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Law and Order for Energy Transition: Public Policies at the Crossroads

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 January 2024) | Viewed by 12607

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research (UCILeR), University of Coimbra, 3000-018 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: urban law; smart cities; energy transition; public policies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The energy transition poses significant challenges and opportunities for governments, businesses, and communities. As energy policies and regulations play a critical role in the energy transition, it is imperative to understand the legal implications and challenges that arise with the shift towards a more sustainable energy system. This requires interdisciplinary discussions on the legal aspects of public policies for energy transition, covering a range of topics such as the national and international legal frameworks for energy transition, the legal implications of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, the role of regulation and policy instruments in identifying and addressing the barriers to energy transition whilst implementing and promoting initiatives towards it , the interplay between energy and climate change policies, and the role of the social and the private sector in promoting energy transition. Moreover, the Special Issue will also address key topics such as energy justice and access to energy, the interplay between energy transition and sustainable development, and the role of energy governance in shaping energy policies. With the goal of providing valuable insights into the legal aspects of public policies for energy transition, this Special Issue aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to foster discussions and advance knowledge in this field.

This Special Issue aims to provide a platform for interdisciplinary discussions on the legal aspects of public policies for the energy transition. We welcome papers that address the following themes:

  • National and international legal frameworks for the energy transition;
  • Legal implications of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency;
  • The role of regulation and policy instruments in promoting energy transition;
  • Legal barriers to energy transition and possible solutions;
  • The interplay between energy and climate change policies;
  • The role of energy governance in shaping energy policies;
  • Legal aspects of the energy–water–food nexus;
  • The role of the social and the private sector in promoting energy transition;
  • Energy justice and access to energy;
  • The interplay between energy transition and sustainable development.

Dr. Matheus Koengkan
Dr. Fernanda Paula Oliveira
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

  • energy sector
  • renewable energy sources
  • energy efficiency
  • low-carbon technologies
  • sustainable energy system
  • legal and regulatory framework
  • public policies
  • interdisciplinary discussions
  • national and international legal frameworks
  • legal implications
  • regulation
  • policy instruments
  • legal barriers
  • energy and climate change policies

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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32 pages, 2301 KiB  
Article
The Role of State Aid in the Achievement of the Energy Efficiency Objective in the Food Industry—The Example of Poland
by Maria Zuba-Ciszewska and Aneta Suchoń
Energies 2024, 17(12), 2895; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17122895 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 284
Abstract
The aims of the article are to assess the legal conditions for improving energy efficiency in the energy-intensive food industry in Poland, including the rules for financing enterprises from public funds, and to assess the extent of state aid for these enterprises in [...] Read more.
The aims of the article are to assess the legal conditions for improving energy efficiency in the energy-intensive food industry in Poland, including the rules for financing enterprises from public funds, and to assess the extent of state aid for these enterprises in their pursuit of energy saving goals. A critical analysis of the literature and of legal regulations on energy efficiency in EU and Polish law has been performed. The analysis of state aid is based on SUDOP data, and it takes into account the time span, the food industry structure, the enterprise size, the type and purpose of aid granted, and the degree of aid concentration. The conducted research showed that the largest share of state aid is received by energy-intensive industries, i.e., meat, fruit and vegetables, and dairy products (65.5%), and by large- and medium-sized enterprises (82.4%). This aid was allocated through various programmes and in various forms, the most important of which were subsidies. The aid focused on three objectives, i.e., promotion of energy from renewable sources, high-efficiency cogeneration, and measures supporting energy efficiency. The study shows the development of legislation on energy efficiency and possibilities for financing investments, both at the EU and national levels. Tightening climate policy will enhance the importance of energy efficiency in the food industry, which should be reflected in an increase in the relatively low current level of this aid (amounting to 0.04% of total state aid and 0.17% of aid for environmental protection and energy purposes). Full article
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24 pages, 1296 KiB  
Article
List of Issues That Require Legal Regulation as Part of the Renewable Energy Regulation in Component States of Federation
by Evgeniy Kirichenko, Ksenia Kirichenko and Anna Kirichenko
Energies 2024, 17(3), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030747 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 708
Abstract
The transition to renewable energy is strongly affected by legal regulation. To increase the efficiency of the introduction of renewable energy into the energy systems of component states of federations and accelerate the energy transition, it is necessary to carry out systematic work [...] Read more.
The transition to renewable energy is strongly affected by legal regulation. To increase the efficiency of the introduction of renewable energy into the energy systems of component states of federations and accelerate the energy transition, it is necessary to carry out systematic work to improve regional legislation in this area. The purpose of this study was to analyze the current regulatory legal acts on the renewable energy of the regions of a number of countries such as the USA, Germany, India, Switzerland and Russia in order to form a universal list of issues that need regulation at the regional level. The main methods for achieving the objectives set in this study were the comparative legal method and the method of analysis and synthesis. As a result, a number of recommendations were developed describing how legal relations primarily need to be regulated by regional legislation, and examples of different approaches to their settlement were presented. The issues in need of legal regulation were divided into three groups according to the degree of importance of their regulation by the legislation of the component state of the federation. Further development of this study will be aimed at identifying the most effective industrial practices for resolving each of the issues included in the compiled list which will help improve the efficiency of regional legal regulation of renewable energy. Full article
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31 pages, 2366 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the Rule of Law on Energy Policy in European Union Member States
by Radoslaw Wisniewski, Aneta Nowakowska-Krystman, Tomasz Kownacki and Piotr Daniluk
Energies 2024, 17(3), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030739 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Research pertaining to the dual-tier political system within the European Union (EU), specifically concerning the genesis and execution of EU policies, has garnered substantial scholarly attention. These inquiries delve into multifaceted dimensions, encompassing institutional dynamics, procedural intricacies, questions of legitimacy, and intricate relational [...] Read more.
Research pertaining to the dual-tier political system within the European Union (EU), specifically concerning the genesis and execution of EU policies, has garnered substantial scholarly attention. These inquiries delve into multifaceted dimensions, encompassing institutional dynamics, procedural intricacies, questions of legitimacy, and intricate relational dynamics entailing international diplomacy with other actors within the realm of international law. Nonetheless, a particularly intriguing and underexplored facet remains: the influence of member states’ compliance with the rule of law on the implementation of EU policies, particularly within the realm of energy policy. This article aims to elucidate the nexus between the realization of energy policy objectives in EU member states and fidelity to the rule of law. The conundrum of establishing a correlation between the indicators of environmentally sustainable energy policy and commitment to upholding the rule of law remains uncharted territory within the existing body of literature. Our analysis centers on a dataset derived from publicly accessible sources, reflecting data from the year 2020. Full article
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21 pages, 4666 KiB  
Article
The State of Knowledge and Attitudes of the Inhabitants of the Polish Świętokrzyskie Province about Renewable Energy Sources
by Jolanta Latosińska and Dorota Miłek
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7445; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217445 - 4 Nov 2023
Viewed by 717
Abstract
One of the ways to achieve an energy transformation is to reduce environmental degradation through the use of, among other things, renewable energy sources (RES). The widespread use of RES depends not only on economic and technical aspects, but also on societal acceptance. [...] Read more.
One of the ways to achieve an energy transformation is to reduce environmental degradation through the use of, among other things, renewable energy sources (RES). The widespread use of RES depends not only on economic and technical aspects, but also on societal acceptance. The aim of this research was to find out the attitudes and the state of knowledge of residents of Świętokrzyskie province regarding RES. This aim was further specified through five research questions. The research used a diagnostic survey method, and respondents’ opinions were gathered through an author’s survey. This survey included open-ended questions on solar energy (solar panels and photovoltaic panels separately), wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy (ground source heat pump and other sources separately), biomass and biogas. The research sample was selected based on data availability. Econometric modeling was used to analyze the results. The freedom in responding allowed for the exploration of a wide range of respondents’ opinions. The results confirmed the positive attitude of residents towards RES and the influence of education level on their self-assessment. Residents of Świętokrzyskie province, in comparison to residents of Poland, stand out for their high level of acceptance of the use of hydropower in their neighborhood. The opinions of the residents of Świętokrzyskie province on the impact of wind power and heat pumps on the environment did not align with the opinions of the residents of Poland. Full article
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22 pages, 3176 KiB  
Article
Valorisation of Waste Heat in Existing and Future District Heating Systems
by Ieva Pakere, Dagnija Blumberga, Anna Volkova, Kertu Lepiksaar and Agate Zirne
Energies 2023, 16(19), 6796; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16196796 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
To recover thermal energy from different sources, its quality and possibilities for utilisation are essential. The wide range of engineering solutions includes a direct connection to the district heating (DH) system and the integration of low-quality heat using heat pumps to increase the [...] Read more.
To recover thermal energy from different sources, its quality and possibilities for utilisation are essential. The wide range of engineering solutions includes a direct connection to the district heating (DH) system and the integration of low-quality heat using heat pumps to increase the temperature level of recoverable heat. Therefore, this article compares waste heat valorisation strategies for integration into existing DH networks, low-temperature DH, and ultra-low heat supply systems using the multi-criteria assessment method. In addition, a local scale assessment was performed to identify the waste heat role in existing RES-based DH systems. The results show that the highest waste heat valorisation rate could be reached when integrated into low-temperature DH systems due to high waste heat potential and suitable temperature conditions. However, a local scale assessment shows a significant impact on the already implemented solar technologies, as waste heat could cover around 70% of the summer heat load. Full article
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15 pages, 2946 KiB  
Article
Approaches to Sustainable Energy Management in Ensuring Safety of Power Equipment Operation
by Hanna Hrinchenko, Viktor Koval, Nadiia Shmygol, Oleksandr Sydorov, Oksana Tsimoshynska and Dominika Matuszewska
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6488; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186488 - 8 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
The study considers ways to ensure the quality of the functioning of power equipment as one of the directions for ensuring the safety of energy complexes in the period of “green transformation”. Based on the analysis, it is established that for an effective [...] Read more.
The study considers ways to ensure the quality of the functioning of power equipment as one of the directions for ensuring the safety of energy complexes in the period of “green transformation”. Based on the analysis, it is established that for an effective “green” transformation, it is necessary to ensure the energy safety of equipment operation, which is possible by developing effective science-based approaches to technical diagnostics of the state of power systems and individual equipment. The main objective of the study is to develop a Safety Management Model for Life Term Operation of power equipment, which takes into account changes in its condition at different stages of operation and allows for the prediction of further safe operation. The paper proposes an approach to researching the technical condition of power equipment, taking into account the deformations that occur during operation. The results of the calculation of stress intensity coefficients for longitudinal and transverse-postulated cracks in different modes are presented. Based on the calculated and experimentally obtained values, an approach to predicting the operating life of power equipment with regard to changes in technical characteristics is proposed. The results of the calculations showed that by changing the allowable load on the material of the energy equipment to 35 kgf/mm2, the estimated operational lifespan could be extended until 2035, ensuring all necessary safety conditions. It has been proven that with effective management and continuous safety diagnostics, nuclear power plants have the potential to operate beyond their standard design life of up to 30–40 years. This approach allows for the quality and safe operation of power equipment in the context of the transition to sustainable energy. Full article
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34 pages, 5489 KiB  
Article
Building a Sustainable Future: How Eco-Friendly Homes Are Driving Local Economic Development in Lisbon Metropolitan Area
by Matheus Koengkan, José Alberto Fuinhas, Fernanda Paula Oliveira, Uğur Ursavaş and Natália Moreno
Energies 2023, 16(13), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16134855 - 21 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
This article explored the impact of eco-friendly houses on economic development in the Lisbon metropolitan area. The study analyzed data from 18 municipalities between 2014 and 2020 using regression analysis with ordinary least squares (OLS) and fixed effects. The results indicate that national [...] Read more.
This article explored the impact of eco-friendly houses on economic development in the Lisbon metropolitan area. The study analyzed data from 18 municipalities between 2014 and 2020 using regression analysis with ordinary least squares (OLS) and fixed effects. The results indicate that national policies promoting residential energy efficiency positively impact economic development. Policies like subsidies, loans, and tax relief encourage homeowners to invest in energy-efficient technologies, boosting household disposable income and contributing to economic growth. The study found that an increase in the number of new constructions positively impacts economic development, leading to job creation and increased demand for construction materials and services. Additionally, growing eco-friendly houses can reduce energy consumption, lowering energy costs for homeowners and businesses and ultimately stimulating economic growth. In contrast, increasing the number of non-eco-friendly houses can have negative economic impacts. A robustness check using the method of moments quantile regression (MM-QR) confirmed the results from OLS with fixed effects, providing additional evidence supporting the robustness of the results. Full article
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21 pages, 949 KiB  
Article
Advocacy Coalitions and Paths to Policy Change for Promoting Energy Efficiency in European Industry
by Fredrik von Malmborg and Peter A. Strachan
Energies 2023, 16(9), 3785; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16093785 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
This paper applied the advocacy coalition framework to explore and explain the political processes creating policies to enhance energy efficiency of European Union (EU) industry. The paper used legislation on energy audits and energy management systems as a proxy for EU policy on [...] Read more.
This paper applied the advocacy coalition framework to explore and explain the political processes creating policies to enhance energy efficiency of European Union (EU) industry. The paper used legislation on energy audits and energy management systems as a proxy for EU policy on energy efficiency in industry. Based on qualitative text analysis of EU policy documents, including a proposal to recast the energy efficiency directive, amendments to the proposal suggested by Member States, the Council and the European Parliament, and reports from negotiations, the paper identified four advocacy coalitions with different core beliefs, spanning from those that want few companies to implement energy audits or energy management systems, and that recommendations from audits should not be mandatory to implement, to those that advocate that many companies implement energy audits and management systems and that it should be mandatory to implement measures recommended in audits. It was further found that policy change followed an external shock, deliberative negotiations, and policy-oriented learning. The identification of core beliefs and advocacy coalitions will help policymakers and other stakeholders become more aware of their own and others’ values on energy efficiency and how these could be changed. As important was the differentiation of deep core beliefs, policy core beliefs and secondary beliefs. Which beliefs can be easily changed, which cannot? Full article
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30 pages, 2889 KiB  
Article
Assessing Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings: A Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of Portuguese Municipalities
by Matheus Koengkan, Nuno Silva and José Alberto Fuinhas
Energies 2023, 16(7), 3240; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073240 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
This article presents causal recipes leading to high and low energy consumption efficiency performances using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). The study found that several causal conditions are sufficient for high energy efficiency performance, including several fiscal and financial incentive policies, a [...] Read more.
This article presents causal recipes leading to high and low energy consumption efficiency performances using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). The study found that several causal conditions are sufficient for high energy efficiency performance, including several fiscal and financial incentive policies, a highly educated population, many completed dwellings, and low GDP. The study also found that high inequality in completed dwellings and completed reconstructions, coupled with a low GDP and a low number of policies, lead to high energy consumption efficiency performance. In addition, the analysis showed slight differences between the yearly consistencies, suggesting that time effects are not a concern. On the other hand, a low education level, Gini coefficient, few completed dwellings and reconstructions, coupled with a low number of fiscal and financial policies, are the causal conditions leading to low energy consumption efficiency performance. The study’s results suggest that policymakers and stakeholders should consider a combination of several causal conditions when implementing energy efficiency policies. The study also highlights the need for policies focusing on education, fiscal and financial incentives, completed dwellings, and reconstructions to achieve high energy efficiency performance. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 1661 KiB  
Review
An Analysis of the Development of the Cogeneration Sector in Spain: A Comprehensive Review of the Period 1980–2020 from a Regulatory Perspective
by Angela Adamo, Jordi De la Hoz, Helena Martín, Joan Rubio and Sergio Coronas
Energies 2024, 17(3), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030625 - 27 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) has been identified by the EU as a powerful resource capable of making substantial contributions to energy savings and reducing GHG emissions. Spain’s effort to promote CHP has been prolific since the 1980s. In this regard, there have [...] Read more.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) has been identified by the EU as a powerful resource capable of making substantial contributions to energy savings and reducing GHG emissions. Spain’s effort to promote CHP has been prolific since the 1980s. In this regard, there have been various Laws, Royal Decrees (RDs) and European Union (EU) Directives addressed to reach the national objectives set for the CHP sector. Despite these attempts, the evolution and growth of installed CHP capacity has been irregular, compared to other technologies. Likewise, the academic treatment of the Spanish CHP evolution has not deserved the same attention as other technologies such as wind, photovoltaic and thermal solar systems. As a result, this article is aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the regulatory frameworks applied to the Spanish CHP sector and analysing the reasons behind the variable evolution of the installed CHP capacity. The study covers the legislative context from 1980 to 2020, describing the evolution during both the pre-liberalization and liberalization periods, highlighting the modifications in economic policies that affected self-producers and the so-called Special Regime (SR) for CHP, and examining the challenges faced during the cost containment measures that followed. The manuscript finds and explains the connection between the regulatory framework and the evolution of installed CHP capacity in Spain. Likewise, the connection between the industrial situation and the promotion of CHP, as well as the influence of the Spanish Electricity Sector (SES)’s liberalization on the CHP sector are also pointed out. The paper intends to provide valuable insights for CHP experts and policymakers by showcasing the importance of aligning regulatory measures with the objectives of energy efficiency. It also serves as a reference for countries in various stages of promoting CHP, and provides evidence for the importance of stable energy-policy control mechanisms. Full article
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