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Special Issue "Energy Policy and Climate Change"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2015)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Dovì

Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Genoa, Via Dodecaneso 31, Genova 16146, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 329 2104493
Fax: +39 010 3532586
Interests: modelling of industrial processes; optimisation of energy investment projects; energy efficiency; analysis of energy data
Guest Editor
Dr. Antonella Battaglini

Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Telegrafenberg A 31, 14473 Potsdam, Germany and Renewables-Grid Initiative (RGI), Neue Promenade 6 D- 10178 Berlin, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: renewable energies; energy transition; decentralised generation; power grids; smart grids environmental protection; public perception; nimbyism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The priorities of energy policy, such as security of supply, efficient demand side management, the impacts on the environment, and the economic consequences of global warming, have not substantially changed in the last decade.

However, the recent financial turmoil and geopolitical conflicts in sensitive areas, as well as technological innovation and the costs reductions of renewable technologies, have altered the basic conditions and constraints under which solutions are to be searched for.

This Special Issue of Energies is dedicated to the analysis of strategies, scenarios, and technical developments that will affect the energy policies of regional and national governments, the work of supranational and intergovernmental institutions, and the investment decisions of the private sector in the near future.

This issue will encompass the following fields, which are to be regarded as broad thematic areas, each of which may include more specialized topics:

•     Public policy options in the energy sector

•     Impact of climate policies on the sustainable development of energy systems

•     Analysis of global warming containment measures apt to increase international consensus

•     New geopolitical scenarios for security of supply

•     Development and innovation of infrastructures in the energy sector

•     Technical advances in energy generation and use

•     Strategies for the diffusion of energy saving technologies, including corporate investment decisions

•     Innovative models of demand side management

•     Financing of energy projects

•     Analysis of the adequacy of national and international legal frameworks for energy policy

•     Role of public opinions and of other key stakeholders

We welcome contributions critically addressing one or more of the above topics and that are potentially capable of providing new insights and original proposals.

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Dovì
Dr. Antonella Battaglini
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 monthly 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 1600 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.

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 monthly 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 1600 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

  • climate
  • demand
  • energy
  • financing
  • geopolitical
  • incentives
  • infrastructures
  • intergovernmental
  • investments
  • legislation
  • management
  • public
  • stakeholders
  • supply
  • sustainability
  • taxation
  • technology

Published Papers (30 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Energy Policy and Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach to a Global Problem
Energies 2015, 8(12), 13473-13480; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212379
Received: 6 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 26 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (170 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the period between the end of the Second World War and the oil crises of 1973 and 1979, the most critical issues in the energy debate were the impending depletion of non-renewable resources and the level of pollution that the environment is
[...] Read more.
In the period between the end of the Second World War and the oil crises of 1973 and 1979, the most critical issues in the energy debate were the impending depletion of non-renewable resources and the level of pollution that the environment is able to sustain. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle Determination of Priority Study Areas for Coupling CO2 Storage and CH4 Gas Hydrates Recovery in the Portuguese Offshore Area
Energies 2015, 8(9), 10276-10292; https://doi.org/10.3390/en80910276
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gas hydrates in sub-seabed sediments is an unexploited source of energy with estimated reserves larger than those of conventional oil. One of the methods for recovering methane from gas hydrates involves injection of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), causing the dissociation of methane and storing
[...] Read more.
Gas hydrates in sub-seabed sediments is an unexploited source of energy with estimated reserves larger than those of conventional oil. One of the methods for recovering methane from gas hydrates involves injection of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), causing the dissociation of methane and storing CO2. The occurrence of gas hydrates offshore Portugal is well known associated to mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz. This article presents a determination of the areas with conditions for the formation of biogenic gas hydrates in Portugal’s mainland geological continental margin and assesses their overlap with CO2 hydrates stability zones defined in previous studies. The gas hydrates stability areas are defined using a transfer function recently published by other authors and takes into account the sedimentation rate, the particulate organic carbon content and the thickness of the gas hydrate stability zone. An equilibrium equation for gas hydrates, function of temperature and pressure, was adjusted using non-linear regression and the maximum stability zone thickness was found to be 798 m. The gas hydrates inventory was conducted in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment and a full compaction scenario was adopted, with localized vertical flow assumed in the accrecionary wedge where mud volcanoes occur. Four areas where temperature and pressure conditions may exist for formation of gas hydrates were defined at an average of 60 km from Portugal’s mainland coastline. Two of those areas coincide with CO2 hydrates stability areas previously defined and should be the subject of further research to evaluate the occurrence of gas hydrate and the possibility of its recovery coupled with CO2 storage in sub-seabed sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Carbon as Investment Risk—The Influence of Fossil Fuel Divestment on Decision Making at Germany’s Main Power Providers
Energies 2015, 8(9), 9620-9639; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8099620
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 18 August 2015 / Accepted: 19 August 2015 / Published: 3 September 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
German electricity giants have recently taken high-level decisions to remove selected fossil fuel operations from their company portfolio. This new corporate strategy could be seen as a direct response to the growing global influence of the fossil fuel divestment campaign. In this paper
[...] Read more.
German electricity giants have recently taken high-level decisions to remove selected fossil fuel operations from their company portfolio. This new corporate strategy could be seen as a direct response to the growing global influence of the fossil fuel divestment campaign. In this paper we ask whether the divestment movement currently exerts significant influence on decision-making at the top four German energy giants—E.On, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW. We find that this is not yet the case. After describing the trajectory of the global fossil fuel divestment campaign, we outline four alternative influences on corporate strategy that, currently, are having a greater impact than the divestment movement on Germany’s power sector. In time, however, clear political decisions and strong civil support may increase the significance of climate change concerns in the strategic management of the German electricity giants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Can the BestGrid Process Improve Stakeholder Involvement in Electricity Transmission Projects?
Energies 2015, 8(9), 9407-9433; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8099407
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 24 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European Union has set ambitious targets for deployment of renewable energy sources to reach goals of climate change mitigation and energy security policies. However, the current state of electricity transmission infrastructure is a major bottleneck for further scaling up of renewable energy
[...] Read more.
The European Union has set ambitious targets for deployment of renewable energy sources to reach goals of climate change mitigation and energy security policies. However, the current state of electricity transmission infrastructure is a major bottleneck for further scaling up of renewable energy in the EU. Several thousands of kilometers of new lines have to be constructed and upgraded to accommodate growing volumes of intermittent renewable electricity. In many countries, construction of electricity transmission projects has been delayed for several years due to concerns of local stakeholders. The innovative BESTGRID approach, reported here, brings together transmission system operators (TSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss and understand the nature of stakeholder concerns. This paper has three objectives: (1) to understand stakeholder concerns about the deployment of electricity transmission grids in four pilot projects according to five guiding principles: need, transparency, engagement, environment, and impacts on human health as well as benefits; (2) to understand how these principles can be addressed to provide a basis for better decision-making outcomes; and (3) to evaluate the BESTGRID process based on feedback received from stakeholders and the level of participation achieved according to the ladder of Arnstein. This paper goes beyond a discussion of “measures to mitigate opposition” to understand how dialogue between TSOs and the public—represented mainly by NGOs and policy-makers—might lead to a better decision-making process and more sustainable electricity transmission infrastructure deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Wind Resource Mapping Using Landscape Roughness and Spatial Interpolation Methods
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8682-8703; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088682
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy saving, reduction of greenhouse gasses and increased use of renewables are key policies to achieve the European 2020 targets. In particular, distributed renewable energy sources, integrated with spatial planning, require novel methods to optimise supply and demand. In contrast with large scale
[...] Read more.
Energy saving, reduction of greenhouse gasses and increased use of renewables are key policies to achieve the European 2020 targets. In particular, distributed renewable energy sources, integrated with spatial planning, require novel methods to optimise supply and demand. In contrast with large scale wind turbines, small and medium wind turbines (SMWTs) have a less extensive impact on the use of space and the power system, nevertheless, a significant spatial footprint is still present and the need for good spatial planning is a necessity. To optimise the location of SMWTs, detailed knowledge of the spatial distribution of the average wind speed is essential, hence, in this article, wind measurements and roughness maps were used to create a reliable annual mean wind speed map of Flanders at 10 m above the Earth’s surface. Via roughness transformation, the surface wind speed measurements were converted into meso- and macroscale wind data. The data were further processed by using seven different spatial interpolation methods in order to develop regional wind resource maps. Based on statistical analysis, it was found that the transformation into mesoscale wind, in combination with Simple Kriging, was the most adequate method to create reliable maps for decision-making on optimal production sites for SMWTs in Flanders (Belgium). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Barriers, Risks and Policies for Renewables in the Gulf States
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8263-8285; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088263
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have both large fossil fuel resources and vast renewable energy potentials. Here, we investigate in a literature meta-analysis and a survey, whether there is a need for renewables in the GCC, what barriers and risks
[...] Read more.
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have both large fossil fuel resources and vast renewable energy potentials. Here, we investigate in a literature meta-analysis and a survey, whether there is a need for renewables in the GCC, what barriers and risks presently deter investments, and what possible policy-solutions could be. We find that there is a long-term need for renewables, to diversify the economy and prepare for a post-fossil fuel era. In the short term, two main obstacles deter investments: inefficient bureaucracy, and the combination of fossil fuel/electricity subsidies and the absence of renewable energy support. Removing fossil fuel and consumption subsidies or introducing a support scheme could make investments in renewables profitable. Eliminating energy subsidies appears particularly beneficial to the economic outlook but this seems particularly difficult to implement, due to the political economy of rentier states. Increased bureaucratic transparency and efficiency is needed, so that potentially attractive investments can rapidly and predictably obtain the necessary permissions. Hence, the administrative and economic environment for renewable energy investments in the GCC is not right today, and no breakthrough is on the horizon, but there is a range of policy solutions to enable investments in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Global Energy Development and Climate-Induced Water Scarcity—Physical Limits, Sectoral Constraints, and Policy Imperatives
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8211-8225; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088211
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 5 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current accelerated growth in demand for energy globally is confronted by water-resource limitations and hydrologic variability linked to climate change. The global spatial and temporal trends in water requirements for energy development and policy alternatives to address these constraints are poorly understood.
[...] Read more.
The current accelerated growth in demand for energy globally is confronted by water-resource limitations and hydrologic variability linked to climate change. The global spatial and temporal trends in water requirements for energy development and policy alternatives to address these constraints are poorly understood. This article analyzes national-level energy demand trends from U.S. Energy Information Administration data in relation to newly available assessments of water consumption and life-cycle impacts of thermoelectric generation and biofuel production, and freshwater availability and sectoral allocations from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank. Emerging, energy-related water scarcity flashpoints include the world’s largest, most diversified economies (Brazil, India, China, and USA among others), while physical water scarcity continues to pose limits to energy development in the Middle East and small-island states. Findings include the following: (a) technological obstacles to alleviate water scarcity driven by energy demand are surmountable; (b) resource conservation is inevitable, driven by financial limitations and efficiency gains; and (c) institutional arrangements play a pivotal role in the virtuous water-energy-climate cycle. We conclude by making reference to coupled energy-water policy alternatives including water-conserving energy portfolios, intersectoral water transfers, virtual water for energy, hydropower tradeoffs, and use of impaired waters for energy development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle The Future of Solar Power in the United Kingdom
Energies 2015, 8(8), 7818-7832; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8087818
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We used detailed industry data to analyse the impacts of expected further cost reductions on the competitiveness of solar power in Britain, and assess whether the solar market can survive without support in the near future. We investigated three solar power markets: large-scale,
[...] Read more.
We used detailed industry data to analyse the impacts of expected further cost reductions on the competitiveness of solar power in Britain, and assess whether the solar market can survive without support in the near future. We investigated three solar power markets: large-scale, ground-mounted “solar farms” (defined in our analysis as larger than a 5000 kilowatt system); commercial roof-top (250 kW); and residential rooftop (3 kW). We found that all three would be economic without support in the next decade. Such an outcome assumes progressively falling support under a stable policy regime. We found that unsubsidised residential solar power may be cheaper with battery storage within the next five to 10 years. Unsupported domestic solar battery packs achieve payback periods of less than 10 years by 2025. That could create an inflexion point driving adoption of domestic solar systems. The variability of solar power will involve some grid integration costs at higher penetration levels, such as more frequent power market scheduling; more interconnector capacity; storage; and backup power. These costs and responses could be weighed against non-market benefits including the potential for grid balancing; lower carbon and particulate emissions; and energy security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Flow Regime Changes: From Impounding a Temperate Lowland River to Small Hydropower Operations
Energies 2015, 8(7), 7478-7501; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8077478
Received: 19 May 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses the environmental issues facing small hydropower plants (SHPs) operating in temperate lowland rivers of Lithuania. The research subjects are two medium head reservoir type hydro schemes considered within a context of the global fleet of SHPs in the country. This
[...] Read more.
This article discusses the environmental issues facing small hydropower plants (SHPs) operating in temperate lowland rivers of Lithuania. The research subjects are two medium head reservoir type hydro schemes considered within a context of the global fleet of SHPs in the country. This research considers general abiotic indicators (flow, level, water retention time in the reservoirs) of the stream that may affect the aquatic systems. The main idea was to test whether the hydrologic regime has been altered by small hydropower dams. The analysis of changes in abiotic indicators is a complex process, including both pre- and post-reservoir construction and post commissioning of the SHPs under operation. Downstream hydrograph (flow and stage) ramping is also an issue for operating SHPs that can result in temporary rapid changes in flow and consequently negatively impact aquatic resources. This ramping has been quantitatively evaluated. To avoid the risk of excessive flow ramping, the types of turbines available were evaluated and the most suitable types for the natural river flow regime were identified. The results of this study are to allow for new hydro schemes or upgrades to use water resources in a more sustainable way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Horizontal and Vertical Reinforcement in Global Climate Governance
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5782-5799; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065782
Received: 25 February 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 16 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is dealing with mechanisms that can accelerate the global diffusion of climate-friendly technologies. The accelerated diffusion of low-carbon technology innovation can possibly be achieved by interactive processes such as: (1) mutually reinforcing cycles of policy-induced domestic market growth, innovation, and policy
[...] Read more.
This paper is dealing with mechanisms that can accelerate the global diffusion of climate-friendly technologies. The accelerated diffusion of low-carbon technology innovation can possibly be achieved by interactive processes such as: (1) mutually reinforcing cycles of policy-induced domestic market growth, innovation, and policy feedback; (2) lead markets and political lesson-drawing, the reinforced international adoption of innovations from pioneer countries; and (3) interaction between the vertical and horizontal dynamics in multi-level systems of governance. The three mechanisms are not exclusive. They can overlap and reinforce each other. After a theoretical introduction they will be described. The empirical focus is on the European system of multi-level climate governance. The paper draws some final conclusions for policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Industrial Energy Management Decision Making for Improved Energy Efficiency—Strategic System Perspectives and Situated Action in Combination
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5694-5703; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065694
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improved industrial energy efficiency is a cornerstone in climate change mitigation. Research results suggest that there is still major untapped potential for improved industrial energy efficiency. The major model used to explain the discrepancy between optimal level of energy efficiency and the current
[...] Read more.
Improved industrial energy efficiency is a cornerstone in climate change mitigation. Research results suggest that there is still major untapped potential for improved industrial energy efficiency. The major model used to explain the discrepancy between optimal level of energy efficiency and the current level is the barrier model, e.g., different barriers to energy efficiency inhibit adoption of cost-effective measures. The measures outlined in research and policy action plans are almost exclusively technology-oriented, but great potential for energy efficiency improvements is also found in operational measures. Both technology and operational measures are combined in successful energy management practices. Most research in the field of energy management is grounded in engineering science, and theoretical models on how energy management in industry is carried out are scarce. One way to further develop and improve energy management, both theoretically as well as practically, is to explore how a socio-technical perspective can contribute to this understanding. In this article we will further elaborate this potential of cross-pollinating these fields. The aim of this paper is to relate energy management to two theoretical models, situated action and transaction analysis. We conclude that the current model for energy management systems, the input-output model, is insufficient for understanding in-house industrial energy management practices. By the incorporation of situated action and transaction analysis to the currently used input-output model, an enhanced understanding of the complexity of energy management is gained. It is not possible to find a single energy management solution suitable for any industrial company, but rather the idea is to find a reflexive model that can be adjusted from time to time. An idea for such a reflexive model would contain the structural elements from energy management models with consideration for decisions being situated and impossible to predict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Using Satellite SAR to Characterize the Wind Flow around Offshore Wind Farms
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5413-5439; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065413
Received: 16 April 2015 / Revised: 28 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Offshore wind farm cluster effects between neighboring wind farms increase rapidly with the large-scale deployment of offshore wind turbines. The wind farm wakes observed from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are sometimes visible and atmospheric and wake models are here shown to convincingly reproduce
[...] Read more.
Offshore wind farm cluster effects between neighboring wind farms increase rapidly with the large-scale deployment of offshore wind turbines. The wind farm wakes observed from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are sometimes visible and atmospheric and wake models are here shown to convincingly reproduce the observed very long wind farm wakes. The present study mainly focuses on wind farm wake climatology based on Envisat ASAR. The available SAR data archive covering the large offshore wind farms at Horns Rev has been used for geo-located wind farm wake studies. However, the results are difficult to interpret due to mainly three issues: the limited number of samples per wind directional sector, the coastal wind speed gradient, and oceanic bathymetry effects in the SAR retrievals. A new methodology is developed and presented. This method overcomes effectively the first issue and in most cases, but not always, the second. In the new method all wind field maps are rotated such that the wind is always coming from the same relative direction. By applying the new method to the SAR wind maps, mesoscale and microscale model wake aggregated wind-fields results are compared. The SAR-based findings strongly support the model results at Horns Rev 1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Security of Supply in European Electricity Markets—Determinants of Investment Decisions and the European Energy Union
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5198-5216; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065198
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (783 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European Union and its Member States are seeking to decarbonize their energy systems, including the electricity sector and, at the same time, pursue market integration. However, renewable energy (RE) deployment and the liberalization of the energy-only market have raised concerns at the
[...] Read more.
The European Union and its Member States are seeking to decarbonize their energy systems, including the electricity sector and, at the same time, pursue market integration. However, renewable energy (RE) deployment and the liberalization of the energy-only market have raised concerns at the national level about the security of electricity supplies in the future. Some actors consider the lack of sufficient investments in generation capacities a threat to supply security. As a consequence, it was proposed that capacity markets solve these problems. The underlying assumption is that the market design is the only determining factor for investments in security of supply options. In this article, we question this narrow view and identify further determinants of the investment decisions of electricity market participants. Based on the insights of institutional sociology and economics, we understand the market to be a social institution that structures the behavioural expectations of market participants. Derived from the theoretical conceptualization and based on qualitative literature review and own work, we find four determinants for investment behaviour beyond the formal market design: Material opportunities, strategic actor behavior and identity, focusing events and discursive expectations about the future. With this perspective, we discuss the introduction of a European Energy Union as a possible tool that might have a great impact on the more informal determinants such as expectations about the future and the construction of a European energy narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Theorizing for Maintenance Management Improvements: Using Case Studies from the Icelandic Geothermal Sector
Energies 2015, 8(6), 4943-4962; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8064943
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As renewable energy sectors evolve and grow within a country, the need for expertise to maintain its infrastructure grows. Such expertise is often provided by foreign industries. It is in the global interest to facilitate expertise to grow domestically, eventually leading to widespread
[...] Read more.
As renewable energy sectors evolve and grow within a country, the need for expertise to maintain its infrastructure grows. Such expertise is often provided by foreign industries. It is in the global interest to facilitate expertise to grow domestically, eventually leading to widespread clusters of industries around a renewable energy sector and a global growth of expertise. This ultimately fast tracks the development in the renewable energy sector since more players become active in developing solutions. In this article the factors influencing domestic development are identified from previous studies conducted within the Icelandic geothermal sector. The cause and effect relationships between the identified factors are then mapped. A system dynamics causal loop diagram based on Icelandic case studies is presented to visualise how the formation of industrial clusters in the renewable energy sector can be initiated. This visualisation, based on the Icelandic geothermal sector, can be of use for other industries in the renewable energy sector who are attempting to conduct their maintenance procedures domestically and increase the rate of innovation within a country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Current and Future Friends of the Earth: Assessing Cross-National Theories of Environmental Attitudes
Energies 2015, 8(6), 4899-4919; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8064899
Received: 27 January 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Empirical studies of public opinion on environmental protection have typically been grounded in Inglehart’s post-materialism thesis, proposing that societal affluence encourages materially-sated publics to look beyond their interests and value the environment. These studies are generally conducted within, or at best across, Western,
[...] Read more.
Empirical studies of public opinion on environmental protection have typically been grounded in Inglehart’s post-materialism thesis, proposing that societal affluence encourages materially-sated publics to look beyond their interests and value the environment. These studies are generally conducted within, or at best across, Western, democratic, industrialized countries. Absence of truly cross-cultural research means the theory’s limitations have gone undetected. This article draws on an exceptionally broad dataset—pooling cross-sectional survey data from 80 countries, each sampled at up to three different points over 15 years—to investigate environmental attitudes. We find that post-materialism provides little account of pro-environment attitudes across diverse cultures, and a far from adequate explanation even in the affluent West. We suggest that unique domestic interests, more than broad value systems, are driving emerging global trends in environmental attitudes. The environment’s future champions may be the far from ‘post-material’ citizens of those developing nations most at risk of real material harm from climate change and environmental degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Smart City and the Green Economy in Europe: A Critical Approach
Energies 2015, 8(6), 4724-4734; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8064724
Received: 10 April 2015 / Revised: 10 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is shown in this article that the current European legislation makes the future progress of smart cities critically dependent on the advancement of the green economy and consequently on the further development of energy efficiency and of renewable energy sources. However, the
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It is shown in this article that the current European legislation makes the future progress of smart cities critically dependent on the advancement of the green economy and consequently on the further development of energy efficiency and of renewable energy sources. However, the lack of a clear legal framework capable of transforming the current pledges into binding rules at national level can jeopardize the establishment of a more direct and profitable link between the extensive European legislation on energy and environment, and the harmonious and efficient development of smart cities in Europe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Residual Mix Calculation at the Heart of Reliable Electricity Disclosure in Europe—A Case Study on the Effect of the RE-DISS Project
Energies 2015, 8(6), 4667-4696; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8064667
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the EU, electricity suppliers are obliged to disclose to their customers the energy origin and environmental impacts of sold electricity. To this end, guarantees of origin (GOs) are used to explicitly track electricity generation attributes to individual electricity consumers. When part of
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In the EU, electricity suppliers are obliged to disclose to their customers the energy origin and environmental impacts of sold electricity. To this end, guarantees of origin (GOs) are used to explicitly track electricity generation attributes to individual electricity consumers. When part of a reliable electricity disclosure system, GOs deliver an important means for consumers to participate in the support of renewable power. In order to be considered reliable, GOs require the support of an implicit disclosure system, a residual mix, which prevents once explicitly tracked attributes from being double counted in a default energy mix. This article outlines the key problems in implicit electricity disclosure: (1) uncorrected generation statistics used for implicit disclosure; (2) contract-based tracking; (3) uncoordinated calculation within Europe; (4) overlapping regions for implicit disclosure; (5) active GOs. The improvements achieved during the RE-DISS project (04/2010-10/2012) with regard to these problems have reduced the total implicit disclosure error by 168 TWh and double counting of renewable generation attributes by 70 TWh, in 16 selected countries. Quantitatively, largest individual improvements were achieved in Norway, Germany and Italy. Within the 16 countries, a total disclosure error of 75 TWh and double counting of renewable generation attributes of 36 TWh still reside after the end of the project on national level. Regarding the residual mix calculation methodology, the article justifies the implementation of a shifted transaction-based method instead of a production year-based method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Temporal and Spatial Variations in Provincial CO2 Emissions in China from 2005 to 2015 and Assessment of a Reduction Plan
Energies 2015, 8(5), 4549-4571; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8054549
Received: 21 December 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study calculated the provincial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China, analyzed the temporal and spatial variations in emissions, and determined the emission intensity from 2005 to 2015. The total emissions control was forecasted in 2015, and the reduction pressure of
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This study calculated the provincial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China, analyzed the temporal and spatial variations in emissions, and determined the emission intensity from 2005 to 2015. The total emissions control was forecasted in 2015, and the reduction pressure of the 30 provinces in China was assessed based on historical emissions and the 12th five-year (2011–2015) reduction plan. Results indicate that CO2 emissions eventually increased and gradually decreased from east to west, whereas the emission intensity ultimately decreased and gradually increased from south to north. By the end of 2015, the total control of provincial emissions will increase significantly compared to the 2010 level, whereas the emission intensity will decrease. The provinces in the North, East, and South Coast regions will maintain the highest emission levels. The provinces in the Southwest and Northwest regions will experience a rapid growth rate of emissions. However, the national emission reduction target will nearly be achieved if all provinces can implement reduction targets as planned. Pressure indices show that the South Coast and Northwest regions are confronted with a greater reduction pressure of emission intensity. Finally, policy implications are provided for CO2 reductions in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investors’ Perspectives on Barriers to the Deployment of Renewable Energy Sources in Chile
Energies 2015, 8(5), 3794-3814; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8053794
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decade, the importance of exploiting Chile’s Renewable Energy Sources (RESs) has increased significantly, as fossil fuel prices have risen and concerns regarding climate change issues grown, posing an important threat to its economy. However, to date, the advancement of Renewable
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In the last decade, the importance of exploiting Chile’s Renewable Energy Sources (RESs) has increased significantly, as fossil fuel prices have risen and concerns regarding climate change issues grown, posing an important threat to its economy. However, to date, the advancement of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) in the country has been very limited due to various barriers. For this reason, identifying and mitigating the main barriers that hamper the advancement of RETs is necessary to allow the successful deployment of these technologies. Based on data collected from a questionnaire survey and interviews conducted among the major renewable project developers, the authors identify and rank the major barriers to the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Chile. Our findings show that the most significant barriers include “grid connection constraints and lack of grid capacity”, “longer processing times for a large number of permits”, “land and/or water lease securement” and “limited access to financing”. Furthermore, we discuss the most critical barriers in detail together with policy recommendations to overcome them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle China’s Low-Carbon Scenario Analysis of CO2 Mitigation Measures towards 2050 Using a Hybrid AIM/CGE Model
Energies 2015, 8(5), 3529-3555; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8053529
Received: 20 January 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2986 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s emissions continue to rise rapidly in line with its mounting energy consumption, which puts considerable pressure on China to meet its emission reduction commitments. This paper assesses the impacts of CO2 mitigation measures in China during the period from 2010 to
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China’s emissions continue to rise rapidly in line with its mounting energy consumption, which puts considerable pressure on China to meet its emission reduction commitments. This paper assesses the impacts of CO2 mitigation measures in China during the period from 2010 to 2050 by using a computable general equilibrium method, called AIM/CGE. Results show that renewable energy makes a critical difference in abating emissions during the period from 2010 to 2020. The scenarios with emission trading would drive more emission reductions, whereby the emission-cutting commitment for 2020 would be achieved and emission reductions in 2050 would be more than 57.90%. Meanwhile, the share of non-fossil energy increases significantly and would be more than doubled in 2050 compared with the BAU scenario. A carbon tax would result in a significant decline in emissions in the short term, but would have an adverse effect on economic growth and energy structure improvements. It is also observed that the integrated measures would not only substantially decrease the total emissions, but also improve the energy structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of a Carbon Tax on the Chilean Electricity Generation Sector
Energies 2015, 8(4), 2674-2700; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8042674
Received: 23 January 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (2669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This paper aims to analyse the economy-wide implications of a carbon tax applied on the Chilean electricity generation sector. In order to analyse the macroeconomic impacts, both an energy sectorial model and a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model have been used. During the
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This paper aims to analyse the economy-wide implications of a carbon tax applied on the Chilean electricity generation sector. In order to analyse the macroeconomic impacts, both an energy sectorial model and a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model have been used. During the year 2014 a carbon tax of 5 US$/tCO2e was approved in Chile. This tax and its increases (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 US$/tCO2e) are evaluated in this article. The results show that the effectiveness of this policy depends on some variables which are not controlled by policy makers, for example, non-conventional renewable energy investment cost projections, natural gas prices, and the feasibility of exploiting hydroelectric resources. For a carbon tax of 20 US$/tCO2e, the average annual emission reduction would be between 1.1 and 9.1 million tCO2e. However, the price of the electricity would increase between 8.3 and 9.6 US$/MWh. This price shock would decrease the annual GDP growth rate by a maximum amount of 0.13%. This article compares this energy policy with others such as the introduction of non-conventional renewable energy sources and a sectorial cap. The results show that the same global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction can be obtained with these policies, but the impact on the electricity price and GDP are lower than that of the carbon tax. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy’s Shadow Price and Energy Efficiency in China: A Non-Parametric Input Distance Function Analysis
Energies 2015, 8(3), 1975-1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8031975
Received: 10 November 2014 / Revised: 12 January 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper extends prior research on energy inefficiency in China by utilizing a unique shadow price framework allocation in 30 Chinese provinces. We estimate the shadow price for energy input using the framework of production, and use the ratio of the shadow price
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This paper extends prior research on energy inefficiency in China by utilizing a unique shadow price framework allocation in 30 Chinese provinces. We estimate the shadow price for energy input using the framework of production, and use the ratio of the shadow price to the market price to describe energy utilization. Using Chinese provincial-level data from 1998 to 2011, the results of the analysis reveal that shadow prices in China have grown rapidly during the sample period, which signifies that China has improved its performance in energy utilization since 1998. However, there are eighteen provinces whose shadow prices are lower than market prices. This result suggests that energy utilization is at a low level in these provinces and can be improved by a reallocation of inputs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study on the Variation of Heating and Cooling Load According to the Use of Horizontal Shading and Venetian Blinds in Office Buildings in Korea
Energies 2015, 8(2), 1487-1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8021487
Received: 23 November 2014 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The construction industry has made considerable energy-saving efforts in buildings, and studies of energy-savings are ongoing. Shading is used to control the solar radiation transferred through windows. Many studies have examined the position and type of shading in different countries, but few have
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The construction industry has made considerable energy-saving efforts in buildings, and studies of energy-savings are ongoing. Shading is used to control the solar radiation transferred through windows. Many studies have examined the position and type of shading in different countries, but few have investigated the effects of shading installation in Korea. In this study, the case of the shading installation according to the standard of Korea, and variations of the heating and cooling load in the unit area on the performance of the windows were examined. This study compared the variations of the heating and cooling load in the case of horizontal shading and the changing position of venetian blinds. This study confirmed that horizontal shading longer than the standard length in Korea saved a maximum of 13% energy consumption. This study confirmed the point of change of energy consumption by the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) variations. The exterior venetian blinds and those between glazing were unaffected by the SHGC. On the other hand, in the case of a south façade, the interior venetian blinds resulted in 24% higher energy consumption than the installation of horizontal shading in case of Window to Wall Ratio (WWR): 80%, U-value: 2.1 and SHGC: 0.4. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Total Site Heat Integration Considering Pressure Drops
Energies 2015, 8(2), 1114-1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8021114
Received: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (915 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pressure drop is an important consideration in Total Site Heat Integration (TSHI). This is due to the typically large distances between the different plants and the flow across plant elevations and equipment, including heat exchangers. Failure to consider pressure drop during utility targeting
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Pressure drop is an important consideration in Total Site Heat Integration (TSHI). This is due to the typically large distances between the different plants and the flow across plant elevations and equipment, including heat exchangers. Failure to consider pressure drop during utility targeting and heat exchanger network (HEN) synthesis may, at best, lead to optimistic energy targets, and at worst, an inoperable system if the pumps or compressors cannot overcome the actual pressure drop. Most studies have addressed the pressure drop factor in terms of pumping cost, forbidden matches or allowable pressure drop constraints in the optimisation of HEN. This study looks at the implication of pressure drop in the context of a Total Site. The graphical Pinch-based TSHI methodology is extended to consider the pressure drop factor during the minimum energy requirement (MER) targeting stage. The improved methodology provides a more realistic estimation of the MER targets and valuable insights for the implementation of the TSHI design. In the case study, when pressure drop in the steam distribution networks is considered, the heating and cooling duties increase by 14.5% and 4.5%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study to Improve the Quality of Street Lighting in Spain
Energies 2015, 8(2), 976-994; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8020976
Received: 24 October 2014 / Revised: 11 December 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Street lighting has a big impact on the energy consumption of Spanish municipalities. To decrease this consumption, the Spanish government has developed two different regulations to improve energy savings and efficiency, and consequently, reduce greenhouse-effect gas emissions. However, after these efforts, they have
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Street lighting has a big impact on the energy consumption of Spanish municipalities. To decrease this consumption, the Spanish government has developed two different regulations to improve energy savings and efficiency, and consequently, reduce greenhouse-effect gas emissions. However, after these efforts, they have not obtained the expected results. To improve the effectiveness of these regulations and therefore to optimize energy consumption, a study has been done to analyze the different devices which influence energy consumption with the intention of better understanding their behavior and performance. The devices analyzed were lamps, ballasts, street lamp globes, control systems and dimmable lighting systems. To improve their performance, they have been analyzed from three points of view: changes in technology, use patterns and standards. Thanks to this study, some aspects have been found that could be taken into account if we really wanted to use energy efficiently. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Forecasting Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption for Power Generation Using QHSA-Based LSSVM Model
Energies 2015, 8(2), 939-959; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8020939
Received: 21 November 2014 / Revised: 12 January 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate forecasting of fossil fuel energy consumption for power generation is important and fundamental for rational power energy planning in the electricity industry. The least squares support vector machine (LSSVM) is a powerful methodology for solving nonlinear forecasting issues with small samples. The
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Accurate forecasting of fossil fuel energy consumption for power generation is important and fundamental for rational power energy planning in the electricity industry. The least squares support vector machine (LSSVM) is a powerful methodology for solving nonlinear forecasting issues with small samples. The key point is how to determine the appropriate parameters which have great effect on the performance of LSSVM model. In this paper, a novel hybrid quantum harmony search algorithm-based LSSVM (QHSA-LSSVM) energy forecasting model is proposed. The QHSA which combines the quantum computation theory and harmony search algorithm is applied to searching the optimal values of and C in LSSVM model to enhance the learning and generalization ability. The case study on annual fossil fuel energy consumption for power generation in China shows that the proposed model outperforms other four comparative models, namely regression, grey model (1, 1) (GM (1, 1)), back propagation (BP) and LSSVM, in terms of prediction accuracy and forecasting risk. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Supply-Chain Analysis Framework for Assessing Densified Biomass Solid Fuel Utilization Policies in China
Energies 2015, 8(7), 7122-7139; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8077122
Received: 6 January 2015 / Revised: 28 May 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
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Abstract
Densified Biomass Solid Fuel (DBSF) is a typical solid form of biomass, using agricultural and forestry residues as raw materials. DBSF utilization is considered to be an alternative to fossil energy, like coal in China, associated with a reduction of environmental pollution. China
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Densified Biomass Solid Fuel (DBSF) is a typical solid form of biomass, using agricultural and forestry residues as raw materials. DBSF utilization is considered to be an alternative to fossil energy, like coal in China, associated with a reduction of environmental pollution. China has abundant biomass resources and is suitable to develop DBSF. Until now, a number of policies aimed at fostering DBSF industry have been proliferated by policy makers in China. However, considering the seasonality and instability of biomass resources, these inefficiencies could trigger future scarcities of biomass feedstocks, baffling the resilience of biomass supply chains. Therefore, this review paper focuses on DBSF policies and strategies in China, based on the supply chain framework. We analyzed the current developing situation of DBSF industry in China and developed a framework for policy instruments based on the supply chain steps, which can be used to identify and assess the deficiencies of current DBSF industry policies, and we proposed some suggestions. These findings may inform policy development and identify synergies at different steps in the supply chain to enhance the development of DBSF industry. Full article
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Open AccessReview Towards a Carbon-Neutral Energy Sector: Opportunities and Challenges of Coordinated Bioenergy Supply Chains-A PSE Approach
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5613-5660; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065613
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 17 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The electricity generation sector needs to reduce its environmental impact and dependence on fossil fuel, mainly from coal. Biomass is one of the most promising future options to produce electricity, given its potential contribution to climate change mitigation. Even though biomass is an
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The electricity generation sector needs to reduce its environmental impact and dependence on fossil fuel, mainly from coal. Biomass is one of the most promising future options to produce electricity, given its potential contribution to climate change mitigation. Even though biomass is an old source of energy, it is not yet a well-established commodity. The use of biomass in large centralised systems requires the establishment of delivery channels to provide the desired feedstock with the necessary attributes, at the right time and place. In terms of time to deployment and cost of the solution, co-combustion/co-gasification of biomass and coal are presented as transition and short-medium term alternatives towards a carbon-neutral energy sector. Hence, there is a need to assess an effective introduction of co-combustion/co-gasification projects in the current electricity production share. The purpose of this work is to review recent steps in Process Systems Engineering towards bringing into reality individualised and ad-hoc solutions, by building a common but adjustable design platform to tailored approaches of biomass-based supply chains. Current solutions and the latest developments are presented and future needs under study are also identified. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Socio-Demographic and Psychological Predictors of Residential Energy Consumption: A Comprehensive Review
Energies 2015, 8(1), 573-609; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8010573
Received: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 15 January 2015
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (334 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article provides a comprehensive review of theory and research on the individual-level predictors of household energy usage. Drawing on literature from across the social sciences, we examine two broad categories of variables that have been identified as potentially important for explaining variability
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This article provides a comprehensive review of theory and research on the individual-level predictors of household energy usage. Drawing on literature from across the social sciences, we examine two broad categories of variables that have been identified as potentially important for explaining variability in energy consumption and conservation: socio-demographic factors (e.g., income, employment status, dwelling type/size, home ownership, household size, stage of family life cycle) and psychological factors (e.g., beliefs and attitudes, motives and intentions, perceived behavioral control, cost-benefit appraisals, personal and social norms). Despite an expanding literature, we find that empirical evidence of the impact of these variables has been far from consistent and conclusive to date. Such inconsistency poses challenges for drawing generalizable conclusions, and underscores the complexity of consumer behavior in this domain. In this article, we propose that a multitude of factors—whether directly, indirectly, or in interaction—influence how householders consume and conserve energy. Theory, research and practice can be greatly advanced by understanding what these factors are, and how, when, where, why and for whom they operate. We conclude by outlining some important practical implications for policymakers and directions for future research. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: The Impact of a Carbon Tax on the Chilean Electricity Generation Sector
Energies 2015, 8(6), 6247-6248; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8066247
Received: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We would like to change the authors’ affiliations on Page 2674 of paper [1] from: [...] Full article
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