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Special Issue "Contemporary Environmental Paradigms and the Renewable Energy in Rural Economies"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 February 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Istudor Nicolae

Vice-Rector, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Piata Romana Square, no.6, 1st District, Bucharest, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ignacio De los Ríos Carmenado

Director Cátedra Bancos de Alimentos, Universidad Politécnica De Madrid, Monasterio de El Paular, 47, PB, Madrid, 28034, Spain
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Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Andrei Jean Vasile

Doctoral School of Economics II, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Piata Romana Square, no.6, 1st District, Bucharest, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural economics and policies, sustainable development, resource productivity, agricultural model, rural paradigms
Guest Editor
Prof. Subic Jonel

Director of The Institute of Agricultural Economics Belgrade, 11060 Belgrade, Volgina Str. 15, p.o.b. 93, Serbia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural economics, rural development, crops production, agricultural investments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This main focus of this Special Issue is to provide relevant theoretical frameworks and empirical background on contemporary environmental paradigms and renewable energy in rural economies. The environment is the latest frontier in the promotion of sustainable development in case of the most rural economies. Research on environmental paradigms and renewable energy have been on neglecting rural development.

Nowadays, there is a need to search from new business models of sustainable development that are able to deal with the challenges presented in multiple rural contexts.

The concept of resilience appears related to the capacity of people and companies to face adversity and life problems, which inevitably appear in complex contexts and different spatial and temporal scales. On the other hand, the recent approaches to prosperity have overcome the merely economic approach, and integrate a strong social and environmental dimension, demanding mentality and value changes. Both concepts, resilience and prosperity, are very much linked to renewable energy and environmental paradigms.

Additionally, this Special Issue is designed to be a milestone for policymakers in promoting a more responsible environmental policy, renewable energy, and reviles some of the major concerns in assuring green development criteria in post transitional economies

This Special Issue addresses these wider contemporary environmental paradigms, and tries to provide answers to subjects such as:

  • the performance of different environmental paradigms in promoting investments goals;
  • constraints on ensuring green entrepreneurship in rural communities;
  • renewable energy strategies and rural communities
  • rural communities and the need for more environmentally friendly product and service production;
  • pattern changes in environmental policy instruments, especially relative to rural community and environmental constraints;
  • the influence of environmental paradigms on rural landscape development and agricultural production

Prof. Dr. Istudor Nicolae
Prof. Dr. Ignacio de los Ríos Carmenado
Assoc. prof. PhD Andrei Jean Vasile
Prof. Subic Jonel
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 papers will be 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 1800 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.

Keywords

  • renewable energy
  • renewable energy investments
  • new energy paradigms
  • energy efficiency
  • energy efficient systems
  • environmental paradigms
  • green energy production

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Financial Appraisal of Small Hydro-Power Considering the Cradle-to-Grave Environmental Cost: A Case from Greece
Energies 2017, 10(4), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10040430
Received: 20 November 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2485 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decades increasing attention to environmental issues has come to the fore due to the looming issue of climate change. The growing demand for energy, coupled with the increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, have forced the study and development of energy [...] Read more.
In the last decades increasing attention to environmental issues has come to the fore due to the looming issue of climate change. The growing demand for energy, coupled with the increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, have forced the study and development of energy plants that use renewable energy sources (RES), as electricity generation is one of the major contributors to anthropogenic emissions. Small hydropower plants are of particular interest as their potential is assumed to be high. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impacts of small hydropower plants (SHPs) using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. The main parameter set for our simplified LCA model was the weight of the components used to construct and operate the plant: concrete, aggregates and steel. Through LCA, air pollutant externalities were associated with the life cycle of SHPs. This was accomplished by applying the NEEDS framework. The results are given per impact type (human health, loss of biodiversity, crop yield, material damage and climate change). The spearhead of the study is that the environmental cost must be a parameter of the total investment cost, which may affect the indexes of the financial evaluation of the project. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Solar Energy Solution for Sustainable Third Generation Mobile Networks
Energies 2017, 10(4), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10040429
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The energy consumption of cellular networks has become increasingly important to cellular network operators, due to the significant economic and ecological influence of these networks in the future. The development of alternative energy technologies has resulted in the consideration of a solar powered [...] Read more.
The energy consumption of cellular networks has become increasingly important to cellular network operators, due to the significant economic and ecological influence of these networks in the future. The development of alternative energy technologies has resulted in the consideration of a solar powered base station (BS) as a long-term solution for the mobile cellular network industry, to reduce the operational expenditures and CO2 footprints of cellular networks. This study addresses the deployment and operational issues of a solar powered universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS; a third generation mobile cellular system) BS (i.e., Node B) that is currently deployed (i.e., UMTS Node B 2/2/2 and UMTS Node B 4/4/4). In addition, this study employs a hybrid optimization model for an electric renewable software simulator developed by the American National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Four key aspects are discussed in this study: optimal solar system architecture, energy production, the cash flow of the solar powered UMTS Node B project, and the economic feasibility of a solar powered system compared with traditional sources. Simulation results show that the proposed solution ensures 100% energy autonomy and long-term energy balance for the UMTS Node B, with cost effectiveness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Renewable Energy Drive Sustainable Economic Growth? Multivariate Panel Data Evidence for EU-28 Countries
Energies 2017, 10(3), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10030381
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy is crucial to economic progress, but the contemporary worldwide population increase that demands greater energy generated from conventional exhaustible resources, an energy price upsurge, and environmental concerns, imperils sustainable economic growth. Nevertheless, switching to renewable energy produced from naturally replenished resources promotes [...] Read more.
Energy is crucial to economic progress, but the contemporary worldwide population increase that demands greater energy generated from conventional exhaustible resources, an energy price upsurge, and environmental concerns, imperils sustainable economic growth. Nevertheless, switching to renewable energy produced from naturally replenished resources promotes energy security, likewise addressing issues such as global warming and climate change. This paper aims at exploring the influence and causal relation between renewable energy, both overall and by type, and sustainable economic growth of European Union (EU)-28 countries for the period of 2003–2014. We notice that the mean share of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption is 15%, while the mean share of renewable energy in transport fuel consumption is 3%, which are below the thresholds of 20% and 10%, respectively, as set by the EU Directive 2009/28/EC. By estimating panel data fixed-effects regression models, the results provide support for a positive influence of renewable energy overall, as well as by type, namely biomass, hydropower, geothermal energy, wind power, and solar energy on gross domestic product per capita. However, biomass energy shows the highest influence on economic growth among the rest of renewable energy types. In fact, a 1% increase of the primary production of solid biofuels increases GDP per capita by 0.16%. Besides, cointegrating regressions set on panel fully modified and dynamic ordinary least squares regressions confirm the positive influence related to the primary production of renewable energies on economic growth. A 1% increase in primary production of renewable energies increases GDP per capita by 0.05%–0.06%. However, the results of Granger causality based on panel vector error correction model indicate both in short-run and long-run a unidirectional causal relationship running from sustainable economic growth to the primary production of renewable energies, being supported the conservation hypothesis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Bioenergy from Low-Intensity Agricultural Systems: An Energy Efficiency Analysis
Energies 2017, 10(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10010029
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5824 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In light of possible future restrictions on the use of fossil fuel, due to climate change obligations and continuous depletion of global fossil fuel reserves, the search for alternative renewable energy sources is expected to be an issue of great concern for policy [...] Read more.
In light of possible future restrictions on the use of fossil fuel, due to climate change obligations and continuous depletion of global fossil fuel reserves, the search for alternative renewable energy sources is expected to be an issue of great concern for policy stakeholders. This study assessed the feasibility of bioenergy production under relatively low-intensity conservative, eco-agricultural settings (as opposed to those produced under high-intensity, fossil fuel based industrialized agriculture). Estimates of the net energy gain (NEG) and the energy return on energy invested (EROEI) obtained from a life cycle inventory of the energy inputs and outputs involved reveal that the energy efficiency of bioenergy produced in low-intensity eco-agricultural systems could be as much as much as 448.5–488.3 GJ·ha−1 of NEG and an EROEI of 5.4–5.9 for maize ethanol production systems, and as much as 155.0–283.9 GJ·ha−1 of NEG and an EROEI of 14.7–22.4 for maize biogas production systems. This is substantially higher than for industrialized agriculture with a NEG of 2.8–52.5 GJ·ha−1 and an EROEI of 1.2–1.7 for maize ethanol production systems, as well as a NEG of 59.3–188.7 GJ·ha−1 and an EROEI of 2.2–10.2 for maize biogas production systems. Bioenergy produced in low-intensity eco-agricultural systems could therefore be an important source of energy with immense net benefits for local and regional end-users, provided a more efficient use of the co-products is ensured. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact and Determinants of Environmental Taxation on Economic Growth Communities in Romania
Energies 2016, 9(11), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9110902
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental taxation represents a key influence on sustainable development in post-transition countries. Romania has experienced important transformations of environmental policy, including taxation, due to sustained reliance on traditional energy sources to satisfy its energy needs. The aim of this paper is to show [...] Read more.
Environmental taxation represents a key influence on sustainable development in post-transition countries. Romania has experienced important transformations of environmental policy, including taxation, due to sustained reliance on traditional energy sources to satisfy its energy needs. The aim of this paper is to show a possible causal relationship between the Romanian GDP and several explanatory variables related to taxation of environmental damage and energy generation and consumption in the country. In order to do this, the authors make use of several statistical tests to verify the existence of a meaningful relationship between economic variables expressed in time series. The study has also attempted to identify the influence of environmental taxation on ensuring green economic development, starting from the premise that for emergent economies these taxes provide both a GDP increase and prevent environmental degradation by decreasing the pollution and environmentally harmful supplies and practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Energy Efficiency Strategies for Ecological Greenhouses: Experiences from Murcia (Spain)
Energies 2016, 9(11), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9110866
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 12 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been a continuous growth in ecological agriculture (EA) in recent years. It is recognized as a production system with rational energy use and low demand for fossil fuels. There are many studies relating to this subject, in contrast to the few [...] Read more.
There has been a continuous growth in ecological agriculture (EA) in recent years. It is recognized as a production system with rational energy use and low demand for fossil fuels. There are many studies relating to this subject, in contrast to the few studies regarding the use of energy and its impact on the environment in ecological greenhouses. This article analyzes the strategies adopted by a Transformational Agricultural Society (Sociedad Agraria de Transformación) in order to improve energy efficiency in ecological greenhouses, with regards to the use of fossil fuels. The methodology is based on the Working With People (WWP) Model, which involves social learning processes over 30 years in one of the largest regions of ecological crops in Spain. The results show that the measures taken to manage the greenhouses have achieved a decrease of over 80% in terms of fossil fuel consumption. The experience demonstrates that EA, as opposed to conventional agriculture (CA), is a system with great potential when it comes to reducing energy consumption and environmental improvements through various strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heuristic Methodology for Estimating the Liquid Biofuel Potential of a Region
Energies 2016, 9(9), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9090703
Received: 21 May 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a heuristic methodology for estimating the possible variation of the liquid biofuel potential of a region, an appraisal made for a future period of time. The determination of the liquid biofuel potential has been made up either on the account [...] Read more.
This paper presents a heuristic methodology for estimating the possible variation of the liquid biofuel potential of a region, an appraisal made for a future period of time. The determination of the liquid biofuel potential has been made up either on the account of an average (constant) yield of the energetic crops that were used, or on the account of a yield that varies depending on a known trend, which can be estimated through a certain method. The proposed methodology uses the variation of the yield of energetic crops over time in order to simulate a variation of the biofuel potential for a future ten year time period. This new approach to the problem of determining the liquid biofuel potential of a certain land area can be useful for investors, as it allows making a more realistic analysis of the investment risk and of the possibilities of recovering the investment. On the other hand, the presented methodology can be useful to the governmental administration in order to elaborate strategies and policies to ensure the necessity of fuels and liquid biofuels for transportation, in a certain area. Unlike current methods, which approach the problem of determining the liquid biofuel potential in a deterministic way, by using econometric methods, the proposed methodology uses heuristic reasoning schemes in order to reduce the great number of factors that actually influence the biofuel potential and which usually have unknown values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Framework of Organizational Intelligence: A Managerial Approach to Promote Renewable Energy in Rural Economies
Energies 2016, 9(8), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080639
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The companies involved in the energy sector must reinvent themselves to be innovative and adaptable to contemporary environmental changes. The promotion of renewable energy in rural communities is a great challenge for these companies. They should focus on improving the environment scanning actions [...] Read more.
The companies involved in the energy sector must reinvent themselves to be innovative and adaptable to contemporary environmental changes. The promotion of renewable energy in rural communities is a great challenge for these companies. They should focus on improving the environment scanning actions and the knowledge management (KM) system and enhancing the collective intelligence to avoid the loss of information, to foster innovation, and to maintain a competitive advantage. To achieve these goals, energy companies require appropriate management tools and practices. The purpose of this study is to propose a theoretical framework of organizational intelligence (OI) supported by a cross-perspective analysis of various aspects: economic intelligence (EI) and KM practices, entropy processes, and organizational enablers. A pilot investigation for testing the framework in the case of Transelectrica S.A. has been elaborated. The findings reveal that the elements of the OI framework are embedded in Transelectrica’s system and they need to be further developed. As an intelligent company acting in the Romanian energy market, Transelectrica has a higher potential to promote projects in the renewable energy sector. The main conclusion highlights that OI is a multidimensional construct that provides the organization the ability to deal with environmental challenges in a “new economy”. Full article
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