Special Issue "Challenges in Alternative Energy"


A special issue of Challenges (ISSN 2078-1547).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Daniel M. Kammen
Energy and Resources Group (ERG), 310 Barrows Hall, University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-3050, USA
Website: http://kammen.berkeley.edu
E-Mail: kammen@berkeley.edu
Phone: +1 510 642 1640
Fax: +1 510 642 1085
Interests: renewable energy; innovation; energy policy climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alternate, or renewable energy science, engineering, deployment and policy are both dramatically changing globally, and in many regions scaling up significantly. At the same time, equally dramatic changes in other energy sectors -- including conventional and unconventional natural gas, the coal sector, nuclear energy -- are resetting the baseline energy cost and supply landscape. Questions of distributed versus centralized energy systems, evolving requirements for low-carbon energy, and the interactions of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and fossil energy systems, as well as the future of transmission and distribution, energy storage all impact the costs, benefits, and opportunities for alternate energy in the coming years and decades. Further, changes in hydropower availability due to other demands for water and due to climate change all impact the environment for alternate energy deployment. This special issue will provide a forum for the exploration of all of these issues, as well as the emerging systems science of the integration of both alternative, nuclear, and fossil-fuel energy systems.

Prof. Dr. Daniel M. Kammen
Guest Editor


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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Challenges is an international peer-reviewed Open Access biannual journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • alternate and renewable energy
  • energy science
  • innovation
  • climate change

Published Papers (5 papers)

Challenges 2014, 5(1), 100-111; doi:10.3390/challe5010100
Received: 25 July 2013; in revised form: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Challenges 2014, 5(1), 1-25; doi:10.3390/challe5010001
Received: 25 October 2013; in revised form: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (5045 KB) | Supplementary Files

Challenges 2013, 4(2), 217-233; doi:10.3390/challe4020217
Received: 2 August 2013; in revised form: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files

Challenges 2013, 4(2), 201-216; doi:10.3390/challe4020201
Received: 7 July 2013; in revised form: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
abstract graphic

Challenges 2013, 4(1), 116-135; doi:10.3390/challe4010116
Received: 27 March 2013; in revised form: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 13 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (753 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Biomass Incineration: Dirty, Expensive, and Not Sustainable
Author: Kristin Shrader-Frechette 1,2
Affiliation: 1. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 100 Galvin Life Sciences Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA; E-Mail: Kristin.Shrader-Frechette.1@nd.edu
2. Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 100 Malloy Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
Abstract: Those who claim biomass incineration is a clean, inexpensive, or sustainable energy technology are wrong, at least in the case of biofuels like Miscanthus. This paper argues for 5 main claims. (1) Burning biofuel crops like Miscanthus is far more hazardous to health than burning coal because of ultrafine-particulate pollution. (2) It is uneconomical partly because it is much cheaper for farmers to grow crops like soybeans. Also, (3) given climate-change-induced drought conditions, such crops often require irrigation, making biomass even less cost-effective. (4) Given the preceding problems, current biomass subsidies for crops like Miscanthus is neither economical nor ethical. (5) Wind and solar-photovoltaic are preferable to biomass energy both because they are cheaper and because they require no incineration and its dirty by-products.

Last update: 23 May 2013

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