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Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "C: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 5650

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Economics, Meijo University, Nagoya Aichi 468-0073, Japan
Interests: environment and energy economy
Dr. Jean-Francois Mercure
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land Economy, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
Interests: theory and modelling
Prof. Dr. Toru Morotomi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
Interests: environmental economics; public finance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Measures to address climate change have shifted course towards achieving an energy transition and a decarbonized economy by the middle of this century. The roadmap toward a decarbonized society, that is carbon neutrality, has begun not only in Europe and America but also in Asian countries such as Japan, China, and Korea. This movement will inevitably stretch to the entire world.

In order to achieve this ambitious target, it is crucial that well-designed decarbonization policies are put in place and that there is coordinated support for an energy transition and transformative decarbonization technologies in various sectors. This suggests that the path to a decarbonized economy by the middle of this century will be challenging, especially considering that approximately 80–85% of the global average primary energy supply is derived from fossil fuels.

Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels to virtually zero over, approximately, the next 30–40 years will require a huge economic investment towards a rapid energy transition. However, recent years have seen the development of and cost reduction in a variety of decarbonization technologies, including renewable energy, EV, and the production of hydrogen , demonstrating how we are already on the road towards a decarbonized economy.

To accelerate the green energy transition and promote efficient energy resources in the world, a range of policy options and joint efforts among the countries will be required, including carbon pricing, energy tax reform, the expansion of transition finance, and support for the development of low-carbon and resource-efficient social infrastructure.

We invite papers to contribute ideas on how to effectively design decarbonization policies and support energy transition and decarbonization technologies towards a sustainable future under three sub-topics: 1) the theory and modeling of the energy transition toward a low carbon (decarbonized) economy; 2) the energy transition and decarbonized technological innovations; and 3) decarbonization policy designs and their impact on the economy.

This Special Issue wishes to promote the discussion and collection of ideas regarding a successful energy transition for the sustainable future of the world.

Prof. Dr. Soocheol Lee
Dr. Jean-Francois Mercure
Prof. Dr. Toru Morotomi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 4477 KiB  
Article
Policy Design for Diffusing Hydrogen Economy and Its Impact on the Japanese Economy for Carbon Neutrality by 2050: Analysis Using the E3ME-FTT Model
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7392; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217392 - 01 Nov 2023
Viewed by 779
Abstract
To achieve carbon neutrality in Japan by 2050, renewable energy needs to be used as the main energy source. Based on the constraints of various renewable energies, the importance of hydrogen cannot be ignored. This study aimed to investigate the diffusion of hydrogen [...] Read more.
To achieve carbon neutrality in Japan by 2050, renewable energy needs to be used as the main energy source. Based on the constraints of various renewable energies, the importance of hydrogen cannot be ignored. This study aimed to investigate the diffusion of hydrogen demand technologies in various sectors and used projections and assumptions to investigate the hydrogen supply side. By performing simulations with the E3ME-FTT model and comparing various policy scenarios with the reference scenario, the economic and environmental impacts of the policy scenarios for hydrogen diffusion were analyzed. Moreover, the impact of realizing carbon neutrality by 2050 on the Japanese economy was evaluated. Our results revealed that large-scale decarbonization via hydrogen diffusion is possible (90% decrease of CO2 emissions in 2050 compared to the reference) without the loss of economic activity. Additionally, investments in new hydrogen-based and other low-carbon technologies in the power sector, freight road transport, and iron and steel industry can improve the gross domestic product (1.6% increase in 2050 compared to the reference), as they invoke economic activity and require additional employment (0.6% increase in 2050 compared to the reference). Most of the employment gains are related to decarbonizing the power sector and scaling up the hydrogen supply sector, while a lot of job losses can be expected in the mining and fossil fuel industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy)
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27 pages, 1068 KiB  
Article
Unlocking Sustainable Commuting: Exploring the Nexus of Macroeconomic Factors, Environmental Impact, and Daily Travel Patterns
Energies 2023, 16(20), 7087; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16207087 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 763
Abstract
This paper examines normality in time series econometrics for a sustainable energy transition. By analysing data from January 1997 to December 2021, this study integrates macroeconomic, environmental, and energy data to gain insights into the potential changes in daily commuting patterns among Slovenians. [...] Read more.
This paper examines normality in time series econometrics for a sustainable energy transition. By analysing data from January 1997 to December 2021, this study integrates macroeconomic, environmental, and energy data to gain insights into the potential changes in daily commuting patterns among Slovenians. Various methods, including unit root tests such as the augmented Dickey–Fuller (ADF), Kwiatkowski–Phillips–Schmidt–Shin (KPSS), and Zivot–Andrews (Z-A), as well as other tests, are employed. Additionally, the vector autoregressive (VAR) model, Granger Causality and regression analysis determine the impact. This paper contributes to uncovering valuable information within data from macrovariables using macroeconometric techniques. It also provides insights that can support evidence-based decision-making for sustainable energy transition policies in Slovenia. The results of the normality tests indicate that most macro variables are integrated; there is a need for a careful analysis of integration levels and appropriate testing methods. These findings have implications for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in economics, the environment, and energy supply. At the same time, this research highlights that gross domestic product, unemployment, inflation, and carbon dioxide positively impact car usage among Slovenians, while gasoline prices and commuters have a negative one. While the recently investigated development of sustainable commuting does not work, the study highlights an innovation: the connection of time series econometrics, which offers a better understanding of future commuting patterns on energy consumption and their causalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy)
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18 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Impact of Carbon Neutrality on the Economy and Industry Assuming Japan’s Achievement of 2030 Power Mix Plan: A 2050 Perspective Based on the E3ME Macro-Econometric Model
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6661; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186661 - 17 Sep 2023
Viewed by 982
Abstract
Japan faces the challenge of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth and energy security. This study aims to analyze the potential impact on Japan’s economy and industries if the country achieves its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, implements a power [...] Read more.
Japan faces the challenge of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth and energy security. This study aims to analyze the potential impact on Japan’s economy and industries if the country achieves its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, implements a power mix plan to meet that target, and simultaneously pursues the Growth Strategy Council’s proposal for a power mix plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The study also investigates an alternative carbon neutrality pathway without nuclear power. The research question is whether these low-carbon policies can lead to both economic growth and decarbonization in Japan. To address this question, the study uses the E3ME-FTT macroeconomic model with endogenous technology diffusion to simulate different policy scenarios and assess their economic and environmental impacts. The results indicate that by 2050, Japan could meet its carbon neutrality target, and at the same time, the GDP could increase by approximately 3% compared with the baseline scenario, with or without nuclear power. This growth is expected to occur in several sectors due to increased demand for decarbonization-related investments and strong private consumption. Additionally, the overall economy is expected to benefit from the increased demand for low-carbon and decarbonization-related investments, reduced costs associated with renewable energy generation, and an improved trade balance resulting from a significant decrease in fossil fuel imports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy)
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18 pages, 2708 KiB  
Article
Decomposition Analysis and Trend Prediction of Energy-Consumption CO2 Emissions in China’s Yangtze River Delta Region
Energies 2023, 16(11), 4510; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16114510 - 03 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
This study calculated CO2 emissions related to the consumption of primary energy by five sectors in the Yangtze River Delta region over 2000 to 2019. The Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition method was used to establish the factor decomposition model of [...] Read more.
This study calculated CO2 emissions related to the consumption of primary energy by five sectors in the Yangtze River Delta region over 2000 to 2019. The Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition method was used to establish the factor decomposition model of CO2 emissions change. The LMDI model was modified to assess the impact of five influencing factors, namely energy structure, energy intensity, industrial structure, economic output, and population size, on CO2 emissions in the Yangtze River Delta region over the study period. The empirical results show that economic output has the largest positive effect on the growth in CO2 emissions. Population size is the second most important factor promoting the growth in CO2 emissions. Energy intensity is the most inhibitory factor to restrain CO2 emissions, with a significant negative effect. Energy structure and industrial structure contribute insignificantly to CO2 emissions. Using data on CO2 emissions in the Yangtze River Delta region from 2000 to 2019, the GM (1, 1) model was applied for future forecasts of primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Specific policy suggestions to mitigate CO2 emissions in Yangtze River Delta region are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy)
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24 pages, 6977 KiB  
Article
Carbon-Neutral Steel Production and Its Impact on the Economies of China, Japan, and Korea: A Simulation with E3ME-FTT:Steel
Energies 2023, 16(11), 4498; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16114498 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
The iron and steel industry is a large emitter of CO2 globally. This is especially true for the iron and steel industries in China, Japan, and Korea due to their production volumes and the prevalence of carbon-based steel production. With few low-carbon [...] Read more.
The iron and steel industry is a large emitter of CO2 globally. This is especially true for the iron and steel industries in China, Japan, and Korea due to their production volumes and the prevalence of carbon-based steel production. With few low-carbon and commercially available alternatives, the iron and steel industry is truly a hard-to-abate sector. Each of the countries of interest have committed to a net-zero future involving the mitigation of emissions from steel production. However, few studies have investigated the means by which to achieve decarbonization beyond the inclusion of price signalling policies (e.g., carbon tax or emission trading schemes). Here, we use E3ME-FTT:Steel to simulate technology diffusion in the ISI under several policy environments and we investigate the likely impacts on the wider economy. The results show that penalizing carbon intensive processes can incentivize a transition towards scrap recycling, but it is relatively unsuccessful in aiding the uptake of low carbon primary steelmaking. A combination of support and penalizing policies can achieve deep decarbonisation (>80% emission reduction compared with the baseline). Mitigating the emissions in the iron and steel industry can lead to economic benefits in terms of GDP (China: +0.8%; Japan: +1.3%; Korea: +0.1%), and employment (Japan: +0.7%; Korea: +0.3%) with China, where job losses in the coal sector would negate job gains elsewhere, as the exception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Transition and Sustainability: Low-Carbon Economy)
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