process and reduce energy consumption in the building sector. Full article
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21 pages, 3403 KiB  
Article
Energy Sufficiency in the Passenger Transport of Lithuania
by Viktorija Bobinaite, Inga Konstantinaviciute, Arvydas Galinis, Ausra Pazeraite, Vaclovas Miskinis and Mindaugas Cesnavicius
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5951; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075951 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
This paper aims to understand the significance of energy sufficiency (ES) in passenger transport for the long-term resolution of energy, climate, and sustainable development issues in Lithuania. It computes related indicators, by fixing the passenger-kilometres (pkm) travelled by various modes of transportation and [...] Read more.
This paper aims to understand the significance of energy sufficiency (ES) in passenger transport for the long-term resolution of energy, climate, and sustainable development issues in Lithuania. It computes related indicators, by fixing the passenger-kilometres (pkm) travelled by various modes of transportation and applying a scenario analysis with the MESSAGE model. The findings indicated that the country’s final energy consumption (FEC) in transportation could be reduced by 21.8% by 2050 due to slowing growth rate of distances travelled by passenger car but increasing use of public transport and bicycles. This would result in a decrease in the growth rate of primary energy consumption (PEC) by half (to 0.3% a year), an increase in the use of renewable energy sources (RES) to 67.2% in the PEC structure, savings of oil products by 6.4 TWh, and savings of new electricity generation capacity by 550 MW. Furthermore, 20 MtCO2eq. in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions could be realised between 2021 and 2050. To take advantage of the potential of ES, the policy measures of passenger car demand containment and a shift to non-motorised and less polluting modes of transportation should be implemented. Furthermore, priority should be given to policy measures that encourage use of public transportation. Full article
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25 pages, 4099 KiB  
Article
Impact of Key Drivers on Energy Intensity and GHG Emissions in Manufacturing in the Baltic States
by Vaclovas Miskinis, Arvydas Galinis, Viktorija Bobinaite, Inga Konstantinaviciute and Eimantas Neniskis
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043330 - 11 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The improvement in energy efficiency (EE) and increasing consumption of renewable energy sources (RES) in manufacturing play an important role in pursuing sustainable development in the Baltic States and contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. This paper presents the results of [...] Read more.
The improvement in energy efficiency (EE) and increasing consumption of renewable energy sources (RES) in manufacturing play an important role in pursuing sustainable development in the Baltic States and contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. This paper presents the results of a detailed analysis of the channel through which EE, along with structural activity changes, passes energy intensity and total energy savings and in combination with other key drivers results in reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in manufacturing in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during the period 2010–2020, taking into account the role of transformations in the energy and climate framework of the European Union (EU). The Fisher Ideal Index, the Kaya identity, the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI), and comparative analysis methods are used. The results of the impact analysis of key drivers on energy intensity showed different contributions towards improvements in EE and structural activity changes to changes in energy intensity in manufacturing, which decreased by 53.1% in Estonia, by 30.5% in Lithuania, and by 16.5% in Latvia. The dominant role of EE improvements on total energy savings is identified. The results of the GHG decomposition analysis showed that because of improvements in energy intensity, reductions in the share of fossil fuels, and increases in labour productivity, number of employees, and emissions intensity, the GHG emissions decreased by 35.5% in Estonia, 40.4% in Latvia, and 8.1% in Lithuania. The results confirm the need for new policies and the implementation of relevant commitments to save energy and increase the contribution of RES in all three countries. Full article
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19 pages, 3367 KiB  
Article
Energy Sufficiency in the Household Sector of Lithuania and Hungary: The Case of Heated Floor Area
by Viktorija Bobinaite, Inga Konstantinaviciute, Arvydas Galinis, Mária Bartek-Lesi, Viktor Rácz and Bettina Dézsi
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316162 - 03 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Economic development and rising welfare lead to higher demand for energy services, which can limit or even negate the results of costly energy efficiency (EE) upgrades. At present, some consumption patterns in Central and Eastern European countries are more sustainable compared to the [...] Read more.
Economic development and rising welfare lead to higher demand for energy services, which can limit or even negate the results of costly energy efficiency (EE) upgrades. At present, some consumption patterns in Central and Eastern European countries are more sustainable compared to the European Union (EU) average but are rapidly approaching it. Energy sufficiency (ES) leading to an absolute reduction in energy demand will be essential for achieving net zero climate goals, as it will contribute to reducing energy use and the significant investment needs associated with the electrification of the energy system. Various regulatory solutions can be deployed in pursuit of ES targets, but little information is available on the possible impacts on energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially at the national level. This paper focuses on the residential building sector of two Central and Eastern European countries: Lithuania and Hungary. It attempts to quantify the potential energy demand reduction, associated GHG savings and the resulting change in the energy mix from limiting the per capita heated floor area using scenario analysis with the MESSAGE and HU-TIMES energy system models. The findings suggest that final energy demand could be reduced by 3.6% in Lithuania and 0.9% in Hungary. This would lead to a change in the energy production mix resulting in lower GHG emissions and savings on new energy generation capacity. The results of the research are indicative, as no costs were assigned to ES measures and the calculations were based on assumed levels of ES indicators. However, they suggest that it is worth identifying the consumption segments with ES potential, as a combination of the relevant measures can largely contribute to the achievement of net zero emissions. Full article
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26 pages, 2331 KiB  
Article
Energy Efficiency Optimization in Polyisoprene Footwear Production
by Alka Mihelić-Bogdanić and Ivana Špelić
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710799 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
The evaluation of energy efficiency improvements in polyisoprene footwear production is shown. By installing air preheater, combustion air natural gas consumption is reduced by 7%. Simultaneously, the boiler outlet flue gases’ temperature is decreased from 204 °C to 66.93 °C, providing a sound [...] Read more.
The evaluation of energy efficiency improvements in polyisoprene footwear production is shown. By installing air preheater, combustion air natural gas consumption is reduced by 7%. Simultaneously, the boiler outlet flue gases’ temperature is decreased from 204 °C to 66.93 °C, providing a sound basis for both economical savings and energy efficiency improvements, as well as ecological benefits to the environment. The application of condensate heat recovery resulted in flue gases’ volume decreasing by 11.85% and a thermal pollution decrease of 91.34%. Combining air preheating by exhaust flue gases and condensate heat recovery resulted in a decrease in the flue gases’ volume by 17.97%, and in the temperature lowering to 66.93 °C. The energy consumption for a combined system on location φ=45°49) with a collector field of 12.936 × 103 m2 was investigated. The hybrid system was calculated for four variants: (1) solarized process without flue gases’ heat recovery, (2) solarized processes with heat contend in flue gases using an air preheater, (3) solarized processes with condensate heat recovery, and (4) solarized processes with heat contend in flue gases using air preheater and condensate heat recovery. The highest fuel savings were shown in solarized processes with heat contend in flue gases using air preheater and condensate heat recovery, resulting in savings of up to 78.92%, while the flue gases’ volume decreased from 5390.95 m3FG/h to 932.12 m3FG/h. Full article
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