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Next-Generation Clean Technologies for Low-Carbon Economy Transition

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 7 November 2024 | Viewed by 1123

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, Teesside University, Unit 7 Ferrous Road, TeesAMP, Middlesbrough TS2 1DJ, UK
Interests: direct air capture; carbon capture and utilisation; hydrogen production; small nuclear reactors; synthetic fuels and chemicals; process design; techno-economic assessment; life cycle assessment; machine learning

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Guest Editor
Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS2 1DJ, UK
Interests: renewable energy; carbon capture and storage; concentrating solar power; biomass and waste; carbon; climate and risk
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transition to a low-carbon economy is imperative to avoid the impacts of climate change and meet emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement. However, net zero transition entails a monumental shift away from fossil fuels across all sectors of society and the economy. Next-generation clean energy technologies will play a central role in enabling this transition in a cost-effective and socially inclusive manner. This Special Issue seeks contributions that highlight cutting-edge research and innovation in key low-carbon technology areas including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, renewables, smart grids, digitalization, and beyond.

A core focus is on examining these emerging technologies from a systemic perspective, considering integration challenges, economic feasibility, and social dimensions that will shape their widespread adoption and impact. Contributions that analyse next-generation technologies in the broader context of full-scale decarbonization of energy, industry, buildings, and transportation are strongly encouraged. Furthermore, research that addresses linkages between technological innovation and the policies, regulations, incentives, and public engagement needed to support deployment at scale is within this Special Issue’s scope.

Rapid advancements in digital technologies, data science, artificial intelligence, and advanced manufacturing present new opportunities to manage highly complex and distributed clean energy systems. At the same time, insights from the social sciences and humanities help ensure equity, ethics, and justice in the low-carbon transition. This Special Issue provides an interdisciplinary forum to assess the latest innovations that can accelerate affordable decarbonization across all sectors of the economy. The next wave of clean energy technologies promises a future of sustainable and shared prosperity compatible with planetary boundaries. However, realising this potential will require both technical excellence and cooperative efforts between researchers, industry, government, and civil society. Contributions that reflect this holistic perspective are welcomed.

We welcome original research articles and reviews on technologies including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)—novel approaches to CO2 capture, conversion of CO2 to value-added products, integration of CCUS with industrial processes.
  • Hydrogen—production, storage, distribution, and utilization of clean hydrogen across energy, transport, and industrial sectors.
  • Nuclear—novel nuclear reactors, including small and micro modular reactors, and their integration with industrial processes.
  • Renewable energy—improvements in renewable power generation from solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and other renewables. Integration of high shares of renewables through smart grids, storage, and sector coupling.
  • Digitalization—leveraging big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and other emerging digital technologies to enable optimal management and coordination of low-carbon energy systems.
  • Social perspectives—research into consumer behaviour, policy, environmental justice and just transition considerations to gain public acceptance and enable an equitable transition.
  • Policy and market design—effective policy mechanisms, market reforms, incentives, and regulations to accelerate the development and adoption of low-carbon technologies.

Cutting-edge studies focusing on next-generation technology improvements as well as their integration into wider low-carbon energy systems are within the scope of this Special Issue. Contributions employing technical, economic, social, environmental and policy perspectives to advance low-carbon technologies are encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Dawid P. Hanak
Prof. Dr. Kumar Patchigolla
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.


  • net-zero transition
  • low-carbon technologies
  • just transition
  • carbon capture and utilization
  • CCUS
  • hydrogen
  • renewable energy sources
  • nuclear energy
  • net zero

Published Papers (1 paper)

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28 pages, 3752 KiB  
Integration of Chemical Looping Combustion in the Graz Power Cycle
by Carlos Arnaiz del Pozo, Susana Sánchez-Orgaz, Alberto Navarro-Calvo, Ángel Jiménez Álvaro and Schalk Cloete
Energies 2024, 17(10), 2334; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17102334 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 755
Effective decarbonization of the power generation sector requires a multi-pronged approach, including the implementation of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies. The Graz cycle features oxy-combustion CO2 capture in a power production scheme which can result in higher thermal efficiencies than [...] Read more.
Effective decarbonization of the power generation sector requires a multi-pronged approach, including the implementation of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies. The Graz cycle features oxy-combustion CO2 capture in a power production scheme which can result in higher thermal efficiencies than that of a combined cycle. However, the auxiliary consumption required by the air separation unit to provide pure O2 results in a significant energy penalty relative to an unabated plant. In order to mitigate this penalty, the present study explores the possibility of chemical looping combustion (CLC) as an alternative means to supply oxygen for conversion of the fuel. For a midscale power plant, despite reducing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) by approximately 12.6% at a CO2 tax of EUR 100/ton and a natural gas price of EUR 6.5/GJ and eliminating the energy penalty of CCS relative to an unabated combined cycle, the cost reductions of CLC in the Graz cycle were not compelling relative to commercially available post-combustion CO2 capture with amines. Although the central assumptions yielded a 3% lower cost for the Graz-CLC cycle, an uncertainty quantification study revealed an 85.3% overlap in the interquartile LCOE range with that of the amine benchmark, indicating that the potential economic benefit is small compared to the uncertainty of the assessment. Thus, this study indicates that the potential of CLC in gas-fired power production is limited, even when considering highly efficient advanced configurations like the Graz cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Clean Technologies for Low-Carbon Economy Transition)
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