Special Issue "BIWAES 2021—Biennial International Workshop Advances in Energy Studies "Empowering Communities, Beyond Energy Scarcity""
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 December 2021) | Viewed by 33971
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2. School of Environment, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China
Interests: life cycle assessment; energy–exergy–emergy; environmental impact assessment; circular economy; urban metabolism and sustainability; food and water security; disparity in access to energy sources; large efforts invested in energy and resource efficiency, prosperous way down, and environmental integrity
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Topical Collection in Energies: Energy-Efficient Chemistry
2. StadtLABOR – Innovation for Urban Sustainability, Griesgasse 40, 8020 Graz, Austria
Interests: energy efficiency and renewable energies for production processes and urban systems; water-energy nexus; life-long learning system in many aspects of sustainability
Interests: environmental impact assessment; environment; sustainability; renewable energy technologies; energy engineering; environmental analysis; environmental management; sustainable development; power generation; environmental pollution
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
This Special Issue refers to the 11th edition of BIWAES, which will take place in parallel to the European Roundtable “Consumption and Production in a plus 1.5°C World”, Graz (Austria), 8. – 10. September 2021, www.erscp2021.eu.
A new energy scarcity
Energy is a fundamental resource for societal and economic metabolisms; not only do we need energy, but we clearly need to address crucial questions about its use (energy to do what? energy from where?) and appropriate management (top-down vs. bottom-up energy policy making). As is well known, a new kind of energy scarcity is occurring, not only due to limited abundance, but increasingly due to environmental constraints and trade-offs, to unequal availability worldwide and market prices.
Achieving sustainable economies and shared wellbeing calls for an urgent re-framing of the energy problem toward a balanced mix of solutions. The latter include technological improvement, use of energy resources consistent with their thermodynamic properties, a selection of environmentally friendly sources and carriers, suitable approaches to monitoring of impacts, efficiency measures with rebound control, lifestyle equity and reduction of energy poverty, decrease in wasteful habits, recognition of environmental limits in a limited planet, and careful management of the energy-water-food-environment nexus.
Who is in charge for energy solutions? Scientists and technology experts have absolutely provided important contributions within Academy and Business, orienting energy policy making. However, some top-down solutions have not always shown the ability to fully address the needs of communities, nor have they promoted stakeholders and citizens’ participation toward tailored solutions for the different situations. It may be time to integrate top-down and bottom-up efforts in order to benefit from community insight and knowledge (be they regional, urban, neighborhood and condominium realities, rural organizations, developing communities worldwide) and see needs and solutions that are visible to local realities and not easily visible to experts and policy makers.
It clearly appears that the energy problem cannot only be addressed in thermodynamic or technological terms. A deeper understanding of trends, solutions and policies can only be achieved through converging efforts by different disciplinary sectors, so that economic, social, environmental, cultural, and psychological expertise converges into an innovative picture of local and larger communities toward shared wellbeing.
Prof. Dr. Sergio Ulgiati
Prof. Dr. Hans Schnitzer
Dr. Remo Santagata
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