Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine if the surplus of wind energy could be added to electricity-to-heat conversion systems when there is increased congestion in the grid or when there is wind power curtailment. In this way, the produced power can be utilized for contributing to the local district heating (DH) system needs. After examining scenarios, optimized energy distribution is recommended. A case study near Kozani, Greece with an onshore wind farm (WF) to be installed was thoroughly investigated exploring the options for increased wind energy integration analyzing thermal utilization possibilities based on the local DH needs. A wind resource assessment for the area was done, which optimizes the WF planning and links the DH system with the operation of the WF. The utilization rate between the electric and the DH grid was examined in order to describe the optimal way of the energy to be distributed reassuring profitability for the power producer and robust energy management for the system. It was found that the curtailed wind energy can be locally utilized in a DH system, by covering part of the demand that the diesel-based peak load boiler system does currently.
Abstract: Recognizing the significance of medicinal plants for rural livelihoods and primary healthcare, this paper attempted to analyze institutional interplays in medicinal plants management in Bangladesh. It assessed the governing process of natural resources by identifying cross-scale linkages of the institutions involved with managing medicinal plants. The study intended to delineate the interactional patterns and dynamics between existing formal and informal organizations toward exploring prospects of new medicinal plants governance institutions. Employing case study and participatory approaches to empirical field investigation, two intervention cases of the Livelihood and Agro-Forestry (LEAF) and Sustainable Environmental Management Program (SEMP) were assessed in two different social-ecological settings of the country. Involving 45 respondents in each site, Focus Group Discussions were carried out, and a total of 26 Key Informants were interviewed. The findings have revealed that undefined roles and responsibilities, inadequate coordination, and weak linkages among the cross-scale institutions resulted in ineffective management and relatively poor performance. Institutions with direct or indirect involvement in the process of managing medicinal plants interacted haphazardly, without much focus on the subsector and its local producers. Addressing the weaknesses, this study calls for formulating a national sub-sectoral approach focusing on strengthening and sustaining local producers and value addition to producer levels. Finally, this research offers a framework for developing a multi-stakeholder forum to govern medicinal plant resources coherently and effectively in Bangladesh.
Abstract: Despite recent efforts to record wind at finer spatial and temporal scales, stochastic realizations of wind are still important for many purposes and particularly for wind energy grid integration and reliability studies. Most instances of wind generation in the literature focus on simulating only wind speed, or power, or only the wind vector at a particular location and sampling frequency. In this work, we introduce a Markov-switching vector autoregressive (MSVAR) model, and we demonstrate its flexibility in simulating wind vectors for 10-min, hourly and daily time series and for individual, locally-averaged and regionally-averaged time series. In addition, we demonstrate how the model can be used to simulate wind vectors at multiple locations simultaneously for an hourly time step. The parameter estimation and simulation algorithm are presented along with a validation of the important statistical properties of each simulation scenario. We find the MSVAR to be very flexible in characterizing a wide range of properties in the wind vector, and we conclude with a discussion of extensions of this model and modeling choices that may be investigated for further improvements.
Abstract: In this paper, the contrasting theories of metabolic rift and ecological modernization theory (EMT) are applied to the same empirical phenomenon. Metabolic rift argues that the natural metabolic relationship between humans and nature has been fractured through modernization, industrialization and urbanization. EMT, in contrast, argues that societies in an advanced state of industrialization adopt ecologically benign production technologies and political policies, suggesting that modern societies could be on course to alleviate the ecological damage caused by capitalism. These two theories are fundamentally different in their assumptions about modern economies and technologies, yet both can be used as a theoretical lens to examine the phenomenon of solar energy technology adoption. Furthermore, both theories shed light on the increasing adoption of solar energy technologies in both “developing” and “developed” regions and the potential social conditions for promoting renewable energy technology adoption.
Abstract: Many countries have started to develop policy programs for the sustainable use of natural resources. Indicators and targets can cover both a territorial and a life-cycle-wide global perspective. This article focuses on how a safe operating space for global material resource use can be outlined based on existing economy-wide material flow indicators. It reflects on issues such as scale and systems perspective, as the choice of indicators determines the target “valves” of the socio-industrial metabolism. It considers environmental pressures and social aspects of safe and fair resource use. Existing proposals for resource consumption targets are reviewed, partially revisited, and taken as a basis to outline potential target values for a safe operating space for the extraction and use of minerals and biomass by final consumption. A potential sustainability corridor is derived with the Total Material Consumption of abiotic resources ranging from 6 to 12 t/person, the Total Material Consumption of biotic resources not exceeding 2 t/person, and the Raw Material Consumption of used biotic and abiotic materials ranging from 3 to 6 t/person until 2050. For policy, a “10-2-5 target triplet” can provide orientation, when the three indicators are assigned values of 10, 2, and 5 t/person, respectively.
Abstract: The waste hierarchy currently dominates waste management planning in Australia. It is effective in helping planners consider options from waste avoidance or “reduction” through to providing infrastructure for landfill or other “disposal”. However, it is inadequate for guiding context-specific decisions regarding sustainable waste management and resource recovery, including the ability for stakeholders to compare a range of options on an equal footing whilst considering their various sustainability impacts and trade-offs. This paper outlines the potential use of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) as a decision-making approach for the urban waste sector, illustrated using an Australian case study. IRP is well established in both the water and energy sectors in Australia and internationally. It has been used in long-term planning enabling decision-makers to consider the potential to reduce resource use through efficiency alongside options for new infrastructure. Its use in the waste sector could address a number of the current limitations experienced by providing a broader context-sensitive, adaptive, and stakeholder focused approach to planning not present in the waste hierarchy and commonly used cost benefit analysis. For both efficiency and new infrastructure options IRP could be useful in assisting governments to make decisions that are consistent with agreed objectives while addressing costs of alternative options and uncertainty regarding their environmental and social impacts. This paper highlights various international waste planning approaches, differences between the sectors where IRP has been used and gives a worked example of how IRP could be applied in the Australian urban waste sector.