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Defossilised Energy Supply and Energy Efficiency Measures for Sustainable Rural Development

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 16349

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources Development and Agricultural Engineering, School of Environment and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: renewable energy and environmental technologies’ development and implementation, including applications in agriculture and food processing; water processing powered by renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and wind) and other energy sources; development and application of microgrids; development of systems for power supply based on the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) and on biofuels’ deployment for power production
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Guest Editor
Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Institute for Bio-economy and Agri-technology (iBO), Charilaou-Thermi Rd., 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: energy in agriculture; renewable energy; precision agriculture; conservation agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rural development, including all agricultural activities,  mainly relies on fossil resources for covering energy requirements. Specifically, agricultural productivity in both open-field crop production and controlled environment agricultural constructions is supported to a great extent by fossil energy. High levels of fossil fuel use and the deterioration of natural carbon sinks have been related with the anthropogenic impact causing climate change.

Novel Fossil-Energy-Free Technologies and Strategies (FEFTS) related to more sustainable energy production and use have been developed by industry and research entities. However, these FEFTS have mainly been applied in urban and industrial environments, while in terms of rural applications (especially the agricultural sector), there is still an important gap between such developments and the actual adoption and use of the available tools and practices by the rural population, especially for small and medium producers with limited access to information.

Therefore, this Special Issue is devoted to novel and adapted technical solutions regarding defossilised energy supply and energy efficiency improvement in order to cover the specific needs of rural areas in an environmentally friendly manner, as well as policy recommendations for the fast adoption of FEFTS in these areas, aiming to reduce fossil-derived energy use.

Prof. Dr. Georgios Papadakis
Dr. Thanos Balafoutis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

19 pages, 2709 KiB  
Review
Energy Use in Greenhouses in the EU: A Review Recommending Energy Efficiency Measures and Renewable Energy Sources Adoption
by Bas Paris, Foteini Vandorou, Athanasios T. Balafoutis, Konstantinos Vaiopoulos, George Kyriakarakos, Dimitris Manolakos and George Papadakis
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 5150; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12105150 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6339
Abstract
This study conducts a review of energy use in the EU greenhouse agriculture sector. The studies presented illustrate that energy use in greenhouses is varied and generally dependent on fossil sources. High energy systems, which are more dominant in northern Europe, are generally [...] Read more.
This study conducts a review of energy use in the EU greenhouse agriculture sector. The studies presented illustrate that energy use in greenhouses is varied and generally dependent on fossil sources. High energy systems, which are more dominant in northern Europe, are generally heavily climate controlled and energy use is dominated by heating and cooling processes, while low energy systems, which are dominant in southern Europe, show a mixture of energy uses including heating, cooling, irrigation, lighting, fertilisers, and pesticides. Our review also provides a discussion of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources adoption for greenhouse production. Finally, our review indicates that accurate and reliable studies on energy use in greenhouse production are scarce and fragmented and that a range of differing methodologies are currently used to estimate on-farm energy use. The development of a comprehensive methodology and categorisation for measuring energy use in greenhouse agricultural production would, in our view, catalyse further studies in this sector, considerably improve our understanding of energy use in greenhouses and support the green transition. Based on this, this paper proposes a basic framework for measuring energy use in greenhouse agriculture. Full article
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22 pages, 5200 KiB  
Review
Energy Use in the EU Livestock Sector: A Review Recommending Energy Efficiency Measures and Renewable Energy Sources Adoption
by Bas Paris, Foteini Vandorou, Dimitrios Tyris, Athanasios T. Balafoutis, Konstantinos Vaiopoulos, George Kyriakarakos, Dimitris Manolakos and George Papadakis
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12042142 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 9307
Abstract
This study conducts a review bringing together data from a large number of studies investigating energy use in EU livestock systems. Such a study has not been conducted previously, and improvements in our understanding of energy use concentrations in livestock systems will aid [...] Read more.
This study conducts a review bringing together data from a large number of studies investigating energy use in EU livestock systems. Such a study has not been conducted previously, and improvements in our understanding of energy use concentrations in livestock systems will aid in developing interventions to achieve the EU’s 2030 and 2050 sustainability targets. The results from the Life Cycle Assessments included in this review indicate that energy use is concentrated in feed, housing, and manure management. In most systems, animal feed is the dominant energy use category. Regarding specific livestock categories, the studies covered indicate that energy use requirements range from 2.1 to 5.3 MJ/kg per ECM for cow milk, 59.2 MJ/kg for a suckler cow–calf, and 43.73 MJ/kg for a dairy bull, 15.9 MJ/kg to 22.7 MJ/kg for pork production, 9.6 MJ/kg to 19.1 MJ/kg for broiler production, 20.5–23.5 MJ/kg for chicken egg production. Our review indicates dominance of and dependence on fossil fuel and discusses the situation and research around transitioning towards renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. Our analysis indicates that existing energy use data in livestock systems are fragmented and characterized by multiple methodologies and considerable data gaps. In our view, there is a need for the development of a standardized methodology for measuring energy use in livestock systems, which we consider a necessary step to develop interventions that reduce fossil energy use in livestock systems and its contribution to climatic change. Full article
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