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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 12 (December 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The demand for nitrogen as fertilizer grows. Nitrogen-based fertilizers are produced with the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessTechnical Note Day-Ahead Forecasting of Hourly Photovoltaic Power Based on Robust Multilayer Perception
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124863
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) modules convert renewable and sustainable solar energy into electricity. However, the uncertainty of PV power production brings challenges for the grid operation. To facilitate the management and scheduling of PV power plants, forecasting is an essential technique. In this paper, a [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) modules convert renewable and sustainable solar energy into electricity. However, the uncertainty of PV power production brings challenges for the grid operation. To facilitate the management and scheduling of PV power plants, forecasting is an essential technique. In this paper, a robust multilayer perception (MLP) neural network was developed for day-ahead forecasting of hourly PV power. A generic MLP is usually trained by minimizing the mean squared loss. The mean squared error is sensitive to a few particularly large errors that can lead to a poor estimator. To tackle the problem, the pseudo-Huber loss function, which combines the best properties of squared loss and absolute loss, was adopted in this paper. The effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method was verified by benchmarking against a generic MLP network with real PV data. Numerical experiments illustrated that the proposed method performed better than the generic MLP network in terms of root mean squared error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems: From Primary to End-Use)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Shared-Mobility Services to Accomplish Emergency Evacuation in Urban Areas via Reduction in Intermediate Trips—Case Study in Xi’an, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124862
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Under no-notice evacuation scenarios with limited time horizons, the effectiveness of evacuation can be negatively impacted by intermediate trips that are made by family members and the identification of vulnerable populations. The emergence of shared-mobility companies, such as Uber and DiDi, can be [...] Read more.
Under no-notice evacuation scenarios with limited time horizons, the effectiveness of evacuation can be negatively impacted by intermediate trips that are made by family members and the identification of vulnerable populations. The emergence of shared-mobility companies, such as Uber and DiDi, can be considered as a potential means to address above-mentioned concerns. The proposed study explores the utility of shared-mobility services under emergency-evacuation scenarios and makes recommendations to relevant bodies that are based on the obtained and they are discussed herein. The study investigates attitudes of the public, experts, and drivers towards the use of shared-mobility resources during emergency evacuations based on a stated preference survey. Results of questionnaires, driver interviews, and face-to-face expert interviews have been analyzed to validate the feasibility and identify potential problems of leveraging shared-mobility services during evacuation response, especially in metropolitan areas wherein such services are already ubiquitous. Numerical simulations have been performed to quantify potential improvements in the total trip distance and number of evacuees after incorporating the use of shared mobility into emergency-response operations. However, despite the observed improvement in emergency efficiency, certain realistic roadblocks must be overcome. Realization of the proposed objective heavily depends on actionable policy recommendations, provided herein as a reference for the government, emergency management agencies, and shared-mobility companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Leisure and Tourism on the Elderly’s Quality of Life in Intimacy: A Comparative Study in Japan
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124861
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Highly social activities like leisure and tourism are considered to have positive effects on the elderly’s mental health. Taking Japan as a case study, this research aims to clarify how leisure and tourism contribute to the elderly’s quality of life (QOL) in the [...] Read more.
Highly social activities like leisure and tourism are considered to have positive effects on the elderly’s mental health. Taking Japan as a case study, this research aims to clarify how leisure and tourism contribute to the elderly’s quality of life (QOL) in the domains of leisure and intimacy by comparing populated and depopulated areas. Such research has strong implications for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through healthy aging, but relevant efforts are quite limited. In this study, leisure and tourism behaviors are captured by visit frequency, travel party and expenditure. Quality of life is measured by happiness and life satisfaction in different life domains, in line with the life-oriented approach. Data were collected in 2014 via a nationwide online survey in Japan. Applying a structural equation model (SEM) approach, it is found that leisure behavior contributes to maintaining the elderly’s QOL in leisure life and intimacy domains. Tourism behavior only contributes to QOL in populated areas. Leisure activities strongly enhance QOL in terms of intimacy and improve the neighborhood relationship of the elderly in depopulated areas and family life in populated areas. Enriching daily leisure activities for the elderly would improve their intimate relationships in depopulated areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Nexus Concept Integrating Energy and Resource Efficiency for Policy Assessments: A Comparative Approach from Three Cases
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124860
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
As the world increasingly runs up against physical constraints of energy, land, water, and food, there is a growing role for policy to reduce environmental pressures without adversely affecting increases in prosperity. There is therefore a need for policy makers to understand the [...] Read more.
As the world increasingly runs up against physical constraints of energy, land, water, and food, there is a growing role for policy to reduce environmental pressures without adversely affecting increases in prosperity. There is therefore a need for policy makers to understand the potential trade-offs and/or synergies between the uses of these different resources, i.e., to encompass the water–energy–food–land nexus for policy and decision making, where it is no longer possible to ignore the limitations in land availability and its links to other natural resources. This paper proposes a modelling approach to help to assess various policies from a nexus perspective. The global macro-econometric model (E3ME) explores a low-carbon transition through different sets of energy and climate policies applied at different spatial scales. The limitations of the E3ME model in assessing nexus interactions are discussed. The paper also argues and offers an explanation for why no single traditional or classic model has the potential to cover all parts of the nexus in a satisfactory way, including feedback loops and interactions between nexus components. Other approaches and methodologies suitable for complexity science modelling (e.g., system dynamics modelling) are proposed, providing a possible means to capture the holistic approach of the nexus in policy-making by including causal and feedback loops to the model components. Based on three case studies in Europe, the paper clarifies the different steps (from policy design towards conceptual model) in modelling the nexus linkages and interactions at the national and regional levels. One case study (The Netherlands) considers national low-carbon transitions at national level. Two other case studies (Latvia and southwest UK) focus on how renewable energy may impact the nexus. A framework is proposed for the generic application of quantitative modelling approaches to assess nexus linkages. The value of the nexus concept for the efficient use of resources is demonstrated, and recommendations for policies supporting the nexus are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems: From Primary to End-Use)
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Open AccessArticle Landscape Patterns Affect Precipitation Differing across Sub-climatic Regions
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124859
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Assessment of the impacts of landscape patterns on regional precipitation will help improve ecosystem management and strategies for adaption to global changes. This study aimed to identify the key landscape metrics that affect precipitation across three sub-climatic regions in Inner Mongolia, China, using [...] Read more.
Assessment of the impacts of landscape patterns on regional precipitation will help improve ecosystem management and strategies for adaption to global changes. This study aimed to identify the key landscape metrics that affect precipitation across three sub-climatic regions in Inner Mongolia, China, using 266 landscape metrics and daily precipitation data from 38 weather stations for 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2015. Pearson correlation, stepwise linear regression, and Redundancy analysis were used to identify the contributions of landscape patterns to local precipitation in each sub-climatic region. Three-year datasets were used for model development and a one-year data set was used for validation. It was found that the contribution of landscape patterns is higher than that of climatic variations in semi-arid or humid regions. The Core Area Coefficient of Variance (CACoV) of grasslands and Landscape Area (TLA) in non-irrigated croplands have a negative relationship with precipitation in arid regions. Further, the Total Core Area Index (TCAI) of grasslands has a negative correlation with precipitation, while the area proportion (C%LAND) in waters has a significant positive relationship with precipitation in semi-arid regions. Additionally, the Mean Core Area (MCA), Core Area (CA), and Core Area Standard Deviation (CASD) of grasslands and Total Core Area Index (TCAI) of waters are negatively related to precipitation in humid regions. Suitable land use configuration and composition, especially the proportion of grasslands and waters, should be considered in ecosystem management for alleviating the possible harmful effects due to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Broadcasting Winter Wheat Can Increase Grain Yield without Reducing the Kernels per Spike and the Kernel Weight
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124858
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
In North China, row spacing is the most common planting pattern used for winter wheat. Currently, there are three sowing and tillage methods for row spacing: rotary tillage sowing with straw return (RTS), subsoil tillage sowing with straw return (DTS), and no-tillage sowing [...] Read more.
In North China, row spacing is the most common planting pattern used for winter wheat. Currently, there are three sowing and tillage methods for row spacing: rotary tillage sowing with straw return (RTS), subsoil tillage sowing with straw return (DTS), and no-tillage sowing with straw return (NTS). Recently, Hao proposed a new sowing pattern called uniform broadcast sowing with straw return (BSS) which could increase winter wheat yield. In this research, a field experiment was conducted during the growing seasons in 2011–2012 and 2012–2013. The winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) variety Jimai 22 was sowed with the four seeding and tillage methods—RTS, DTS, NTS, and BSS—at the China Agriculture University Wuqiao experimental station in the North China Plain. After tillage sowing and determining the sowing efficiency, the effective cover ratio of the seeds was measured, and the emergence ratio was calculated after emergence. In the two growing seasons, the growth and development stages were recorded. The dry matter accumulation (DMA), the yield, and the yield components (spikes per hectare, kernels per spike, and kernel weight) were also determined. We also measured the canopy structure leaf area index (LAI) and the stand uniformity. The results showed that BSS had the lowest emergence rate and lowest plant stands when compared with the other treatments. However, BSS had the highest grain yield at 7599.0 kg·ha−1 and 9763.3 kg·ha−1, which was 11.55, 16.17, 20.16% and 13.01, 15.68, 21.88% higher than DTS, RTS, and NTS in the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 growing seasons, respectively. The improved grain yield of BSS was due to the increased productive tillers per hectometer-squared, which was attributed to the higher stand uniformity. More importantly, the increased tillers per hectare and grain yield were not accompanied by a reduction in grain number per spike or grain weight. The stand uniformity could facilitate canopy construction and population architecture and result in more even sunlight distribution, increased leaf area index (LAI) and sunlight interception, and enhanced photosynthetic activity. The stand uniformity also could increase both the pre-anthesis and post-anthesis DMA and promote the harvest index (HI). This study indicates that BSS is the most suitable sowing method for winter wheat production in North China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Review of the Transit Accessibility Concept: A Case Study of Richmond, Virginia
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124857
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
This study reviews the transit accessibility concept and describes its empirical application in Richmond, Virginia, USA. The transit accessibility concept involves multiple components. Each component has several measures; the selection of which measure to use depends on unique local circumstances. Geographic Information Systems [...] Read more.
This study reviews the transit accessibility concept and describes its empirical application in Richmond, Virginia, USA. The transit accessibility concept involves multiple components. Each component has several measures; the selection of which measure to use depends on unique local circumstances. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical tools are utilized in this study. It has been found that, although the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) provides a reasonably good transit service inside Richmond City, its existing hub-and-spoke transit system is not aligned well with new and complex travel patterns (including suburb-to-suburb travel patterns), and thus needs to be restructured in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Land Use and Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Heating and Cooling Performance of Office Buildings with a-Si BIPV Windows Considering Operating Conditions in Temperate Climates: The Case of Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124856
Received: 18 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
This study analyzed the heating and cooling performance of an office building in Daegu, Korea, equipped with amorphous-Si (a-Si) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows. EnergyPlus was used to simulate and compare the heating and cooling loads of models for clear glass double-layer, heat-absorbing glass [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the heating and cooling performance of an office building in Daegu, Korea, equipped with amorphous-Si (a-Si) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows. EnergyPlus was used to simulate and compare the heating and cooling loads of models for clear glass double-layer, heat-absorbing glass double-layer, and low-emissivity (low-e) glass double-layer windows. In addition, the impact of changes in building operation time, temperature settings, air infiltration from the entrances, and internal load were also analyzed as these all have a large impact on heating and cooling loads. Finally, three types of heating and cooling equipment were tested, and their power and primary energy consumption analyzed, to determine the actual energy used. Under baseline conditions, there was an 18.2% reduction in heating and cooling loads when the BIPV model was used compared to when the clear glass double-layer window was used. In addition, increases in temperature settings and air infiltration from the entrances had a negative effect on the reduction of the heating and cooling loads demonstrating a need for intensive management of these features if a-Si BIPV windows are installed in a building. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Battery Recycling Strategy for Electric Vehicle under Government Subsidy in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124855
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Motivated by the increasing environmental concerns about the used electric vehicle batteries in China, an electric vehicle manufacturer’s battery recycling strategy under government subsidy was studied. A consumer utility function was used to capture consumer environmental awareness associated with battery recycling and the [...] Read more.
Motivated by the increasing environmental concerns about the used electric vehicle batteries in China, an electric vehicle manufacturer’s battery recycling strategy under government subsidy was studied. A consumer utility function was used to capture consumer environmental awareness associated with battery recycling and the game-theoretical approach was applied to analyze the interaction between the government and the manufacturer. It was found that, with an exogenous government subsidy, the manufacturer either recycles all the batteries, or it does not recycle any batteries if the impact of the recycling scale on costs is unremarkable; otherwise, the manufacturer recycles some used batteries when the benefit from recycling is moderate. Interestingly, an increased subsidy causes the manufacturer’s battery recycling rate to decrease if the subsidy is sufficiently large. When the government subsidy is endogenously, either full recycling, no recycling, or partial recycling can still arise. The optimal battery recycling rate and social welfare are lower in a non-cooperative game than in a cooperative game if the benefit from recycling is relatively low. The main findings were numerically justified with realistic subsidy data in China. The numerical results indicate: (1) the optimal battery recycling rate locates in a closed interval from 0 to 1 given an exogenous or an endogenous government subsidy, and it decreases with the subsidy when the subsidy is not less than 50% of the production cost of electric vehicle; (2) the social welfare first increases to a maximum value and then decreases as the subsidy increases; and (3) the optimal battery recycling rate increases significantly and the social welfare is improved when there is cooperation between the government and the manufacturer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chains with Behavioral Concerns)
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Open AccessArticle Utilization of CFBC Fly Ash as a Binder to Produce In-Furnace Desulfurization Sorbent
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124854
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) power generation technology is known to efficiently reduce the emission of air pollutants, such as SO2 and NO2, from coal combustion. however, CFBC coal ash contains high contents of free CaO, making it difficult to [...] Read more.
Circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) power generation technology is known to efficiently reduce the emission of air pollutants, such as SO2 and NO2, from coal combustion. however, CFBC coal ash contains high contents of free CaO, making it difficult to recycle. This research has been conducted to find ways to use the self-hardening property of CFBC coal ash, one of its inherent characteristics. As part of these efforts, the present study intended to investigate the properties and desulfurization efficiency of Ca-based desulfurization sorbents using CFBC fly-ash as a binder. Limestone powder was mixed with CFBC fly-ash and Ca(OH)2 to fabricate desulfurization sorbents, and it generated hydrate of cement, including portlandite, ettringite, and calcium silicate, etc. The compressive strength of the desulfurization absorbent prepared by CFBC fly ash and Ca(OH)2 was 72–92% that of the desulfurized absorbent prepared by using general cement as a binder. These absorbents were then compared in terms of desulfurization efficiency using a high-temperature fluidized bed reactor. It was confirmed that the desulfurization absorbents fabricated using CFBC fly-ash as a binder achieved the best performance in terms of absorption time, which reflects the time taken for them to remove over 90% of high-concentration SO2 gas, and the conversion ratio, which refers to the ratio of CaO turning into CaSO4. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tourist Mobility at the Destination Toward Protected Areas: The Case-Study of Extremadura
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124853
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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The use of natural protected areas has been analyzed abundantly in the relevant literature, although on many occasions these areas are studied from the viewpoint of their role as a tourist destination in themselves, while neglecting their role as a tourist attraction that [...] Read more.
The use of natural protected areas has been analyzed abundantly in the relevant literature, although on many occasions these areas are studied from the viewpoint of their role as a tourist destination in themselves, while neglecting their role as a tourist attraction that can be visited from the main destination of their stay. In certain specific areas, as in the case of Extremadura, protected areas are often a complementary destination for visitors who are staying in popular tourist hubs. This study is based on data from 4 different spaces (with different degrees in their status as protected areas) about the flow of tourists they generate at the destination. In light of the data, this paper identifies the 41 towns and villages with the most tourists, later to determine their mobility towards natural protected areas. Information was collected from almost 14,000 surveys that were filled at 52 tourist offices. This information allowed us to map the flow of tourists from their places of stay to the protected areas analyzed here, which resulted in the mapping of relevant networks by means of a Geographic Information System following the criterion of shortest path available. The results here clearly demonstrate that each area has a varying capacity to attract visitors, although in a large proportion of cases, the 60-min isochrone is a boundary beyond which the number of visitors drops significantly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on the Timely Adjustment of the Grazing Prohibition Policy: Ban or Lift? Empirical Research from Local Government Managers
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124852
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
As national policy implementers and regional development planners, local government managers have a clearer, more objective and comprehensive understanding of ecological changes than herdsmen. Thus, they have a significant impact on the sustainable development of grassland resources and agricultural and pastoral areas. In [...] Read more.
As national policy implementers and regional development planners, local government managers have a clearer, more objective and comprehensive understanding of ecological changes than herdsmen. Thus, they have a significant impact on the sustainable development of grassland resources and agricultural and pastoral areas. In this paper, grassland ecological change and related factors in different stages were investigated by means of questionnaires and structured interviews, and the adjustment strategies of grazing prohibition policy were studied. The perception of local government managers was that there was an improvement in grassland ecology, coverage, quality, yield, and in species richness in the early grazing prohibition period. There was, furthermore, an obvious improvement in the intermediate stage and a significant improvement with some degradation in its current stage. The grazing prohibition policy urgently needs to be adjusted according to the management pattern and to the limited time and space. It is necessary to improve the standard of ecological compensation and bolster herdsmen livelihoods, diversification, and non-agriculturalization. Based on the non-equilibrium theory and polycentric governance, the multi-central grassland governance and control system should be created in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessComment Comment on: “A Bibliometric Analysis and Visualization of Medical Big Data Research” Sustainability 2018, 10, 166
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124851
Received: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Liao et al. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Digital Technologies Towards Resource Efficiency in the Agrifood Sector: Key Challenges in Developing Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124850
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Resource efficiency in the agri-food sector is a global urgent issue considering the urbanisation phenomena, the increased nutritional needs, and the emergence of diversified dietary norms. Despite the ongoing progress in digital technologies that could enable resource-efficient operations in the sector, their effectiveness—even [...] Read more.
Resource efficiency in the agri-food sector is a global urgent issue considering the urbanisation phenomena, the increased nutritional needs, and the emergence of diversified dietary norms. Despite the ongoing progress in digital technologies that could enable resource-efficient operations in the sector, their effectiveness—even in developed countries—remains debateable mainly due to the limited understanding that further impedes their adoption by farmers. Among others, ease of access, training, and engagement with digital technologies appears to be challenging for most stakeholders, especially during the production (farming) stage. Specifically, in developing countries, that often encounter major natural resources challenges, the diverse socio-cultural background of the farmers hinders the adoption of digital technologies to perform highly automated and efficient agricultural operations for ensuring sustainability output. In this regard, we explore publicly available data sources (i.e., institutional reports, databases) to identify key challenges in adopting digital technologies for efficient resource use from a systems-level perspective. Thereafter, we map the determinant factors using the System Dynamics methodology in order to identify areas of interventions to limit natural resources’ appropriation and support agri-food sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preserving Ecosystem Services via Sustainable Agro-Food Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Government Social Media: A Multi-Analytic Approach to Predict Citizens’ Mobile Government Microblog Continuance
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124849
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Attracting citizens and facilitating their continued usage is critical for the sustainable development of mobile government microblog services. Drawing on the stimulus–organism–response (SOR) framework and the literature related to perceived value, this study investigates the factors that affect citizens’ continuance intention vis-a-vis mobile [...] Read more.
Attracting citizens and facilitating their continued usage is critical for the sustainable development of mobile government microblog services. Drawing on the stimulus–organism–response (SOR) framework and the literature related to perceived value, this study investigates the factors that affect citizens’ continuance intention vis-a-vis mobile government microblogs from a value-based perspective. A structural equation modeling (SEM)-neural network combined method was used to test the proposed model by using data collected from 301 mobile government microblog users in China. The SEM analysis shows that social influence, perceived interactivity, and perceived mobility positively affect citizens’ utilitarian value and hedonic value, which further affects their continuance intention. The significant factors obtained from the SEM are used as input for a neural network analysis to calculate their relative impacts. The results of the neural network analysis showed that perceived mobility is the most important factor influencing utilitarian value, while social influence is the most significant factor affecting hedonic value. The normalized importance of utilitarian value on continuance behaviors is larger than that of hedonic value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and New Technology Challenges of Sustainable Business)
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Open AccessArticle Intellectual Capital as a Factor of Sustainable Regional Competitiveness
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124848
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable competitive advantage is a widely explored topic at the organizational level. Although, regions care about competitiveness as much as organizations, because it leads to improved welfare and economic performance. However, sustainable regional competitiveness is still an ambiguous concept. On the one hand, [...] Read more.
Sustainable competitive advantage is a widely explored topic at the organizational level. Although, regions care about competitiveness as much as organizations, because it leads to improved welfare and economic performance. However, sustainable regional competitiveness is still an ambiguous concept. On the one hand, it considers long lasting economic growth and on the other hand, it focuses on the sustainability and well-being of upcoming generations. This paper considers both aspects. Intellectual capital, considered to be the foundation for competitive growth, is selected as a basis for the analysis. It is evaluated as a factor involved in regional competitiveness. Sustainable regional competitiveness in this paper is defined based on the World Economic Forum framework, the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index, and the Global Green Economy Index. The aim of the paper is to identify the interlinks between intellectual capital and sustainable regional competitiveness. The paper is based on a literature review and index analysis. The findings show that intellectual capital is involved in almost all factors influencing regional competitiveness and it is even more important for sustainable regional competitiveness. It can be concluded that the interlinks between intellectual capital and sustainable regional competitiveness are strong and inseparable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Gentrification as an Emerging Source of Environmental Research
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124847
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Gentrification is a controversial term that refers to certain changes in neighbourhoods that result in the economic and social transformation of a low-income area into one of higher value, moving or pushing out the old population and businesses. The purpose of this paper [...] Read more.
Gentrification is a controversial term that refers to certain changes in neighbourhoods that result in the economic and social transformation of a low-income area into one of higher value, moving or pushing out the old population and businesses. The purpose of this paper is to highlight a new branch of research in the field of environmental studies. It presents a bibliometric analysis of the gentrification process, scanning the scientific articles published in journals since 1979, from different knowledge areas and analysing the impact factors and the evolution of the term itself. The review of scientific journals uses the Web of Science and Scopus databases for analysing the evolution of papers, the impact factors and references related to this concept. The results show that the literature related to gentrification is increasing at a very high rate, particularly in the fields of environmental science. Since 1987, the number of scientific papers in environmental studies that have focused on this topic have increased at an annual rate of 60.4%, making it a promising subject for researchers. Thus, the article represents a contribution to identify the main trends in gentrification research and environment and, from there, propose future research initiatives. Full article
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Open AccessReview Science Mapping of the Knowledge Base on Sustainable Leadership, 1990–2018
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124846
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The rise of sustainable development as a field of applied research has been observed across a wide range of disciplines. Successful change towards sustainability in organizations and societies requires leadership to provide a vision, set direction, and motivate people to move towards new [...] Read more.
The rise of sustainable development as a field of applied research has been observed across a wide range of disciplines. Successful change towards sustainability in organizations and societies requires leadership to provide a vision, set direction, and motivate people to move towards new goals. Thus, sustainable leadership is emerging as a new domain of study within the field of management. This review of research employed science mapping tools to examine 952 Scopus-indexed documents explicitly concerned with sustainable leadership. The goals of the review were to document the size, growth trajectory, and geographic distribution of this literature, identify key journals, authors, and documents, analyze the intellectual structure of this knowledge base, and highlight emerging topics. The review documented a modest-sized knowledge base of recent vintage, concentrated in Western developed societies but global in scope. Six Schools of Thought were identified within this knowledge base, one of which—Sustainable Leadership—was singled out for attention. As the first bibliometric review of research on sustainable leadership, this review provides a reference for scholars entering this domain, as well as guidance with respect to high value frameworks, foci for future research, and practical implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bibliometric Reviews of Research on Sustainability in Management)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Particle-Related Clogging of Sustainable Concrete Pavements
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124845
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Permeable pavement has been considered an effective low impact development (LID) strategy in attempts to mitigate the environmental impacts of natural surface depletion brought about by urbanization. A concern associated with the pavement’s hydraulic performance is its sensitivity to clogging. This study aims [...] Read more.
Permeable pavement has been considered an effective low impact development (LID) strategy in attempts to mitigate the environmental impacts of natural surface depletion brought about by urbanization. A concern associated with the pavement’s hydraulic performance is its sensitivity to clogging. This study aims to investigate the permeability reduction due to particle-related clogging of pervious concrete (PC), a type of sustainable pavement surface. Permeability tests revealed that the flow within PC samples shows turbulence, and a nonlinear relationship between discharge velocity and hydraulic gradient is necessary to measure the permeability coefficient. Permeability loss due to particle-clogging is influenced by the size of both PC aggregates and clogging particles. Clogging with graded sand particles causes more severe reduction compared to single-sized sands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle China’s Maritime Economic Development: A Review, the Future Trend, and Sustainability Implications
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124844
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
China has experienced unprecedented economic growth and structural change in the past decades. This paper reviews the development of China’s maritime economy for the period of 2002 to 2017. According to official data from China’s government, the total production value of China’s maritime [...] Read more.
China has experienced unprecedented economic growth and structural change in the past decades. This paper reviews the development of China’s maritime economy for the period of 2002 to 2017. According to official data from China’s government, the total production value of China’s maritime economy increased from RMB 1068 billion in 2002 to RMB 7761 billion in 2017, thus contributing to about 10 percent of China’s total gross domestic product. This paper applies four-parameter logistic models to identify the associated trends and predicts the near-future values for the total, primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of China’s maritime economy. It is projected that China’s total maritime economy will reach RMB 8894 billion in 2019. Besides, the growth of China’s maritime economy has been and will be dominated by the growth in the tertiary sector, particularly of China’s coastal tourism and transport industries. Specifically, China’s coastal tourism increased from RMB 147.8 billion in 2002 to RMB 1463.6 billion in 2017. In terms of spatial development, the east and north-east coasts of China experience more rapid maritime economic growth than the south-east coast. The implications for the sustainability of China’s maritime economy are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Imposed Water Deficit after Anthesis for the Improvement of Macronutrients, Quality, Phytochemicals, and Antioxidants in Rice Grain
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124843
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
The control of protein and amylose content is the principal challenge in rice nutrient and quality improvement. In this study, water deficits in 2- and 3-day intervals were imposed on two Japonica cultivars K1 and K3, and an Indica K4 subtype after anthesis [...] Read more.
The control of protein and amylose content is the principal challenge in rice nutrient and quality improvement. In this study, water deficits in 2- and 3-day intervals were imposed on two Japonica cultivars K1 and K3, and an Indica K4 subtype after anthesis to harvest. It was observed that although rice yield was affected, the protein content was increased 6.53–6.63% to 9.93–10.16%. The amylose quantity was reduced significantly from 22.00–22.43% to 16.33–17.56%, while fatty acids in rice grain were not influenced. Total anthocyanins were greatly promoted by 53.1% as compared to the non-treated trials. The antioxidant capacity in rice grain increased up to 59.1% in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and 41.6% in reducing power assays. Findings of this research revealed that the 3-day interval of water deficit imposition was the most effective to improve rice macronutrients and quality, as well as beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants in rice grain. The water control after anthesis to harvest in rice cultivation is beneficial and economical for farmers to improve rice nutrients and quality, thus contributes to the sustainable rice production in many developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Systems)
Open AccessArticle Challenges of Promoting Sustainable Mobility on University Campuses: The Case of Eastern Mediterranean University
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4842; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124842
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Universities have the extraordinary ability to generate awareness regarding all aspects of sustainability in communities. To be successful, they must first adopt and model sustainable concepts within their own campuses. Transportation is one of the most affective sectors on the level of sustainability [...] Read more.
Universities have the extraordinary ability to generate awareness regarding all aspects of sustainability in communities. To be successful, they must first adopt and model sustainable concepts within their own campuses. Transportation is one of the most affective sectors on the level of sustainability on university campuses. In recent decades, numerous universities around the world have begun encouraging usage of active modes of transportation through various strategies. This research has a multi-faceted approach to researching proven strategies, sampling local conditions, and making context-driven recommendations. The literature review outlines the most effective strategies related to Transportation Demand Management (TDM) for promoting usage of active modes of transportation inside university campuses. After that, the condition of existing facilities and strategies as well as commuters’ propensities related to active modes of transportation in the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) campus are evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The results include a set of recommendations and a framework for administrating, implementing, and enhancing a sustainable transportation system thereby increasing the commuter’s use of sustainable active modes of transportation to, from, and within the university campus. Full article
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Open AccessReview Sustainable Forest Management, FLEGT, and REDD+: Exploring Interlinkages to Strengthen Forest Policy Coherence
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4841; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124841
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable forest management (SFM) is a concept that guides forest management and policy globally. Over the past decades, two prominent regimes have emerged at the global level that can strengthen SFM: The European Union’s Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade [...] Read more.
Sustainable forest management (SFM) is a concept that guides forest management and policy globally. Over the past decades, two prominent regimes have emerged at the global level that can strengthen SFM: The European Union’s Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) and the United Nations’ mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). However, the understanding of how FLEGT and REDD+ can interlink with SFM to strengthen forest policy coherence is limited. Enhancing knowledge about interlinkages and synergies is important in view of recent global commitments to strengthen policy coherence. This study employed content analysis of the main global policy documents related to FLEGT and REDD+ to identify (i) the potential contributions of the two regimes to SFM, and (ii) strategies to manage the interlinkages among SFM, FLEGT, and REDD+. The results revealed several potential interlinkages, such as monitoring, reporting, and verification systems, establishing the enabling conditions of SFM, and addressing drivers of forest degradation. However, the interlinkages must be managed if their potential is to be realized. For this, the study proposes three approaches to managing the interlinkages and catalyzing progress toward SFM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Transition to Sustainability in Macro-Universities: The Experience of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4840; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124840
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we assess the challenges of macro-universities to incorporate sustainability as an integral dimension of their activities and institutional development, and as a public higher education institutions that have an important role in sustainable development in the Global South. To this [...] Read more.
In this paper, we assess the challenges of macro-universities to incorporate sustainability as an integral dimension of their activities and institutional development, and as a public higher education institutions that have an important role in sustainable development in the Global South. To this end, we analyzed the efforts oriented towards incorporating sustainability into research and teaching agendas, as well as the campus management activities of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), a university with national presence and a community of more than 420,000 people comprising students, academics and administrative staff. UNAM has historically been one of the most important research and teaching institutions in Latin America. The analysis incorporates quantitative and qualitative data, relying on information sources such as the databases of the University regarding research and teaching, institutional documents and interviews with key actors. This study argues that inter-institutional articulation is a key factor to integrate the increasing sustainable initiatives promoted in the last decade but also one of the main challenges in the consolidation of macro-universities as sustainable universities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Internal Differentiation within the Rural Migrant Population from the Sustainable Urban Development Perspective: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4839; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124839
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Population mobility and attendant issues, especially housing issues, have a major impact on sustainable urban development. In the urbanization process, a number of micro-communities with various social characteristics have come to compose the rural migrant population (RMP), resulting in internal differentiation. This study [...] Read more.
Population mobility and attendant issues, especially housing issues, have a major impact on sustainable urban development. In the urbanization process, a number of micro-communities with various social characteristics have come to compose the rural migrant population (RMP), resulting in internal differentiation. This study aims to reveal the demographic structure of this specific group, and to analyze the effects of the mechanism between population flow trends and sustainable urban development, taking housing demand as a starting point. To this end, a clustering model for mixed-type data based on partitioning around the medoid is proposed, and the linked characteristics and potential laws of the RMP are analyzed, based on the dynamic data of the migrant population in eastern China. To achieve sustainable urban development, the locational preferences and coping strategies of inflowing micro-communities based on city types are demonstrated. The results show that the RMP can be divided into four groups that have strong representativeness and that show significant differences in population structure and housing demand. Super-large and medium-sized cities are the main migration destinations. Several suggestions are proposed, based on these results. Housing security policies should be designed according to the housing demand characteristics and the spatial distribution of different groups. Housing security policies should play a full and positive role in reasonably guiding RMP movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Population and Social Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Population-Based Simulation of Urban Growth: The Italian Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4838; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124838
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Land take is one of the most studied phenomena in land use science. The increased attention to the issue of urban growth from both scientists and decision makers is justified by the dramatic negative effects on land use caused by anthropogenic activities. Within [...] Read more.
Land take is one of the most studied phenomena in land use science. The increased attention to the issue of urban growth from both scientists and decision makers is justified by the dramatic negative effects on land use caused by anthropogenic activities. Within this context, researchers have developed and explored several models to forecast land use changes, some of which establish excellent scenario-based predictions of urban growth. However, there is still a lack of operative and user-friendly tools to be integrated into standard urban planning procedures. This paper explores the features of the recently published model FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation integrated into the GRASSGIS environment, which generates urban growth simulation based on a plethora of driving variables. Specifically, the model was applied to the case study of urbanization in the Italian national territory. Hence, the aim of this work is to analyze the importance of population dynamics within the process of urban growth. A simulation of urban growth up to the year 2035 was performed. Results show that, despite the importance given to demographic aspects when defining urban policies over the last several decades, additional factors need to be considered during planning processes to overcome the housing issues currently experienced in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Physical Environments and the Duration of High Air Temperature: Focusing on Solar Radiation Trapping Effects
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124837
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Urban heat island effects, which are the phenomenon wherein higher ambient air temperatures are measured in cities than in rural areas, have worsened urban thermal environments over the past decades. This study aims to analyze the effects of urban physical environments on the [...] Read more.
Urban heat island effects, which are the phenomenon wherein higher ambient air temperatures are measured in cities than in rural areas, have worsened urban thermal environments over the past decades. This study aims to analyze the effects of urban physical environments on the duration of high air temperature, using climate data collected from 217 Automatic Weather Stations in Seoul, Korea. In order to specify radiation trapping effects, interaction effects between sky view factors (SVF) and albedo values were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. The results indicate that increases in commercial and traffic areas lead to longer durations of high air temperature and that high urban porosity shortens the duration of high air temperature by improving urban ventilation. This study also indicates that the duration of high air temperature has a negative association with SVF; however, an analysis of interaction effects indicates that high-albedo materials diminish the positive effects of high SVF largely because of radiation trapping effects. These findings suggest that urban ventilation paths, high SVF, and materials with an appropriate albedo value play important roles in improving thermal comfort conditions, such as the duration of high air temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Built Environment)
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Open AccessArticle How User-Innovators Pave the Way for a Sustainable Energy Future: A Study among German Energy Enthusiasts
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4836; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124836
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
The existence of user-innovators in the household sector is undeniable. Prior research provided evidence on the vast scope of product developments by household sector users and documented a large set of individual user-innovator characteristics to explain their behavior. What has largely been neglected [...] Read more.
The existence of user-innovators in the household sector is undeniable. Prior research provided evidence on the vast scope of product developments by household sector users and documented a large set of individual user-innovator characteristics to explain their behavior. What has largely been neglected as a potential source of user innovation activities are product- and technology-specific factors. This study aims to fill this gap by identifying and analyzing user-innovators in Germany. On the basis of the results of a large-scale survey on German energy enthusiasts, we find dissatisfaction with existing products and time-consuming implementation as the main drivers of user innovation in our setting. The results show a negative correlation between data security concerns and the likelihood of becoming a user-innovator, pointing towards the maker culture among user-innovators. As an implication of our work, we provide a roadmap for all stakeholders aiming to harness the potential of user-innovators for future open innovation eco-systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Employee Volunteering Meaningfulness and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Exploring the Effects of Organizational Support, Pride, and Trust
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4835; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124835
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
This study examined the mediating effects of organizational pride and trust on the relationship between employee volunteering meaningfulness and organizational citizenship behavior. The study also investigated the moderating effects of perceived organizational support for the relationships between volunteering meaningfulness with organizational pride and [...] Read more.
This study examined the mediating effects of organizational pride and trust on the relationship between employee volunteering meaningfulness and organizational citizenship behavior. The study also investigated the moderating effects of perceived organizational support for the relationships between volunteering meaningfulness with organizational pride and trust. The study was administered in South Korea and sampled 267 full-time employees and found organizational pride and trust mediates the relationship between volunteering meaningfulness and organizational citizenship behavior, while perceived organizational support moderated the relationships between volunteering meaningfulness and organizational pride and trust. In addition, supplementary analysis found mediated moderation suggesting that supportive feelings had indirect effects on citizenship behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Simulation of the Anticipated Effects of the Synchronous Condenser on an Electric-Power Network with Participating Wind Plants
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4834; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124834
Received: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Installing a synchronous condenser (SC) onto an electricity grid can assist in the areas of reactive power needs, short-circuit strength, and, consequently, system inertia and guarantees better dynamic voltage recovery. This paper summarizes the practical potential of the synchronous condenser coordinated in an [...] Read more.
Installing a synchronous condenser (SC) onto an electricity grid can assist in the areas of reactive power needs, short-circuit strength, and, consequently, system inertia and guarantees better dynamic voltage recovery. This paper summarizes the practical potential of the synchronous condenser coordinated in an electric-power network with participating wind plants to supply reactive power compensation and injection of active power at their point of common coupling; it provides a systematic assessment method for simulating and analyzing the anticipated effects of the synchronous condenser on a power network with participating wind plants. A 33-kV power line has been used as a case study. The results indicate that the effect of the adopted synchronous condenser solution model in the MATLAB/Simulink environment provides reactive power, enhances voltage stability, and minimizes power losses, while the wind power plants provide active power support with given practical grid rules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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