Book cover: Transitioning to Affordable and Clean Energy
Open Access Edited Book

Transitioning to Affordable and Clean Energy

Published: June 2022
Pages: 334
ISBN 978-3-03897-776-6 (hardback); ISBN 978-3-03897-777-3 (PDF)
This book is part of the book series: Transitioning to Sustainability
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Transitioning to Affordable and Clean Energy is a collective volume which combines original contributions and review papers that address the question how the transition to clean and affordable energy can be governed. It will cover both general analyses of the governance of transition, including policy instruments, comparative studies of countries or policies, and papers setting out scientifically sound visions of a clean and just energy system.



In particular, the following aspects are foregrounded:
• Governing the supply and demand side transformation
• Geographical and cultural differences and their consequences for the governance of energy transitions
• Sustainability and justice related to energy transitions (e.g., approaches for addressing energy poverty)

Transitioning to Affordable and Clean Energy is part of MDPI's new Open Access book series Transitioning to Sustainability. With this series, MDPI pursues environmentally and socially relevant research which contributes to efforts toward a sustainable world. Transitioning to Sustainability aims to add to the conversation about regional and global sustainable development according to the 17 SDGs. The book series is intended to reach beyond disciplinary, even academic boundaries. 


energy; energy transitions; sustainability; energy poverty


Published with the generous support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.


  • The Transition towards Affordable Electricity: Tools and Methods

    To decarbonize the electric energy sector, renewable energies are increasingly integrated into the generation mix. The main challenge, apart from the efficiency of renewable energy conversion, is maintaining the reliability of the electric grid, which is responsible for linking electric generators and consumers. To this end, the whole electric power system, covering generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption needs to be planned and operated in a cost-effective as well as reliable manner. The research in this domain has led to the development of tailor-made open-source software tools for electric grid modeling, simulation, and optimization. This chapter discusses the tools MATPOWER, GridLAB-D, MESMO, and URBS, which cater to the integration of renewable energies and other distributed energy resources (DERs) in the electric grid. The key features and applications for each tool are highlighted and compared, with a focus on district-scale electric grids, i.e., electric distribution systems. Furthermore, exemplary results are presented to emphasize suitable applications for each tool, based on a synthetic distribution system test case for Singapore.

  • Clean Energy Transition Challenge: The Contributions of Geology

    The transition from fossil fuel-dominant energy production to so-called carbon-neutral sources has been identified as an important new challenge seeking to address climate change. Climate change, specifically global warming, is presently considered as being intimately related to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, especially those of an anthropogenic origin. The issue of CO2 emissions of an anthropogenic origin from the combustion of fossil fuels remains rather controversial, due to the following main reasons: other greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as methane (CH4) produce a more negative environmental effect than CO2, and natural causes such as the sun and volcanic activities also play an important role. In addition, an important part of CO2 emissions is unrelated to energy production, but concerns other industries such as chemical and cement production. Furthermore, it should be stated that there still exists considerable disagreement in climate models and scenarios used by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A workable and viable strategy towards the production of clean energy must include the capture and storage of CO2 as one of the main targets in the energy and climate binomial strategy, despite facing criticism from some environmental organizations. The contribution of geology is not only related to the need of carbon capture and storage technologies, as already admitted in the Paris Agreement, but also to the exploitation of mineral raw materials essential to build renewable energy equipments, and, ultimately, to the underground energy storage associated to hydrogen energy production.

  • Use of Storage and Renewable Electricity Generation to Reduce Domestic and Transport Carbon Emissions—Whole Life Energy, Carbon and Cost Analysis of Single Dwelling Case Study (UK)

    This case study is a detached dwelling situated in South Wales, UK. It had a 3.6 kWp vertical photovoltaic (PV) system installed in 2014 and a 6.12 kWp roof-mounted PV system installed in 2020, along with a 13.5 kWh electricity storage device, closely followed by an electric vehicle and charger. The impact of these interventions on the reduction in domestic and transport carbon emissions is considered in relation to energy tariffs which encourage the user to shift consumption from high-carbon intensity generation times (generally matching peak consumption in the evening) to low-carbon intensity generation times (overnight). Based on the initial monitored data, the combination of renewable generation, energy storage and swapping to an electric vehicle is likely to avoid 1655.6 kg CO2 per year operational emissions based on the UK electricity grid carbon intensity in 2020.

  • Sustainable Energy Future with Materials for Solar Energy Collection, Conversion, and Storage

    The transition to a sustainable energy future is dependent on a clean and efficient power supply. Solar power is the most attractive source of clean energy because of its abundance and numerous ways of harnessing it. Harvesting solar energy involves the use of a wide range of materials including metal oxides and halide perovskites (HaP) for conversion into hydrogen and electricity via photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting and photovoltaic technologies, respectively. Hematite has emerged as one of the most suitable metal oxide photocatalysts for solar hydrogen production due to its small bandgap (~2.0 eV) and stability in solution. However, the major challenges limiting the use of hematite in PEC water splitting include its low conductivity, poor charge separation, and short charge carrier lifetime. Additionally, HaP solar cells are the fastest emerging photovoltaic technology in terms of power conversion efficiency. However, their instability and toxicity of lead and solvents are major bottlenecks blocking the commercialization of this technology. This chapter reviews the strategies that have been engaged towards overcoming the limitations of using hematite and HaP for direct conversion of solar energy into hydrogen fuels and electricity, respectively. The simultaneous engagement of strategies such as nanostructuring, doping, formation of heterostructures, use of co- catalysts, and plasmonic enhancement effects has shown great promise in improving the photocatalytic water splitting capabilities of hematite. Vapor methods for preparing HaP have the potential for improving their stability and eliminate the use of toxic solvents during fabrication. More research will be required for the eventual commercialization of solar hydrogen production and photovoltaic technologies using hematite and halide perovskites, respectively.

  • Advanced Energy Management Systems and Demand-Side Measures for Buildings towards the Decarbonisation of Our Society

    Electricity supply/demand balancing measures have traditionally been achieved by controlling conventional generation in response to energy demand variations. However, increasing renewable generation can lead to more significant changes on the supply side, requiring a faster balancing response from grid operators. Standard generation units may not have sufficient ramping capabilities to counter high volatility in renewable energy generation. Modern forecasting techniques and advanced control systems can mitigate such challenges and flexible demand resources and demand-side management measures. Among demand-side management measures, demand response has been promoted as a critical mechanism to increase the percentage of renewable energies in the system. The widespread adoption of demand response programs leads to a paradigm shift in the way operators manage the grid. Such changes require a bi-directional communication link and advanced energy management systems that monitor building consumption and operations. Innovations such as building home automation, diffusion of intelligent appliances and energy management system integration are necessary prerequisites to boost the power system’s efficiency while increasing the renewable penetration towards an affordable and clean energy supply. Combining these measures with energy management systems equipped with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms enables electricity end-users to modulate their electricity consumption by dynamically responding to fluctuations in the power generation caused by renewable. The increased capacity of the controllable load through these devices actively contributes to the higher penetration of renewable energy and the decarbonisation of our society.

  • Social Innovation for Energy Transition: Activation of Community Entrepreneurship in Inner Areas of Southern Italy

    Sustainable Development Goal no. 7 of the UN 2030 Agenda refers to changing the route of energy production and consumption to contrast climate change. One way to reach this objective is to foster the development of the renewable energy sector by promoting community entrepreneurship in rural and remote areas endowed with relevant environmental resources and containing important cultural assets. The European Union (EU) legislative framework already formally acknowledges and defines specific types of community energy initiatives that can reinforce positive social norms and support the energy transition. However, there are some concerns regarding the economic feasibility and sustainability of these initiatives in difficult contexts, such as the case of inner areas of Southern Italy, which are affected by progressive abandonment and desertification, and where the recent widespread implementation of large-scale renewable energy plants has occurred without the engagement of the local community. This has led to limited social acceptance of new investment projects in renewable energy. In light of these premises, the aim of this chapter is to propose an operational approach for developing community entrepreneurship where the renewable energy sector will provide the financial flow needed to activate initiatives for the valorization of cultural assets, tourism initiatives and civic revitalization. In this way, the energy transition may represent a unique opportunity to spur economic growth in less developed regions across the EU, capable of exerting a multiplier effect on local development and the social revitalization of local communities.

  • Finnish Forest Industry and Its Role in Mitigating Global Environmental Changes

    The forest industry is an energy-intensive sector that emits approximately 2% of industrial fossil CO2 emissions worldwide. In Finland, the forest industry is a major contributor to wellbeing and has constantly worked on sustainability issues for several decades. The intensity of fossil fuel use has been continuously decreasing within the sector; however, there is still a lot of potential to contribute to the mitigation of environmental change. Considering the ambitious Finnish climate target to reach carbon-neutrality by 2035, the forest industry is aiming for net-zero emissions by switching fossil fuels to bio-based alternatives and reducing energy demand by improving energy efficiency. Modern pulp mills are expanding the traditional concept of pulp mills by introducing the effective combination of multifunctional biorefineries and energy plants. Sustainably sourced wood resources are used to produce not only pulp and paper products but also electricity and heat as well as different types of novel high-value products, such as biofuels, textile fibres, biocomposites, fertilizers, and various cellulose and lignin derivatives. Thus, the forest industry provides a platform to tackle global challenges and substitute greenhouse-gas-intensive materials and fossil fuels with renewable alternatives.

  • Public Transit Challenges in Sparsely Populated Countries: Case Study of the United States

    Countries like Canada and the United States have a relatively low population density. Their population centers are located much further away, making nationwide public transit particularly challenging. As such, individuals travel predominantly via airplane and passenger cars. This results in an inefficient use of resources and pollution. These countries have some of the highest numbers of vehicles per person and per capita emissions in the world. Even public transit within cities is a challenge due to suburbs and urban sprawl. These countries have cities with relatively large areas and higher commute distances and times. These factors have historically been an impediment to widespread adoption of efficient public transit and clean transportation. Electric and hydrogen vehicles have yet to see significant market penetration in large part due to lagging infrastructure. These issues are explored in greater detail, including some of their socioeconomic impacts. Potential solutions and recent developments are also presented.

  • A Systematic Analysis of Bioenergy Potentials for Fuels and Electricity in Turkey: A Bottom-Up Modeling

    Turkey is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that enjoys suitable geography for renewable resources and, simultaneously, suffers from modest domestic fossil fuel reserves. The combination of mentioned factors supports devising new strategies through which renewable resources are not only being used in the power sector but also in industries and transportation. Unfortunately, bioenergy is underplayed in the past despite the country’s potential; nonetheless, this view is transforming rapidly. In this chapter, using a bottom-up optimization model, we analyze bioenergy sources in Turkey and offer a pathway in which renewable resources are utilized to lower future greenhouse gas emissions. Although Turkey is chosen as the case study, the outcomes and recommendations are generic; thus, they can be used by policymakers in other developing countries.

Review Mode

Each chapter in this edited book has been reviewed by the editor/s as well as an external expert who reviewed each chapter of the book and provided an overall review. The opinions expressed in the chapters do not reflect the view of the publisher.

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