Special Issue "Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rafał Weron
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Operations Research, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Wyb. Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Angelica Gianfreda
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Economics and Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, piazza Università 1, 39100 Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the European Commission emphasizes, the world—and Europe in particular—needs to step up its investment in energy efficiency and renewable technologies, and the development of clean energy business models, embracing new opportunities and consumer empowerment brought about by digitization. However, the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy, e.g., by shifting generation to renewable energy-sources (RES), introducing demand-response (DR) programs, and enabling technologies, is a difficult and costly process. Due to the intermittent and unpredictable nature of wind and solar power, a massive introduction of RES can affect prices paid to procure balancing resources and, consequently, the costs charged to end users. On the demand side, the transition involves not only technologies but also policies, user practices, information sharing, and a behavioral change among electricity consumers.

This Special Issue, therefore, seeks to contribute to the literature through cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary research that addresses the (socio-)economics of sustainable and renewable energy-systems. We invite papers on innovative scientific developments, sound case studies, as well as reviews.

Prof. Dr. Rafał Weron
Prof. Dr. Angelica Gianfreda
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 2000 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 sources 
  • electricity markets 
  • balancing costs 
  • energy policy 
  • demand response 
  • green electricity 
  • electricity tariffs 
  • willingness to pay 
  • consumer behavior 
  • smart grids

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Is Investing in Companies Manufacturing Solar Components a Lucrative Business? A Decision Tree Based Analysis
Energies 2020, 13(2), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020499 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 697
Abstract
In an era of increasing energy production from renewable sources, the demand for components for renewable energy systems has dramatically increased. Consequently, managers and investors are interested in knowing whether a company associated with the semiconductor and related device manufacturing sector, especially the [...] Read more.
In an era of increasing energy production from renewable sources, the demand for components for renewable energy systems has dramatically increased. Consequently, managers and investors are interested in knowing whether a company associated with the semiconductor and related device manufacturing sector, especially the photovoltaic (PV) systems manufacturers, is a money-making business. We apply a new approach that extends prior research by applying decision trees (DTs) to identify ratios (i.e., indicators), which discriminate between companies within the sector that do (designated as “green”) and do not (“red”) produce elements of PV systems. Our results indicate that on the basis of selected ratios, green companies can be distinguished from the red companies without an in-depth analysis of the product portfolio. We also find that green companies, especially operating in China are characterized by lower financial performance, thus providing a negative (and unexpected) answer to the question posed in the title. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Electricity Demand by Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs): An Example of e-Motor Scooters in the Context of Large City Management in Poland
Energies 2020, 13(1), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010194 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
Personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs) are a phenomenon that can currently be observed in cities, intended to be an ecological form of transport. The authors of the paper make an attempt to determine electricity consumption by PLEVs in the context of managing a [...] Read more.
Personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs) are a phenomenon that can currently be observed in cities, intended to be an ecological form of transport. The authors of the paper make an attempt to determine electricity consumption by PLEVs in the context of managing a large city in accordance with the concept of sustainable development. The article is of a cognitive nature. Research questions posed against the background of the goal formulated are as follows: how strong will the demand for PLEVs be (in the example of e-motor scooters, taking into consideration the number of vehicles) and for the electricity consumed by PLEVs. The method used is a simulation model. The conducted analyses demonstrate that a dynamic growth of PLEVs will result in an increased energy demand, which must be taken into account by the cities, developing according to the sustainable development conception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Timing of Onshore Wind Repowering in Germany under Policy Regime Changes: A Real Options Analysis
Energies 2019, 12(24), 4703; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12244703 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate capacity expansion, the technological development of wind turbine generators, and the merits of onshore wind repowering in Germany. We analyze the regulatory framework that is presently in place and its impact on the profitability of the onshore wind [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate capacity expansion, the technological development of wind turbine generators, and the merits of onshore wind repowering in Germany. We analyze the regulatory framework that is presently in place and its impact on the profitability of the onshore wind parks commissioned under previous regulatory frameworks. The optimal timing of repowering under today’s market premium model is scrutinized. Repowering in a market without subsidies for onshore wind energy is also evaluated. In the two cases (regimes) investigated, the electricity price is modeled stochastically as a geometric Brownian motion process. More specifically, using a real options modeling framework for investments under a free market regime, we analyze how the regime change affects the optimal timing of repowering. Further, we check the results for their robustness via a sensitivity analysis for both analyzed regimes. We find that repowering well before the plant’s expected end of life (‘early repowering’) can be economically preferable under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act 2017 remuneration scheme and that, due to the electricity spot market price development, repowering under the market premium regime is more profitable than it is under the free market regime. The economic viability is strongly influenced by the duration of the initial tariff granted to the old installation, the expected digression factor of the future reference tariff, and the increase in electricity generation achieved through repowering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Socioeconomic Impacts of Integrating Distributed Energy Resources in Electricity Markets through Input-Output Models
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4486; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234486 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
In competitive electricity markets, the growth of electricity generated by renewable sources will reduce the market price of electricity assuming marginal cost pricing. However, small renewable distributed generation (RDG) alone cannot modify the formation of electricity prices. By aggregating small RDG units into [...] Read more.
In competitive electricity markets, the growth of electricity generated by renewable sources will reduce the market price of electricity assuming marginal cost pricing. However, small renewable distributed generation (RDG) alone cannot modify the formation of electricity prices. By aggregating small RDG units into a Virtual Power Plants (as a single unit market) they are capable of dealing at the wholesale electricity market analogous to large-scale producer following in changes in wholesale prices. This paper investigates the socioeconomic impacts of different type of RDG technologies on Spanish economic sectors and households. To this end, we applied an input-output price model to detail the activities more sensitive to changes in electricity price due to RDG technologies deployment and the associated modifications in income and total output associated with the households’ consumption variation. Detailed Spanish electricity generation disaggregation of the latest available Spanish Input-Output table, which refers to 2015, was considered. It was found that the integration of RDG units in the electricity market project a better situation for the economy and Spanish households. This paper’s scope and information can be used to benefit decision-making with respect to electricity pricing policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Consumer Support and Willingness to Pay for Electricity from Solar, Wind, and Cow Manure in the United States: Evidence from a Survey in Vermont
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4467; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234467 - 23 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Information on public support and willingness to pay (WTP) for renewable energy from alternative sources is critically important for the development and evaluation of renewable energy policies and programs. This study assesses consumer support and WTP for electricity from solar panels, wind turbines, [...] Read more.
Information on public support and willingness to pay (WTP) for renewable energy from alternative sources is critically important for the development and evaluation of renewable energy policies and programs. This study assesses consumer support and WTP for electricity from solar panels, wind turbines, and on-farm anaerobic digester systems (ADS) in the United States, using data collected from a household survey in the state of Vermont. Empirical results suggest that solar power was the respondents’ top choice for public investment, and cow power (electricity generated from ADS) was the least-favored choice. Also, the variations in the likelihood of being willing to pay a premium for each renewable electricity across respondents were closely associated with factors such as education, political affiliation, homeownership, and local agricultural engagement. The relatively low level of public support and WTP for cow power is likely the result of unfamiliarity with this renewable source of electricity, and more educational efforts are highly needed to promote this renewable energy with many environmental benefits for a dairy state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Case Study on Distributed Energy Resources and Energy-Storage Systems in a Virtual Power Plant Concept: Economic Aspects
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4447; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234447 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
This paper analyzes the technical and economic possibilities of integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy-storage systems (ESSs) into a virtual power plant (VPP) and operating them as a single power plant. The purpose of the study is to assess the economic efficiency [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the technical and economic possibilities of integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy-storage systems (ESSs) into a virtual power plant (VPP) and operating them as a single power plant. The purpose of the study is to assess the economic efficiency of the VPP model, which is influenced by several factors such as energy price and energy production. Ten scenarios for the VPP were prepared on the basis of the installed capacities of a hydropower plant (HPP), rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV), and energy-storage system (ESS), as well as weather conditions, in Poland. On the basis of technical conditions, it was assumed that the maximum power capacity of the ESS equaled 1.5 MW. The economic efficiency analysis presented in this paper demonstrated that, in seven years, the VPP will achieve a positive value of the net present value (NPV) for a scenario with 0.5 MW battery storage and rainy summers. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis was conducted on price factors and DER production volume. The price variable had a major impact on the NPV value for all scenarios. The scenario with a 0.5 MW battery and typical summers was highly sensitive to all factors, and its sensitivity decreased as the ESS capacity grew from 0.5 to 1.5 MW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Financial Standing of Companies Generating Electricity from Renewable Sources and Fossil Fuels: A New Hybrid Approach
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3856; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203856 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 760
Abstract
Companies operating in the energy sector are under pressure to boost the level of green energy production. The use of renewable energy sources will have a positive impact on the environment, but the basic question is whether power plants that produce electricity using [...] Read more.
Companies operating in the energy sector are under pressure to boost the level of green energy production. The use of renewable energy sources will have a positive impact on the environment, but the basic question is whether power plants that produce electricity using renewable energy sources are in better financial condition than those that use only traditional energy sources. We address the latter using a new hybrid approach that extends prior research by combining three analyses: ratio analysis with a large set of indicators, the Altman model and cluster analysis. To test the statistical significance of differences between groups, Student’s t-test is applied. The sample concerns companies from the Baltic States and Central Europe in the years 2008–2017. The results indicate that in most cases there is no statistical difference in the financial standing of companies that use renewable energy sources and those that generate only fossil fuel-based energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Energiewende @ Risk: On the Continuation of Renewable Power Generation at the End of Public Policy Support
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3616; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12193616 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze what happens with renewable energy power plants, such as onshore wind, photovoltaics and biomass, when the public policy support based on the Renewable Energy Law expires. With its expiration, the first renewable energy (and especially onshore wind) power [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyze what happens with renewable energy power plants, such as onshore wind, photovoltaics and biomass, when the public policy support based on the Renewable Energy Law expires. With its expiration, the first renewable energy (and especially onshore wind) power plants will have to be scrutinized as to whether they can economically continue operation, whether they have to be repowered, or whether they need to be decommissioned. The relative merits of these three alternatives are evaluated by applying real options analysis. In contrast to traditional project evaluation techniques, the real options approach takes advantage of the use of uncertain parameters included in the model, such as the development of the electricity price or electricity output. The results obtained suggest that parameters such as the level of future operation and maintenance costs, the expected development of the electricity price at the spot market, and the interrelations between these, as well as the development of the electricity output from renewables can significantly affect the profitability of these power plants and thus impact the decision about their further optimal operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Parsing the Effects of Wind and Solar Generation on the German Electricity Trade Surplus
Energies 2019, 12(18), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12183434 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1014
Abstract
Germany has experienced rapid growth in its renewable electricity generation capacity in the past fifteen years. This development has been accompanied by a drop in wholesale electricity prices and significant net export surpluses. This situation has given rise to discussions in policy circles [...] Read more.
Germany has experienced rapid growth in its renewable electricity generation capacity in the past fifteen years. This development has been accompanied by a drop in wholesale electricity prices and significant net export surpluses. This situation has given rise to discussions in policy circles concerning the drivers behind these dynamics. The paper at hand empirically analyzes historical cross-border commercial flows (CBCF) of electricity from Germany by applying a Ridge Regression model to parse the effects of the growing shares of renewable energy capacity on the commercial electricity exchange between 2012 and 2016. In case of PV, the fraction of PV generation (marginal effect of PV on export) that is exported correlates positively with the level of PV generation. However, the marginal effect of wind on export is negatively correlated with the level of wind generation. A possible explanation for this finding as it relates to wind feed-in could involve the high degree to which the grid is constrained at times of high wind penetration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Households’ Preferences for a New ‘Climate-Friendly’ Heating System: Does Contribution to Reducing Greenhouse Gases Matter?
Energies 2019, 12(13), 2632; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12132632 - 09 Jul 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
This study investigates the preferences of Italian home-owners when choosing a new domestic heating system. The focus is on understanding the influence on consumer choice of a potential label certifying the effect of the heating system on the greenhouse effect. To this end, [...] Read more.
This study investigates the preferences of Italian home-owners when choosing a new domestic heating system. The focus is on understanding the influence on consumer choice of a potential label certifying the effect of the heating system on the greenhouse effect. To this end, we designed a survey including a discrete choice experiment and administered it to residents in north-eastern Italy. Our findings reveal that, on average, respondents pay particular attention to the green effect of their purchase. The carbon dioxide reduction label was considered second in terms of importance after cost. Further analysis found that our sample presents three clusters of customers, with intra-cluster homogeneous preferences. The cluster analysis showed that while the initial system costs are considered to varying degrees by the whole sample, the carbon dioxide reduction label was considered important by 79% of respondents (members of clusters 1 and 2). To achieve greater results in reducing the greenhouse effect of the domestic heating sector, a combination of policies should be used simultaneously to achieve greater effectiveness. Our simulations support the hypothesis that policymakers should achieve greater results in terms of reducing the domestic greenhouse gas emissions by applying a combined policy that leverages the importance citizens accord to the different characteristics of a heating system. From our results, the application of a ‘low carbon dioxide ( C O 2 ) emissions’ label will amplify the effect of a subsidy that reduces the initial system costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Offshore Wind Capacity Expansion on Uncertainties in Germany’s Day-Ahead Wind Energy Forecasts
Energies 2019, 12(13), 2534; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12132534 - 01 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Germany has experienced rapid growth in onshore wind capacities over the past two decades. Substantial capacities of offshore wind turbines have been added since 2013. On a local, highly-resolved level, this analysis evaluated if differences in wind speed forecast errors exist for offshore [...] Read more.
Germany has experienced rapid growth in onshore wind capacities over the past two decades. Substantial capacities of offshore wind turbines have been added since 2013. On a local, highly-resolved level, this analysis evaluated if differences in wind speed forecast errors exist for offshore and onshore locations regarding magnitude and variation. A model based on the Extra Trees algorithm is proposed and found to be a viable method to transform local wind speeds and capacities into aggregated wind energy feed-in. This model was used to analyze if offshore and onshore wind power expansion lead to different distributions of day-ahead wind energy forecast errors in Germany. The Extra Trees model results indicate that offshore wind capacity expansion entails an energy forecast error distribution with more frequent medium to high deviations, stemming from larger and more variable wind speed deviations of offshore locations combined with greater geographical concentration of offshore wind turbines and their exposure to high-wind oceanic conditions. The energy forecast error distribution of onshore expansion, however, shows heavier tails and consequently more frequent extreme deviations. The analysis suggests that this can be rooted in the simultaneous over- or underestimation of wind speeds at many onshore locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Economic Effects of the Development of the Renewable Energy Industry in China
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091808 - 12 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
It is believed that renewable energy may become a dominant energy in the future. However, whether renewable energy can promote industry development like the use of fossil energy is still unknown. This paper uses social accounting matrix (SAM) multiplier model to analyze the [...] Read more.
It is believed that renewable energy may become a dominant energy in the future. However, whether renewable energy can promote industry development like the use of fossil energy is still unknown. This paper uses social accounting matrix (SAM) multiplier model to analyze the economic effects of renewable and coal energy in China. The transmission mechanisms of renewable and coal energy on production factors are also compared from the perspective of sector industry chain based on the structural path analysis (SPA) analysis method. We found that; renewable energy plays a stronger role in promoting the national economy than coal energy. Meanwhile, renewable energy can better promote the upgrading of the industrial structure compared with coal energy. Additionally, renewable energy affects economic development, mainly through the intermediate industries such as electrical machinery manufacturing and transportation, warehousing and service industries. These findings provide further insights into the influence path of renewable energy, which yields important implications for reasonably designing and choosing new energy development planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of the Willingness to Energy Monitoring by Residential Consumers: A Case Study in the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Energies 2019, 12(5), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12050907 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1000
Abstract
This paper analyses attitudinal and socio-economic determinants of the householders’ willingness to monitor their energy consumption. Residential consumers can monitor their energy consumption by means of traditional (electricity bill) and modern tools (smart metering information platforms, SMP). Within this empirical study we test [...] Read more.
This paper analyses attitudinal and socio-economic determinants of the householders’ willingness to monitor their energy consumption. Residential consumers can monitor their energy consumption by means of traditional (electricity bill) and modern tools (smart metering information platforms, SMP). Within this empirical study we test the effect of environmental attitudes, knowledge and perceived possibilities on consumers’ stages of readiness to adopt SMP based the stage model of self-regulated behavioral change (SSCB). Perceived possibilities to monitor energy consumption on a regular basis was found to be the predictor of adoption in every examined stage of readiness. General knowledge predicted adoption of the stage in which consumers declared willingness to learn know-how of using SMP. The results suggest that an effectiveness of educational campaigns may be restricted to only some consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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