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Special Issue "Integration of Energy, Safety and Environmental Systems for a Sustainable Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 8853

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Beñat Landeta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Management, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Alameda de Urquijo, s/n, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
Interests: environmental management; renewable energy; life cycle assessment
Prof. Dr. German Arana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Faculty of Engineering, University of the Basque Country EHU/UPV, Pl Europa 1, 20018 San Sebastian, Spain
Interests: management systems; circular economy; sustainability; safety

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the great challenges for our society, and future generations, is the achievement of sustainable development. Addressing this challenge involves complex interdisciplinary systems, for which the management of energy, safety and environmental systems and their interactions is key. The development of strong regulatory regimes is essential for sustainable development, especially in the current context wherein the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affects our work.

Therefore, this Special Issue focuses on innovative contributions in the management of energy, safety and environment systems and technological solutions for more efficient and sustainable processes. It is necessary to consider the adoption of innovative perspectives and methods in these fields. Contributions broadening the knowledge of environmental, energy and/or safety systems from transversal and integrative perspectives are welcome.

The editors of this Special Issue encourage authors to submit original research articles, in-depth reviews, well-documented case studies or theoretical papers, taking into consideration scientifically based discussions from different perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Beñat Landeta
Prof. Dr. German Arana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • Circular economy
  • Energy
  • Energy generation
  • Renewable energy
  • Low carbon energy
  • Safety
  • Health
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Environment
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental management
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Management systems
  • Integrated management systems
  • System integration
  • Climate change
  • Climate mitigation
  • Resource depletion

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Modified Fly Ash-Based Adsorbents (MFA) for Mercury and Carbon Dioxide Removal from Coal-Fired Flue Gases
Energies 2021, 14(21), 7101; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14217101 - 31 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
One of the solid waste produced during the combustion of coal are fly ashes. Disposal challenges and environmental consequences are the results of significant process yield and atmospheric emission of fly ashes. The exact chemical composition of FA depends mainly on the type [...] Read more.
One of the solid waste produced during the combustion of coal are fly ashes. Disposal challenges and environmental consequences are the results of significant process yield and atmospheric emission of fly ashes. The exact chemical composition of FA depends mainly on the type of utilised fuel and combustion conditions. It consists mainly of chemically stable metal oxides, such as Al2O3, Fe2O3, SiO2, CaO, MgO, K2O, Na2O and TiO2, but its toxicity is related to the possible presence of some trace elements, such as As, Hg, Cd, Se and Cr. The chemical and physical properties of fly ash (e.g., particle size distribution, porosity, and surface area) make it suitable as an adsorbent to remove various impurities from process flows such as flue gas stream. Its suitability for capturing mercury from flue gas was experimentally confirmed due to its abundant supply, particle size, bulk density, porosity, chemical composition and low cost. Hence, the use of fly ash as adsorbents and precursors for the production of heavy metal adsorbents is of great practical importance, as it reduces the cost of mercury capture and alleviates the problems associated with the disposal of solid waste. Studies showed that the chemical components present in fly ash additives could stimulate catalytic oxidative capacity, which increases the adsorption of Hg0 oxidation and adsorption of both Hg and CO2. The presented study analysed fly ashes from different zones of the electrostatic precipitator and verified their suitability for removing impurities from flue gases, i.e., mercury and carbon dioxide. The results outlined modified fly ash as having good Hg and CO2 removal capabilities. The adsorption efficiency of Hg reached 92% for Hg and 66% for CO2, while untreated fly ash reached 67% for Hg and 59% for CO2. Full article
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Article
A Unique Electrical Model for the Steady-State Analysis of a Multi-Energy System
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5753; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185753 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 480
Abstract
In order to decarbonize the energy sector, the interdependencies between the power and natural gas systems are going to be much stronger in the next period. Thus, it is necessary to have a powerful simulation model that is able to efficiently and simultaneously [...] Read more.
In order to decarbonize the energy sector, the interdependencies between the power and natural gas systems are going to be much stronger in the next period. Thus, it is necessary to have a powerful simulation model that is able to efficiently and simultaneously solve all coupled energy carriers in a single simulation environment in only one simulation step. As an answer to the described computational challenges, a unique model for the steady-state analysis of a multi-energy system (MES) using the electrical analogy approach is developed. Detailed electrical equivalent models, developed using the network port theory and the load flow method formulation, of the most important natural gas network elements, as well as of the linking facilities between the power and natural gas systems, are given. The presented models were loaded up into a well-known software for the power system simulation—NEPLAN. In the case studies, the accuracy of the presented models is confirmed by the comparison of the simulation results with the results obtained by SIMONE—a well-known software for natural gas network simulations. Moreover, the applicability of the presented unique model is demonstrated by the MES security of a supply analysis. Full article
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Article
A Comparative Study of Power Mixes for Green Growth: How South Korea and Japan See Nuclear Energy Differently
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5681; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185681 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
South Korea and Japan are two large contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. In October 2020, President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide declared that their countries would aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. The Moon administration presented the Korean version of [...] Read more.
South Korea and Japan are two large contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. In October 2020, President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide declared that their countries would aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. The Moon administration presented the Korean version of the New Deal that includes its Green New Deal, whereas the Suga administration completed its strategy aiming for green growth. Both countries emphasize the importance of energy transition through the expansion of green energy in power generation. However, they show some significant differences in dealing with nuclear energy. The purpose of this article is to compare the two countries’ energy policies and analyze the rationales and political dynamics behind their different approaches to nuclear energy. The study reveals that the contrast between the two political systems has resulted in differences between their policies. This study depends on comparative methods that use primary sources, such as governmental documents and reports by local news media. Full article
Article
Scenarios, Financial Viability and Pathways of Localized Hybrid Energy Generation Systems around the United Kingdom
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5602; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185602 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 661
Abstract
Decarbonisation is becoming a central aim of countries around the globe, ensuring the effects of climate change do not increase exponentially in the coming years. Renewable energy generation is at the core of this decarbonisation process, enabling economies to divorce themselves from a [...] Read more.
Decarbonisation is becoming a central aim of countries around the globe, ensuring the effects of climate change do not increase exponentially in the coming years. Renewable energy generation is at the core of this decarbonisation process, enabling economies to divorce themselves from a reliance on oil and coal. Hybrid energy systems can utilise multiple generation methods to supply electrical demand best. This paper investigates the use of localised hybrid energy systems around the UK, comparing the financial viability of solar, wind and hydrokinetic generation methods both as a hybrid system and individually in different scenarios. The significance of having localised hybrid energy systems is that they address two large problems within renewable energy generation, that of storage issues and also generating the electricity far away from where it is actually used, requiring extensive infrastructure. The microgrid optimisation software HOMER was used to simulate each of the generation methods alongside the national grid, including lithium ion batteries and converters to create a comprehensive hybrid system. Net Present Cost, which is the current value of all the costs of installing and operating the system over the project lifetime, was considered as the metric. The analysis finds that for each modelled location, wind turbines in combination with lithium ion batteries and a converter is the system with the lowest Net Present Cost, with the exception of Bristol, which also uses hydrokinetic turbines within the system. The findings indicate the extensive wind resources available within the UK, along with identifying that certain locations around the country also have very high potential for tidal power generation. Full article
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Article
Nexus between Financial Development, Renewable Energy Consumption, Technological Innovations and CO2 Emissions: The Case of India
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4505; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154505 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Concerns regarding environmental sustainability have generally been an important element in achieving long-term development objectives. However, developing countries struggle to deal with these concerns, which all require specific treatment. As a result, this study explores the interaction between financial development, renewable energy consumption, [...] Read more.
Concerns regarding environmental sustainability have generally been an important element in achieving long-term development objectives. However, developing countries struggle to deal with these concerns, which all require specific treatment. As a result, this study explores the interaction between financial development, renewable energy consumption, technological innovations, and CO2 emissions in India from 1980 to 2019, taking into account the critical role of economic progress and urbanization. The Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model is used to quantify long-run dynamics, while the Vector Error Correction Model is used to identify causal direction (VECM). According to the study’s conclusions, financial development has a considerable positive impact on CO2 emissions. The coefficient of renewable energy consumption and technical innovations, on the other hand, is strongly negative in both the short and long run, indicating that increasing these measures will reduce CO2 emissions. Furthermore, economic expansion and urbanization have a negative impact on environmental quality since they emit a significant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. The results of the robustness checks were obtained using the Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS), the Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (DOLS), and the Canonical Cointegration Regression (CCR) approaches to verify the findings. The VECM results reveal that there is long-run causality in CO2 emissions, financial development, renewable energy utilization, and urbanization. A range of diagnostic tests were also used to confirm the validity and reliability. This study delivers new findings that contribute to the existing literature and may be of particular interest to the country’s policymakers in light of the financial system and its role in environmental issues. Full article
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Article
A Strategy to Maximally Utilize Outdoor Air for Indoor Thermal Environment
Energies 2021, 14(13), 3987; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14133987 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 646
Abstract
In order to reduce the energy consumption of HVAC systems in buildings, the use of energy-saving solutions is necessary. One of these solutions is ventilation, which is usually used for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality and thermal comfort. As the change in outdoor [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the energy consumption of HVAC systems in buildings, the use of energy-saving solutions is necessary. One of these solutions is ventilation, which is usually used for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality and thermal comfort. As the change in outdoor environment is unpredictable and the occupant control is spontaneous, it is critical to control the windows and HVAC systems to achieve a maximum use of outdoor air for indoor ventilation. A new rule-based control strategy that could change the opening factor of windows is proposed in this study and its effectiveness was tested in five representative climates, ranging from a subtropical region to a severely cold region. A building model was set up and the indoor air temperature and energy consumption were predicted using EnergyPlus. The results show that the proposed control strategy can utilize ventilation to maintain a comfortable indoor environment with an annual uncomfortable percentage in an occupied period lower than 5%, thus leading to an energy-saving rate of 13.5–55.6%. The simulation results indicate that there are periods of ventilation available during the summer in climate zones with hot summers and warm winters, whereas the control strategy has a better energy-saving performance in temperate areas. This study conducted a preliminary exploration for practical applications of the combined operation of controllable natural ventilation and HVAC systems in buildings. Full article
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Article
Rooftop PV: Potential and Impacts in a Complex Territory
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3687; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123687 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
When developing a sustainability plan in a complex and heavily urbanized territory, one of the most relevant options available is installing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels. Thus, it is essential to determine the amount of available surface and the potential impact of such installations [...] Read more.
When developing a sustainability plan in a complex and heavily urbanized territory, one of the most relevant options available is installing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels. Thus, it is essential to determine the amount of available surface and the potential impact of such installations on the energy and emission budget of the area. Instead of processing remotely sensed imagery, which is a long process and does not allow considering the buildings’ ownership, this study develops an approach based on a cluster analysis of the urban/morphological characteristics of the municipalities. Once a clear group diversification is obtained, the roof surface of the center of gravity of each cluster is extrapolated to all similar settlements. This, together with the information of local solar irradiation, allowed us to compute each cluster’s potential solar energy production and its capability to respond to the local energy demand, a key parameter to decide about the possibility of a local smart electricity network. Finally, the emissions avoided thanks to solar PV development are computed in terms of carbon dioxide and other relevant pollutants. This approach is applied to the residential rooftop of Lombardy, a Northern Italy region with a wide variety of urban morphologies and landscapes. The potential production of rooftop PV exceeds the estimated electricity consumption of residential buildings and would allow sparing almost 4 M ton of CO2 equivalent or 5% of the overall regional emissions. Full article
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Article
Using Improved SPA and ICS-LSSVM for Sustainability Assessment of PV Industry along the Belt and Road
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123420 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Scientific and timely sustainability evaluation of the photovoltaic industry along the Belt and Road is of great significance. In this paper, a novel hybrid evaluation model is proposed for accurate and real-time assessment that integrates modified set pair analysis with least squares support [...] Read more.
Scientific and timely sustainability evaluation of the photovoltaic industry along the Belt and Road is of great significance. In this paper, a novel hybrid evaluation model is proposed for accurate and real-time assessment that integrates modified set pair analysis with least squares support vector machine that combines improved cuckoo search algorithm. First, the indicator system is set from five principles, namely economy, politics, society, ecological environment and resources. Then, the traditional approach is established through modifying set pair analysis on the basis of variable fuzzy set coupling evaluation theory. A modern intelligent assessment model is designed that integrates improved cuckoo search algorithm and least squares support vector machine where the concept of random weight is introduced in improved cuckoo search algorithm. In the case analysis, the relative errors calculated by the proposed model all fluctuate in the range of [−3%, 3%], indicating that it has the strongest fitting and learning ability. The empirical analysis verifies the scientificity and precision of the method and points out influencing factors. It provides a new idea for rapid and effective assessment of PV industry along the Belt and Road, as well as assistance for the sustainable development of this industry. This paper innovatively proposes the sustainability evaluation index system and evaluation model for the photovoltaic industry in countries along the Belt and Road, thus contributing to the promotion of sustainable development of the photovoltaic industry in countries along the Belt and Road. Full article
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Article
On the Socio-Cultural Determinants of Polish Entrepreneurs’ Attitudes towards the Development of Renewable Energy: Business, Climate Skepticism Ideology and Climate Change
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3418; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123418 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
This article analyses the business community in Poland and their views on climate change and the objectives of the European Green Deal (EGD). The authors focus on the analysis of the attitude of entrepreneurs towards the cultural and ideological stereotypes promoted by climate [...] Read more.
This article analyses the business community in Poland and their views on climate change and the objectives of the European Green Deal (EGD). The authors focus on the analysis of the attitude of entrepreneurs towards the cultural and ideological stereotypes promoted by climate denialists. This article shows that the ideological factor may play a certain role in shaping the attitudes of entrepreneurs towards energy transition. The research was carried out on a sample of 400 entrepreneurs. The research results indicate that the ideological factor is of particular importance among entrepreneurs who are concerned about the costs of energy transition and the expenditure related to the implementation of the EGD for economic reasons. According to the authors, the stereotypes promoted by climate sceptics may find fertile ground, particularly when accompanied by fears of additional financial costs. Attitudes towards the goals of energy transition among entrepreneurs usually differ depending on the size of the company: representatives of smaller companies, who have greater concerns about their economic position, are more likely to present the views of climate sceptics. Acceptance for the theory of climate sceptics may also be influenced by the industry sector: those who may lose out on energy transition, such as representatives of the mining industry, may share the myths of climate denialists. Full article
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