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Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition

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 May 2021) | Viewed by 27001

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Photometry Laboratory, Electric Power Division, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou Street, 15780 Athens, Greece
Interests: engineering; environment; energy; renewable energy sources; waste management from organic pollutants; properties of polymer materials; business administration; education; culture; human resource management; psychology; urban and regional development; forest resource management; extroversion and internationalization of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); development economics; environmental systems; circular economy; behavioral ecology
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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Energy Instiute, LT-44403 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: sustainable energy development; climate change mitigation in the energy sector; behavioral changes; assessment of willingness to pay
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics, Vilnius University, 01113 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: sustainable development; sustainability assessment; efficiency and productivity; energy economics; assessment of willingness to pay
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

There are many challenges to be addressed in order to achieve a 100% renewable energy generation scenario. The main problems associated with the rapid penetration of renewables need to be addressed. The security of the energy supply and the growing need for energy storage play important roles in shaping energy policies. Promoting energy prosumers and overcoming the main barriers of renewables market uptake are key issues for the low-carbon energy transition. Tackling the problem of energy poverty during the transition to a zero-carbon economy is one of the most important challenges that policymakers are currently facing. The issues of energy vulnerability and energy justice are closely linked to the problem of energy poverty. Energy vulnerability can be described as a set of circumstances that underpin the risk of falling into energy poverty and which therefore should be carefully addressed during transformation of an energy system. Energy justice acknowledges the needs of the most vulnerable groups by setting out rationale for policy actions; therefore, energy poverty can be combated justly by sustained and multifaceted actions, by decreasing wasteful consumption of energy, and by narrowing the impact of income inequalities. So far, very limited measures aimed at addressing the structural problems of energy poverty have been developed or adopted, like those aimed at renovation of residential buildings or introducing cheap, energy-efficient, renewable energy technologies in households. Some scholars argue that a just low-carbon energy transition can be achieved by implementing these measures and by addressing energy poverty and climate change mitigation problems together. However, there are many gaps in this field of research. Particularly, there is lack of evidence concerning the behaviors and attitudes of households in energy poverty

This Special Issue welcomes contributions from scholars in various fields to close these gaps and to shed more light on the main problems associated with the low-carbon energy transition. There are several important research areas which need to be addressed:  finding the best solutions to integrate renewables in energy generation and addressing energy security, energy storage, energy prosumers, and smart grid issues; defining the main reasons why households do not take up the initiatives designed to help them out of energy poverty; investigating the main barriers to behavior changes; and defining the best measures to overcome behavioral and psychological barriers in order to effect change in habitual behavior so as to increase energy efficiency and mitigate climate change. Large-scale quantitative research based on big data is also necessary in this field. Theoretical studies, reviews, and case studies are welcome.

Dr. Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos
Prof. Dr. Dalia Streimikiene
Prof. Dr. Tomas Baležentis
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.

Keywords

  • Zero-carbon energy generation options
  • Barriers to renewable energy penetration
  • Energy security problem of low-carbon energy transition
  • Smart grids and energy storage options for low-carbon energy transition
  • Policies and measures to achieve zero-carbon energy transition
  • Promotion of energy prosumers
  • Energy poverty and climate change mitigation
  • The main drivers of energy poverty
  • Behaviors and attitudes of households in energy poverty
  • Energy poverty and health
  • Energy vulnerability
  • Energy justice
  • Behavioral barriers
  • Just low-carbon energy transition

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 224 KiB  
Editorial
Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition
by Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos, Dalia Streimikiene and Tomas Baležentis
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5718; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155718 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Currently, national bodies and international congregations, such as that of the Stockholm, Rio, and Johannesburg conferences, jointly identified that sustainable energy development has proven to be a very challenging factor in global development [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition)

Research

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32 pages, 23594 KiB  
Article
Moving Up the Electrification Ladder in Off-Grid Settlements with Rooftop Solar Microgrids
by Isabelo Rabuya, Melissa Libres, Michael Lochinvar Abundo and Evelyn Taboada
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3467; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123467 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4216
Abstract
The multi-tier framework (MTF) of electricity access defines a continuum of electrification from tier 0, where access is inexistent or very limited, to tier 5 where access is of grid quality. Transitioning households from lower to higher tiers unlocks the potential in meeting [...] Read more.
The multi-tier framework (MTF) of electricity access defines a continuum of electrification from tier 0, where access is inexistent or very limited, to tier 5 where access is of grid quality. Transitioning households from lower to higher tiers unlocks the potential in meeting more of their energy needs. This study investigates the transition towards higher tier electricity access on Gilutongan Island, an off-grid island of Cebu, Philippines, which is also an informal settlement community with no open land available for a centralized solar PV system. The solar PV potential of suitable rooftops on the island was determined using satellite imagery, ground measurements, and computation. The electricity demand of a cluster of 11 households was examined in detail; these households, situated near two suitable rooftops, were connected to an installed 7.92 kWp solar PV-based microgrid. Results show that the households moved up from lower to higher tier levels in all MTF attributes except for affordability. Nevertheless, the cost of a standard electricity consumption package of 1 kWh/day dropped from 18% of the average household income to 6%. Moving up on the electrification ladder to higher tier electricity access in off-grid areas is attainable with households clustered as a microgrid using rooftop solar PV. Affordability remains to be the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition)
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17 pages, 1543 KiB  
Article
The Power of Electricity: How Effective Is It in Promoting Sustainable Development in Rural Off-Grid Islands in the Philippines?
by Lorafe Lozano and Evelyn B. Taboada
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2705; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092705 - 9 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 8578
Abstract
Electrification plays a crucial role in the advancement of rural communities but establishing its impact to the communities’ sustainable development remains a challenge. This paper presents a pragmatic framework for assessing how electrification affects sustainable development at the grassroots level with eight indicators [...] Read more.
Electrification plays a crucial role in the advancement of rural communities but establishing its impact to the communities’ sustainable development remains a challenge. This paper presents a pragmatic framework for assessing how electrification affects sustainable development at the grassroots level with eight indicators in the economic, technical, social, and environmental dimensions highlighted. An exploratory factor analysis approach is applied to determine how these dimensions contribute to the community’s overall sustainable development. The framework is applied in two islands in the Philippines of less than 500 households and varying electrification levels. Results indicate that Gilutongan Island, which has less than 24-h electricity access rarely find productive uses of electricity and still make use of conventional fuels for lighting. Meanwhile, Cobrador Island, which has 24-h access see improvements in almost all aspects, although they are slightly burdened by the unaffordability of tariffs. This means that islands with limited hours for electricity access rarely experience positive impacts to their socioeconomic development while the opposite is true for islands with longer access. The framework can be a useful tool for decision- and policy-makers to assess electrification in rural off-grid communities and to streamline efforts in helping these communities achieve sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition)
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11 pages, 1690 KiB  
Article
The Impact of “Coal to Gas” Policy on Air Quality: Evidence from Beijing, China
by Zhe Liu, Xueli Chen, Jinyang Cai, Tomas Baležentis and Yue Li
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3876; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153876 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
Air pollution has become an increasingly serious environmental problem in China. Especially in winter, the air pollution in northern China becomes even worse due to winter heating. The “coal to gas” policy, which uses natural gas to replace coal in the heating system [...] Read more.
Air pollution has become an increasingly serious environmental problem in China. Especially in winter, the air pollution in northern China becomes even worse due to winter heating. The “coal to gas” policy, which uses natural gas to replace coal in the heating system in winter, was implemented in Beijing in the year 2013. However, the effects of this policy reform have not been examined. Using a panel dataset of 16 districts in Beijing, this paper employs a first difference model to examine the impact of the “coal to gas” policy on air quality. Strong evidence shows that the “coal to gas” policy has significantly improved the air quality in Beijing. On average, the “coal to gas” policy reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter smaller than 10 µm (PM10), particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) by 12.08%, 4.89%, 13.07%, 11.94% and 11.10% per year, respectively. We find that the “coal to gas” policy is more effective in areas with less energy use efficiency. The finding of this paper suggests that the government should continue to implement the “coal to gas” policy, so as to alleviate the air pollution in Beijing, China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition)
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Review

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24 pages, 448 KiB  
Review
Climate Change Mitigation Policies Targeting Households and Addressing Energy Poverty in European Union
by Dalia Streimikiene, Vidas Lekavičius, Tomas Baležentis, Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos and Josef Abrhám
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3389; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133389 - 1 Jul 2020
Cited by 71 | Viewed by 6407
Abstract
Climate change mitigation measures linked to households’ energy consumption have huge greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reduction potential and positive impact on energy poverty reduction. However, measures such as renovation of residential buildings or installation of micro generation technologies based on renewable energy sources [...] Read more.
Climate change mitigation measures linked to households’ energy consumption have huge greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reduction potential and positive impact on energy poverty reduction. However, measures such as renovation of residential buildings or installation of micro generation technologies based on renewable energy sources have not realized their full energy saving and GHG emission reduction potentials, due to the energy efficiency paradox and other barriers. These climate change mitigation policies targeting the households’ sector can deliver extra benefits such as energy poverty reduction and implementation of the energy justice principle; therefore, they require more attention of scholars and policy makers. The aim of this paper is to analyze the energy poverty and climate change mitigation issues in EU households based on a systematic literature review, and to provide future research paths and policy recommendations. Based on the systematic literature review, this paper develops an integrated framework for addressing energy poverty, just carbon free energy transition and climate change mitigation issues in the EU. Additionally, we argue that more targeted climate change policies and measures are necessary in the light of the shortcomings of current measures to reduce energy poverty and realize climate change mitigation potential linked to energy consumption in households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Challenges of Low-Carbon Energy Transition)
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