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Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B1: Energy and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 11003

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Guest Editor
Department of Economic and Statistical Sciences, University of Salerno, I-84084 Fisciano, SA, Italy
Interests: innovation economics; environmental economics; labor economics; econometrics; public policy; economics of innovation; patents; knowledge diffusion process; employment; green economy; applied microeconometrics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an increasing number of studies in the recent literature concerning renewable energy technologies, because of climate change caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In this perspective, a more efficient use of resources for a full achievement of energy efficiency is very important, but the relative empirical evidence is yet weak. The role of technological innovation is crucial, because with the investment in research and development into this area, the potential for energy saving is ever increasing. For this reason, the Special Issue will pay attention to the extent to which the investments in cleaner technology can support energy efficiency in a more sustainable context. Moreover, this Special Issue aims to provide a platform to share innovative ideas and approaches in new technologies to deal with the energy supply and demand challenges to supporting the transition to a low carbon and sustainable future. Recent studies suggest that private firms develop insufficient effort toward renewable energy. Thus, an intervention of policymakers at the worldwide level would be opportune for breaking the path dependence effect by favoring energy efficiency and cleaner technologies in terms of social optimum.

Theoretical and empirical contributions from the innovation economics and environmental economics on energy efficiency and relative public policies are welcome in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Luigi Aldieri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • energy efficiency
  • technological transition
  • sustainability
  • public policies

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1513 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impacts of Technological Innovation on Carbon Emissions in MENA Countries: Application of the Innovation Curve Theory
by Nouf Alnafisah, Eman Alsmari, Amal Alshehri and Jawaher Binsuwadan
Energies 2024, 17(4), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17040904 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
This study investigates the relationship between technological innovation, renewable energy, economic growth, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a group of six specific Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries from 1990 to 2019. The study utilizes the modified innovation environmental [...] Read more.
This study investigates the relationship between technological innovation, renewable energy, economic growth, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a group of six specific Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries from 1990 to 2019. The study utilizes the modified innovation environmental Kuznets curve model (ICC) theory to examine the potential existence of an inverted U-shaped curve between innovation and environmental quality in these selected MENA countries. Various econometric methods are employed to analyse the data. The results show a positive and significant impact of patents for residents on CO2 emissions, affirming the influence of patents on environmental quality. Additionally, the square of patents demonstrates a significant negative relationship with carbon emissions, providing evidence for the inverted U shape of Claudia’s theory. These findings imply that the ICC is relevant to the selected countries, with the quadratic patent variable suggesting that the use of innovative technology initially increases emissions but reaches a turning point after a certain threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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22 pages, 1681 KiB  
Article
Addressing Challenges and Outcomes in the Biogas Sector: An Analysis of Efficiency, Economic Savings, and Environmental Impacts Using an Advanced SWOT Model
by Luca Esposito, Chiara Vecchio, Giancarlo Cattaneo, Zhouyi Gu and Ester Scotto di Perta
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7413; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217413 - 2 Nov 2023
Viewed by 841
Abstract
This study, through the use of company data, offers an in-depth analysis of the current situation and future prospects of biogas plants and how they can promote economic advantages and environmental benefits. The geographical context of the Piana del Sele (Salerno, Italy) was [...] Read more.
This study, through the use of company data, offers an in-depth analysis of the current situation and future prospects of biogas plants and how they can promote economic advantages and environmental benefits. The geographical context of the Piana del Sele (Salerno, Italy) was chosen on the basis of objective criteria, including its relevance in the agro-industrial sector and the availability of accurate and reliable company data that was collected through IT systems, including software business performance monitoring and digital data analysis. This choice was fundamental to guaranteeing the validity and representativeness of our analyses and results. From a methodological point of view, mathematical formulas and algorithms were used, which allowed the calculation of the biogas producibility indices by type of biomass as well as the quantification of the effluents produced to then estimate the quantification of the biogas and the interconnected economic savings. Furthermore, this study uses the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) approach in an innovative way by integrating renewable energy communities into it. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of biogas plants and how energy communities can transform weaknesses and threats into opportunities. The results show that the integration of biogas plants into the farm environment offers considerable potential, and although it is a challenge for small and medium-sized farms, it could bring energy self-sufficiency and economic surplus. Furthermore, the integration of renewable energy communities would be able to promote the diversification of energy supply and transform weaknesses and threats into opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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23 pages, 2796 KiB  
Article
Inventive Activity for Climate Change Mitigation: An Insight into the Maritime Industry
by Natalia Wagner
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7403; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217403 - 2 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Climate change mitigation is one of the most important challenges facing the modern world. It is necessary to monitor the development of new concepts and technologies and take a stab at identifying disruptive innovations, which have the potential of becoming real climate-friendly game [...] Read more.
Climate change mitigation is one of the most important challenges facing the modern world. It is necessary to monitor the development of new concepts and technologies and take a stab at identifying disruptive innovations, which have the potential of becoming real climate-friendly game changers. The aim of this paper is to examine the patterns of inventive activity aimed at mitigating climate change in the maritime industry with respect to other transport modes. Appropriate research tools in the area of patent analysis were selected and utilised. A new class of patents related to climate change in maritime transport (CPC-Y02T70/00) was used as a data source. The original value of the study consists of offering a complete picture of the efforts made in patenting activity in climate change mitigation in the maritime transport, with a look at leading applicants and countries, knowledge flows, the most robustly developed and underdeveloped technical fields. A map of technical knowledge flows for climate change mitigation in transport was constructed. The research results show that inventions for the maritime industry are less hermetic than those for air and road transport; however, they are not as much linked with previously developed solutions. The most intensively developed technical fields include the design and construction of watercraft hulls (1) and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to the propulsion system (2). Among the technologies whose further development merits close attention are solutions related to electrical propulsion and wave energy. At the same time, inventive activity in the area of climate change adaptation dedicated to ports is insignificant and definitely needs more support from the community of scientists and inventors. Building knowledge based on patent information can help universities, research institutions, shipyards, manufacturers of marine equipment and other business entities to identify the technologies of the greatest potential for further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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16 pages, 1559 KiB  
Article
Application of Intelligent and Digital Technologies to the Tasks of Wind Energy
by Vladislav N. Kovalnogov, Ruslan V. Fedorov, Andrei V. Chukalin, Mariya I. Kornilova, Tamara V. Karpukhina and Anton V. Petrov
Energies 2023, 16(1), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16010481 - 1 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
The article considers the relevance and issues of wind turbine modeling, the principles of wind energy conversion (WEC) system operation, working areas and regulation. The influence of soft computing technologies on the different aspects of wind power systems, particularly in the fields of [...] Read more.
The article considers the relevance and issues of wind turbine modeling, the principles of wind energy conversion (WEC) system operation, working areas and regulation. The influence of soft computing technologies on the different aspects of wind power systems, particularly in the fields of operation and maintenance, is considered. This article discusses the recent research, development and trends in soft computing techniques for wind-energy-conversion systems. For reliable analysis, the interaction of the wind-generator operation with the atmospheric boundary layer is considered. The authors give a detailed description of the approaches for the study and numerical modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) in the vicinity of a wind farm. The study of the atmospheric boundary layer in the vicinity of the Ulyanovsk wind farm on the basis of cluster analysis of meteorological data is performed. Ten localizations of ABL homogeneous properties are identified. The subject of the study is the application of the results of cluster analysis to set linguistic variables in fuzzy inference algorithms as well as to adjust the initial conditions in the digital model of a wind generator. The results of cluster analysis made it possible to reasonably construct membership functions for the wind speed value in the fuzzy control algorithm to limit the output power of wind turbines. A simulation of the operation of a three-bladed horizontal type wind turbine for the conditions of one of the resulting clusters is performed, and the main regularities of the flow around the wind turbine are revealed. The results obtained are a valuable source for assessing the mutual influence of wind farms and the environment as well as wind farm site development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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22 pages, 3538 KiB  
Article
Innovation and Climate Change Mitigation Technology in the Asian and African Mining Sector: Empirical Analysis Using the LMDI Method
by Cety Gessica Abraham Mahanga Tsoni, Railh Gugus Tresor Massonini Ngoma and Xiangrui Meng
Energies 2022, 15(24), 9424; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15249424 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2952
Abstract
Technology plays an essential role as climate change becomes a growing concern worldwide. This article aims to examine the influence that innovation exerts on climate change mitigation technology (CCMT) in the African and Asian mining sectors. Data were collected from the World Intellectual [...] Read more.
Technology plays an essential role as climate change becomes a growing concern worldwide. This article aims to examine the influence that innovation exerts on climate change mitigation technology (CCMT) in the African and Asian mining sectors. Data were collected from the World Intellectual Property Organization mining database. We conducted a decomposition analysis of patent families between 2011 and 2020 based on the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method. Findings revealed that African countries do not devote their innovation efforts to adaptive technologies, resulting in a mismatch between mining and access to technologies as the scope of R&D narrows. In Asia, the drive for innovation and technological efficiency is a tool to prevent economic damage and legitimize technological benefits as solutions for climate change mitigation technology. This outcome calls on political, national, and international governments to bridge the innovation gap to trigger a real shift from innovation to these technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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20 pages, 1040 KiB  
Article
Inter-Fuel Substitution, Technical Change, and Carbon Mitigation Potential in Pakistan: Perspectives of Environmental Analysis
by Muhammad Yousaf Raza and Songlin Tang
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8758; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228758 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1448
Abstract
Currently, Pakistan is in a stage of urbanization and industrialization, raising its energy demand and supply and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2Es) due to the excessive use of fossil fuels. In meeting future demand and supply predictions, much emphasis should be given [...] Read more.
Currently, Pakistan is in a stage of urbanization and industrialization, raising its energy demand and supply and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2Es) due to the excessive use of fossil fuels. In meeting future demand and supply predictions, much emphasis should be given to both energy consumption and the level of inter-factor and inter-fuel substitution possibilities. Specifically, future outcomes for energy demand are more valid when production models contemplate substitution elasticity occurring during the period. To analyze the potential for little reliance on fossil fuels and diminish CO2Es, the present research has examined the potential for the substitution of energy and non-energy factors (i.e., natural gas, electricity, petroleum, labor, and capital) by using translog productions function over the period between 1986–2019. The ridge regression method is applied to evade the multicollinearity issue in the data. The model analyzes the output elasticity, substitution elasticity, technical progress, and carbon emission scenarios. The results show that the output elasticities are growing, presenting that the contribution of all factors adds to economic growth. The inputs between capital-petroleum, capital-electricity, labor-electricity, capital-natural gas, and natural gas-electricity are extreme substitutes. These substitutes are increasing capital growth and production sizes. The relative difference in technical progress shows a small positive change between 3–7% with convergence evident. Lastly, the investment scenarios under 5% and 10% investment in petroleum reduction are evidence that the CO2Es would reduce by 7.5 Mt and 10.43 Mt under scenario 1 and 7.0 Mt and 10.9 Mt under scenario 2. The results have broader suggestions for energy-conserving policies, particularly under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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19 pages, 11804 KiB  
Article
Meso-Mechanical Characteristics of Granite with Natural Cracks after Mud Acid Corrosion
by Rongchen Tong, Hejuan Liu, Jianfeng Liu, Yingkun Shi, Lihuan Xie and Shengnan Ban
Energies 2022, 15(3), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030721 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Most of the discovered high-temperature geothermal energy systems are often related with granite that is characterized by natural faults, fractures and cracks of different size. However, the porosity and permeability of the granite matrix is very low, greatly limiting the efficiency of heat [...] Read more.
Most of the discovered high-temperature geothermal energy systems are often related with granite that is characterized by natural faults, fractures and cracks of different size. However, the porosity and permeability of the granite matrix is very low, greatly limiting the efficiency of heat extraction in granitic rock. Chemical stimulation, which is regarded as one of the most important means of reservoir stimulation, has consequently received more and more attention. In this paper, a Triassic granite obtained from the eastern region of Liaoning Province in China was reacted with three different concentration of mud acid solution (8% HCl + 1% HF, 10% HCl + 2% HF, 12% HCl + 3% HF) and the resulting microstructure changes studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The experimental results show that the number of micropores in the granite increases after chemical corrosion by mud acid solution. A higher mud acid solution concentration results in a much higher pore volume. Triaxial compression tests on the granite before and after chemical corrosion were carried out to study the effect of acidification on the mechanical characteristics of granite, showing that the peak stress and elastic modulus of granite decreases 25.7% and 16.5%, respectively, after exposure to mud acid solution (12% HCl + 3% HF) corrosion for three weeks at room temperature. The particle flow program PFC2D based on discrete element method was used to investigate the mechanical response before and after the chemical corrosion. Considering that the granite is rich in microcracks, the study is simplified by considering them all grouped into one main closed fracture. The influences of main crack inclination angle, crack length, friction coefficient and confining pressure on the mechanical response were investigated. Under the triaxial compression loading state, wing cracks appear at the initial crack tip, then secondary cracks begin to appear. The sensitivity analysis shows that three characteristic strengths (crack initiation strength, damage strength and peak strength) are strongly correlated with crack length, crack inclination angle, crack surface friction coefficient and confining pressure. These three characteristic strengths decrease 60%, 59% and 53%, respectively, compared with their initial values with the increase of main crack length from 6 mm to 22 mm, while they present positive correlation with the fracture friction coefficient from 0 to 1.0 and confining pressure from 10 to 50 MPa. There is a critical inclination angle of the main crack (i.e., 45°), meaning that these three characteristic strengths of granite decrease with inclination angles smaller than 45°, while they increase with an inclination angle larger than 45°. After the corrosion effect of mud acid solution on granite, the pore structure was changed and mechanical properties was damaged, which further affect the failure mode and failure process of granite samples affected by mud acid solutions. This paper provides a theoretical reference for evaluating the effect of chemical stimulation technology on the mechanical characteristics of granite, serving for the continuous hydraulic stimulation design after the chemical stimulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation)
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