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Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 27409

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of the West England, Bristol, UK
Interests: construction management; construction materials; renewable and sustainable energy; engineering sustainability; safety and health in construction; waste and resource management; Construction 4.0

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Guest Editor
1. Past President, Chartered Institute of Building, Arlington Square, Downshire Way, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1WA, UK
2. Vice Chancellor, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK
Interests: sustainable development; resilient communities; construction economics; construction management; renewable energy

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Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of Greenwich, London, UK
Interests: construction and project management; renewable energy; regulation and compliance; occupational safety and health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Considering the importance of energy, global access to affordable and clean energy was emphasized in the Sustainable Development Goals which were agreed upon by the United Nations in 2015, set to be achieved by 2030. The current progress of these goals—including goal 7 which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all—reveals the significant challenges we are facing and will faces if they are to be delivered by 2030. These challenges are more pertinent when it comes to developing countries which have limited financial and technical resources. While it is well established that different sources of renewable energy—including solar, wind, geothermal, waste, and tidal energy sources—have enough potential to produce energy, much of the electricity around the world is still produced from fossil fuels. These are not sustainable and they affect other Sustainable Development Goals, such as those surrounding climate action and life on earth. In general, economic factors appear to comprise the main challenges facing the implementation of renewable energy; however, policies and regulations, experience and competencies, renewable energy education, public awareness, incentives for renewable energy, government commitment, and renewable energy technologies also contribute to these challenges. Building and energy efficiencies are equally important as key players in reducing worldwide use of energy. It is, therefore, important to have a clear understanding of the challenges facing the implementation of renewable energy, with specific emphasis on developing countries. Such an understanding will be helpful in the development of strategies for overcoming these challenges. This Special Issue will, therefore, consider original research papers, review papers, and short communications that cover any form of renewable energy, technologies, buildings and energy efficiencies, energy consumption and reduction, energy economic, energy costs, clean energy, modelling, and framework development. All submissions will go through the journal’s review process. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Tariq Umar
Prof. Dr. Charles Egbu
Dr. Nnedinma Umeokafor
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

  • renewable energy
  • developing countries
  • energy efficiencies
  • renewable technologies
  • energy economy
  • sustainable development goals
  • clean energy

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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23 pages, 8382 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Energy Power Quality in Low-Voltage Networks Integrating Renewable Energy Generation: A Case Study in a Microgrid Laboratory
by Edisson Villa-Ávila, Paul Arévalo, Roque Aguado, Danny Ochoa-Correa, Vinicio Iñiguez-Morán, Francisco Jurado and Marcos Tostado-Véliz
Energies 2023, 16(14), 5386; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16145386 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Nowadays, energy decarbonization due to integrating renewable energy sources presents important challenges to overcome. The intermittent nature of photovoltaic systems reduces power quality by producing voltage variations and frequency deviations in electrical system networks, especially in weak and isolated distribution systems in developing [...] Read more.
Nowadays, energy decarbonization due to integrating renewable energy sources presents important challenges to overcome. The intermittent nature of photovoltaic systems reduces power quality by producing voltage variations and frequency deviations in electrical system networks, especially in weak and isolated distribution systems in developing countries. This paper presents a power smoothing method for improving the low-pass filter and moving average for grid-connected photovoltaic systems. This novel method includes state-of-charge monitoring control of the supercapacitor’s energy storage system to reduce the fluctuations of photovoltaic power at the point of common coupling. A case study for a microgrid in a high-altitude city in Ecuador is presented with exhaustive laboratory tests using real data. This research aims to improve energy power quality in electrical distribution systems to cope with the growth of renewable penetration. The results demonstrate significant power quality and stability improvements achieved through the proposed method. For instance, the power smoothing method effectively reduced power fluctuations by 16.7% with the low-pass filter, 14.05% with the ramp-rate filter, and 9.7% with the moving average filter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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20 pages, 2527 KiB  
Article
The Central American Power System: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities for a Green Transition
by Gustavo Adolfo Gómez-Ramírez, Carlos Meza, Gonzalo Mora-Jiménez, José Rodrigo Rojas Morales and Luis García-Santander
Energies 2023, 16(11), 4328; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16114328 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 6589
Abstract
Over the past few decades, Central American countries have seen a steady increase in their energy needs. Luckily, the region has abundant renewable energy resources and, as a result, has been busy constructing wind and photovoltaic power facilities. However, while these renewable sources [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, Central American countries have seen a steady increase in their energy needs. Luckily, the region has abundant renewable energy resources and, as a result, has been busy constructing wind and photovoltaic power facilities. However, while these renewable sources are promising, they come with some risks—mainly, their variable power generation can pose a challenge to the interconnected regional system. This paper explores the current state of the Central American power system and the obstacles it faces as it strives to transition to a more environmentally-friendly energy system. To do so, the authors employed power flow analysis and transient stability studies, which were conducted using ETAP (Electrical Transient Analyzer Program) to model and simulate the power system. Their study revealed that the Central American power system is at risk of instability, and they suggest that integrating ancillary services and storage solutions could strengthen its resilience. Additionally, the authors advocate for the development of microgrids, energy management, and sustainable decarbonization plans. Lastly, the authors emphasize the importance of short-, medium-, and long-term power planning to make better decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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17 pages, 5442 KiB  
Article
Finite Element Modeling and Simulation of a Submerged Wave Energy Converter System for Application to Oceanic Islands in Tropical Atlantic
by Nadège Bouchonneau, Arnaud Coutrey, Vivianne Marie Bruère, Moacyr Araújo and Alex Costa da Silva
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041711 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The development of efficient and sustainable marine energy converter systems is a great challenge, especially in remote areas such as oceanic islands. This work proposes a numerical modeling methodology to assess the mechanical behavior of a wave energy converter (WEC) to be applied [...] Read more.
The development of efficient and sustainable marine energy converter systems is a great challenge, especially in remote areas such as oceanic islands. This work proposes a numerical modeling methodology to assess the mechanical behavior of a wave energy converter (WEC) to be applied outside Fernando de Noronha Island (Pernambuco, Brazil). First, oceanographic data collected in situ were analyzed to determine different sea state scenarios in the region. The Airy theory and second-order Stokes’ theory were used to obtain the velocity profiles for the maximum and operational swells. These profiles were then implemented in a flow model developed in COMSOL Multiphysics software (Burlington, MA, USA) to calculate the wave distributions of pressure on the WEC structure. Finally, wave pressure distributions obtained from simulations were implemented in a static analysis of the system by the finite element method using SolidWorks (France). The results highlighted the most critical system inclination and the parts of the WEC structure more likely to be damaged under extreme swell conditions. The 0° inclination was the most critical situation, leading to the exceeding of the elastic limits of some parts of the WEC structure. The methodology developed in this work showed to be efficient to study and propose project improvement for the strength of the WEC system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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Review

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21 pages, 1697 KiB  
Review
China in the Renewable Energy Era: What Has Been Done and What Remains to Be Done
by George Ekonomou and Angeliki N. Menegaki
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6696; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186696 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Climate change is directly linked to a broad array of changes because of disorganized activities within the economic system and human intervention. Climate change affects the well-being status of both non-living and living things. Relevant policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change [...] Read more.
Climate change is directly linked to a broad array of changes because of disorganized activities within the economic system and human intervention. Climate change affects the well-being status of both non-living and living things. Relevant policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change conditions concentrate on solutions that intend to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels or other conventional energy sources. This study aims to process a review focused on how renewables advance environmental quality and create relevant benefits within severe economic activities. This study elaborates on the case of China for two main reasons. First, China has a pivotal role in the economic system worldwide. Second, China is making serious attempts to transition into a low-carbon economy. An integrative review was processed to receive selected publications. The advantage of this process is that it considers empirical and non-empirical studies, policy papers, and conceptual frameworks. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to retrieve the final number of publications. Review results from 39 well-acknowledged Journals provided 180 selected publications categorized into seven study groups: data analyses, model optimization studies, market issues, renewable energy technology publications, nuclear energy publications, ocean energy publications, and policy-related studies. Policy implications concern China’s efforts to accelerate the integration of renewables in the energy mix. Hence, the country should increase energy efficiency in consumption and process investment plans based on robust research and development efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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22 pages, 3426 KiB  
Review
Review of Bioenergy Potential in Jordan
by Ra’ed Nahar Myyas, Marcos Tostado-Véliz, Manuel Gómez-González and Francisco Jurado
Energies 2023, 16(3), 1393; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031393 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2476
Abstract
Despite the enormous efforts put into practice by governmental entities, most of the energy consumption worldwide proceeds from fossil fuels. In this regard, there is a clear need to advance toward the use of cleaner energies. This situation is especially critical in developing [...] Read more.
Despite the enormous efforts put into practice by governmental entities, most of the energy consumption worldwide proceeds from fossil fuels. In this regard, there is a clear need to advance toward the use of cleaner energies. This situation is especially critical in developing countries, where a high population, increased commercial and industrial activities, and rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are major concerns. This paper focuses on reviewing the current energy map in Jordan, one of the developing countries in the Southwest Asia area. Jordan generates 2.7 million tons of municipal solid waste annually, which can cause a variety of environmental problems rather than benefit the energy industry or the country’s economy. Jordan uses biomass energy to provide just 0.1% of its overall energy needs. Presently, produced energy comprises logs, chips, bark, and sawdust is made up of around 44% wood. Jordan has a high potential for producing biomass in the future. About 96% of the biomass is made up of animal manure, followed by olive trees and pomace, with a percentage of 1.8%. This work evaluates the theoretical energy potential of waste in Jordan based on previous studies. Moreover, this article looks at the biomass potential in Jordan, emphasizing how the country may become one of the top producers of bioenergy in terms of waste and identifying procedures to assess the biogas potential for common substrates in Jordanian communities (food and agricultural waste). Finally, some further recommendations are provided for developing the biomass sector in Jordan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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26 pages, 2058 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review on Techno-Economic Analysis and Optimal Sizing of Hybrid Renewable Energy Sources with Energy Storage Systems
by Takele Ferede Agajie, Ahmed Ali, Armand Fopah-Lele, Isaac Amoussou, Baseem Khan, Carmen Lilí Rodríguez Velasco and Emmanuel Tanyi
Energies 2023, 16(2), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16020642 - 05 Jan 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4185
Abstract
Renewable energy solutions are appropriate for on-grid and off-grid applications, acting as a supporter for the utility network or rural locations without the need to develop or extend costly and difficult grid infrastructure. As a result, hybrid renewable energy sources have become a [...] Read more.
Renewable energy solutions are appropriate for on-grid and off-grid applications, acting as a supporter for the utility network or rural locations without the need to develop or extend costly and difficult grid infrastructure. As a result, hybrid renewable energy sources have become a popular option for grid-connected or standalone systems. This paper examines hybrid renewable energy power production systems with a focus on energy sustainability, reliability due to irregularities, techno-economic feasibility, and being environmentally friendly. In attaining a reliable, clean, and cost-effective system, sizing optimal hybrid renewable energy sources (HRES) is a crucial challenge. The presenters went further to outline the best sizing approach that can be used in HRES, taking into consideration the key components, parameters, methods, and data. Moreover, the goal functions, constraints from design, system components, optimization software tools, and meta-heuristic algorithm methodologies were highlighted for the available studies in this timely synopsis of the state of the art. Additionally, current issues resulting from scaling HRES were also identified and discussed. The latest trends and advances in planning problems were thoroughly addressed. Finally, this paper provides suggestions for further research into the appropriate component sizing in HRES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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38 pages, 20464 KiB  
Review
Electric Vehicle Charging Systems: Comprehensive Review
by Aziz Rachid, Hassan El Fadil, Khawla Gaouzi, Kamal Rachid, Abdellah Lassioui, Zakariae El Idrissi and Mohamed Koundi
Energies 2023, 16(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16010255 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7280
Abstract
The high-voltage battery is a crucial element for EV traction systems. It is the primary energy source that must be regularly recharged to reach the autonomy declared by the manufacturer. Therefore, an EV charging system is required to ensure the battery charging process. [...] Read more.
The high-voltage battery is a crucial element for EV traction systems. It is the primary energy source that must be regularly recharged to reach the autonomy declared by the manufacturer. Therefore, an EV charging system is required to ensure the battery charging process. This review thoroughly investigates the available EV charging technologies and the most popular batteries for EV applications. The contributions of this work can be summarized as follows: the classification and topologies of electric vehicle chargers are examined, an overview of the current EV charging standards is provided, the state-of-the-art of EV charging couplers is discussed, and the most widely used batteries in EV applications are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries)
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