Sustainability2015, 7(12), 15833-15846; doi:10.3390/su71215789 (registering DOI) - published 27 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Until 2012, most of China’s population lived in rural areas with markedly different patterns of household energy consumption from those in Chinese cities. The studies so far done on residential energy use in rural Chinese households have been limited to questionnaire surveys and panel data analyses. Hardly any studies on energy demand in rural areas have considered both the climatic and economic disparities across Chinese regions. In this study we conduct a systematic analysis of the rural Chinese residential sector on a regional basis. We begin by developing a macro-model to estimate energy service demands up to 2050. Next, we apply the AIM(Asia-Pasific Integrated Model)/Enduse model, a bottom-up cost-minimization model with a detailed mitigation technology database, to estimate the mitigation potential of low-carbon technologies in rural China. Our results show that energy service demand in the rural household sector will continue to increase in regions with growing population or income conditions. However, after 2030, the rural residential energy service demand will start to decline in most Chinese regions. The impacts of efficient technologies will vary from one region to the next due to regional climatic and economic disparities. Throughout all of China, the penetration of efficient technologies can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% to 50%. Of the technologies available, efficient lighting, biomass water heaters, and efficient electronics bring the most benefit when implemented in rural households.
Sustainability2015, 7(12), 15812-15832; doi:10.3390/su71215787 (registering DOI) - published 27 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It is of theoretical and practical significance to understand what factors influence the sustainable development of home healthcare services in China. Based on a face-to-face survey, we find that the location planning, which is decisive for the improvement of patient satisfaction, can effectively reduce the risks, as well as the costs of redundant construction and re-construction of service centers for home healthcare and, thus, helps ensure the sustainability of health and the environment. The purposes of this paper are to investigate the existing problem of home healthcare in Shanghai and to find the optimum location planning scheme under several realistic constraints. By considering differentiated services provided by the medical staff at different levels and the degrees of patient satisfaction, a mixed integer programming model is built to minimize the total medical cost. The IBM ILOGCPLEX is used to solve the above model. Finally, a case study of Putuo district in Shanghai is conducted to validate the proposed model and methodology. Results indicate that the model used in this paper can effectively reduce the total medical cost and enhance the medical sustainability, and therefore, the results of the model can be used as a reference for decision makers on the location planning problem of home healthcare services in China.
Sustainability2015, 7(12), 15794-15811; doi:10.3390/su71215786 (registering DOI) - published 27 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Input–output (IO) analysis is a useful economic method to evaluate the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts associated both directly and indirectly with energy technologies. Using an IO table, this study establishes a scenario analysis framework to evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts arising from future power generation technology mixes. The impact indices selected are employment generation and greenhouse gas emissions. The study adopts a hybrid method for the framework it establishes: a combined bottom-up and IO life cycle inventory analysis approach to reflect the technological differences by power generation technology. Using an IO table for future analysis is limited because the industrial structure is fixed to the IO table benchmark year and it is thus not possible to reflect any potential inter-sector transaction changes that may arise from technological progress. However, the framework is valuable in estimating the future potential impacts that might arise from the current industrial structure and technology level. A case study is conducted using the established framework on the potential impacts of Japan’s future grid mix scenarios. The case study considers the differences in lead-times and durable years per power generation technology to ascertain the continuous and temporary jobs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Sustainability2015, 7(12), 15785-15793; doi:10.3390/su71215785 (registering DOI) - published 26 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: There is rich biodiversity and biomass in wetlands and these areas are important in ecosystems. Assessment of the environment of wetlands is critical in the management of pivotal ecosystems. The energy ecological footprint (EEF) is an improved form of the ecological footprint method based on the theory of energy value. EEF can be a useful tool for comparing and monitoring environmental impacts. EEF was used to investigate a national coastal wetland in Taiwan; i.e., Gaomei Wetlands. We created a wetland ecosystem evaluation model to quantify the EEF, ecological safety of the GaomeiWetlands, and energy ecological carrying capacity to assess the current environmental situation of the area between 2007 and 2013. The research results provide a reference for environmental policy execution, strategy, and planning and suggestions for sustainable development of the Gaomei Wetlands. Our study showed that the per capita ecological carrying capacity of the Gaomei Wetlands experienced fluctuations during the time of the study. However, the per capita EF had substantial growth. The per capita ecological carrying capacity of the Gaomei Wetlands was influenced by the EFs of the fossil energy land, meadows, and croplands.
Sustainability2015, 7(11), 15772-15784; doi:10.3390/su71115772 - published 24 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The theory on the carbon footprint of agriculture can systematically evaluate the carbon emissions caused by artificial factors from the agricultural production process, which is the theoretical basis for constructing low-carbon agriculture and has important guiding significance for realizing low-carbon agriculture. Based on farm production survey data from Jilin Province in 2014, this paper aims to obtain a clear understanding of the carbon footprint of maize production through the following method: (1) one ton of maize production was evaluated systematically by using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); (2) the carbon emissions of the whole system were estimated based on field measurement data, (3) using the emission factors we estimated Jilin’s carbon footprint for the period 2006–2013, and forecasted it for the period from 2014 to 2020 using the grey system model GM (1, 1).
Sustainability2015, 7(11), 15754-15771; doi:10.3390/su71115754 - published 24 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This position paper defines and substantiates the relevance of educational sciences as design elements of socially sustainable development in economics and society. Therefore, a theoretical-normative link of the fields of social sustainability, social justice, and educational sciences is discussed to build a foundation for further concepts that may synergistically address social sustainability and education. Because social sustainability currently seems to be the least addressed dimension of sustainability research and practice, this paper might provide a new impulse in this field. The linkage of the three fields will be accomplished with a hermeneutic-analytical approach, identifying possible interdependencies in the relevant theories and concepts of the disciplines and suggesting necessary modifications. Based on this foundation, a theoretical-normative construct will be designed that describes the link and may be used to deduct practice-related concepts in order to construct related measures.