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Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A3: Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 March 2022) | Viewed by 42939

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Interests: renewable energy; environmental conservation; sustainable energy; pro-ecological technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy is the essential engine of economic development and a factor in improving the quality of life. Reliable access to energy is a key element of economic and social development. Conventional fuel resources are limited and non-renewable and their use contributes to the pollution of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, which causes a constantly increasing climate warming. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the production of energy from renewable energy (RE) sources. Importantly, each type of RE should be obtained in a sustainable way, because only in this way can the energy transformation be carried out. The development of the RE fosters a decentralized society, powered by a network of smaller and safer power plants, and the strengthening of local communities.

This Special Issue is about the current state, potential, and perspectives of renewable and sustainable energy development. Research is being conducted around the world on the improvement of individual sectors of the RE. As a result, technologies related to the production of RE are characterized by increasing energy efficiency, with a simultaneous decrease in the costs of their purchase and installation. There are also favorable socio-economic aspects of scientific and technological development, such as the improvement of the quality of life and new jobs. This Special Issue will feature the latest scientific, technical, and economic developments in renewable and sustainable energy.

Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Possibilities of RE development
  • Biomass technology and biofuels applications
  • Biogas and biomethane production
  • Wind energy technology
  • Solar thermal and photovoltaic technology
  • Hydropower technology, wave, tide, and ocean thermal energies
  • Geothermal technology
  • Hydrogen production and fuel cells
  • Proecological aspects in the energy sector
  • Institutional and mental determinants of RE sector
  • Primary fuels, energy, and renewable energy market
  • Energy transformation, prosumers
  • Low-emission economy, decarbonization strategy
  • Socio-economic consequences of the development of the RE sector

Dr. Bartlomiej Iglinski
Prof. Dr. Michal Bernard Pietrzak
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • renewable and sustainable energy
  • renewable energy sources
  • energy conversion
  • proecological technologies
  • low-emission economy

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 218 KiB  
Editorial
Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects
by Bartłomiej Igliński and Michał Bernard Pietrzak
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4735; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134735 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1537
Abstract
The last two decades of the twentieth century represented a period of above-average, systematic growth of formal and informal interdependencies between economies of different countries and between world markets [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

22 pages, 9601 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Wind Energy Potential Using Efficient Global Optimization: A Case Study for the City Gdańsk in Poland
by Olgun Aydin, Bartłomiej Igliński, Krzysztof Krukowski and Marek Siemiński
Energies 2022, 15(9), 3159; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15093159 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Wind energy (WE), which is one of the renewable energy (RE) sources for generating electricity, has been making a significant contribution to obtaining clean and green energy in recent years. Fitting an appropriate statistical distribution to the wind speed (WS) data is crucial [...] Read more.
Wind energy (WE), which is one of the renewable energy (RE) sources for generating electricity, has been making a significant contribution to obtaining clean and green energy in recent years. Fitting an appropriate statistical distribution to the wind speed (WS) data is crucial in analyzing and estimating WE potential. Once the best suitable statistical distribution for WS data is determined, WE potential and potential yield could be estimated with high accuracy. The main objective of this paper is to propose a novel approach for calculating wind energy potential. For this purpose, the Efficient Global Optimization (EGO) technique was proposed for fitting a statistical distribution to WS data and the performance of the technique was compared with genetic algorithm (GA), simulated annealing (SA), and differential evolution (DE). Performance metrics showed that EGO is providing better estimations compared with GA, SA, and DE. Based on Weibull parameters obtained by using EGO, potential WE and potential annual revenue were estimated for Gdańsk, which is the capital of Pomerania Voivodeship in Poland, in the case of having city-type wind turbines in the city center. Estimations for Gdańsk showed that city-type wind turbines might be helpful for producing electricity from WE in the city without being limited by constraints such as having a long distance between wind turbines and buildings. If such wind turbines were erected on the roofs of residential buildings, malls, or office buildings, there is a possibility that part of the electric energy needed for such buildings could be generated using WE. However, this topic should be further investigated from technical and financial perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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27 pages, 4550 KiB  
Article
A Simulation Model of Power Demand Management by Manufacturing Enterprises under the Conditions of Energy Sector Transformation
by Justyna Smagowicz, Cezary Szwed, Dawid Dąbal and Pavel Scholz
Energies 2022, 15(9), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15093013 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
This paper addresses electricity consumption management in manufacturing enterprises. The research aims to provide manufacturing enterprises with an effective tool to control electricity costs. Recently, some factors have been observed to affect the rapid changes in the operating conditions of enterprises. These include [...] Read more.
This paper addresses electricity consumption management in manufacturing enterprises. The research aims to provide manufacturing enterprises with an effective tool to control electricity costs. Recently, some factors have been observed to affect the rapid changes in the operating conditions of enterprises. These include the transformation of the power sector toward renewable energy, the disruption of supply chains resulting from a coronavirus pandemic, political crises, and process automation. A method for the analysis and management of electricity consumption in enterprises based on simulation modeling is proposed. The simulation model contains predefined objects representing physical system elements and the data processing algorithm. The production order execution time, energy consumption, employee overtime, and machine load are included in the model. The results show that it is possible to determine the level of power available for the process completion and its influence on the production volume and realization time. In the studied case, when the available power was reduced by half, there was an increase in order execution time of nearly 25 percent and an increase in energy consumption of nearly 15 percent. The method can be used in the operational activities of enterprises as well as extended to different types of production processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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24 pages, 6281 KiB  
Article
How to Meet the Green Deal Objectives—Is It Possible to Obtain 100% RES at the Regional Level in the EU?
by Bartłomiej Igliński, Michał Bernard Pietrzak, Urszula Kiełkowska, Mateusz Skrzatek, Artur Gajdos, Anas Zyadin and Karthikeyan Natarajan
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2296; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062296 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
The subject matter discussed in the article concerns the problem of the energy transformation of the European Union (EU) countries. In the case of the EU, the energy transformation has specific characteristics due to formal legal and institutional provisions. This means that the [...] Read more.
The subject matter discussed in the article concerns the problem of the energy transformation of the European Union (EU) countries. In the case of the EU, the energy transformation has specific characteristics due to formal legal and institutional provisions. This means that the member states are obliged to implement the adopted Community Energy Strategy, which was defined under the European Green Deal. According to the EU policy, all member states are to have climate-neutral and zero-gas-emission economies by 2050. The energy transformation is to be largely based on the diversification of the energy sources used, with a dominance of renewable energy sources (RES). The article presents a research problem, where the question was asked whether achieving climate-neutral energy independence based solely on RES is possible at the regional level. It seems that the positive answer is an important argument in the discussion about the possibility of all member states achieving the goals set under the European Green Deal. Additionally, stating the possibility of energy independence from RES for a selected region is an important argument to promote just and bottom-up initiatives in order to carry out the energy transformation more effectively. The assessment of the energy potential from renewable sources at the regional level was carried out on the example of a selected NUTS 2 region, the Greater Poland Voivodeship in Poland. The main objective of the study is to analyze the possibility of obtaining independence from RES by the selected Greater Poland Voivodeship. The implementation of the objective consists of determining the energy potential from RES in the Voivodeship under study on the basis of the methods of a geographic information system (GIS). GIS methods were selected due to the fact that they allow for the spatial positioning of point, line, and surface structures in relation to the potential of RES, thus ensuring high accuracy of the obtained estimates. The analysis carried out in the study shows that the technical potential of RES in the Greater Poland Voivodeship is higher than the current electricity and heat usage. This means that by focusing solely on RES in the region, the Greater Poland Voivodeship can fully meet the energy demand thanks to its green resources. It should be emphasized that the Greater Poland Voivodeship is one of the coal-dependent regions in Poland that has already prepared a structured plan of just transformation. A locally and bottom-up prepared strategy assumes the conversion of the region from a “Coal Energy Region” into a “Green Energy Valley” in which economic development will be strictly connected to RES energy independence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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27 pages, 3710 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy in the Pomerania Voivodeship—Institutional, Economic, Environmental and Physical Aspects in Light of EU Energy Transformation
by Bartłomiej Iglinski, Karol Flisikowski, Michał Bernard Pietrzak, Urszula Kiełkowska, Mateusz Skrzatek, Anas Zyadin and Karthikeyan Natarajan
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8221; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248221 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2367
Abstract
In the era of globalization and rapid economic growth, affecting most world economies, increased production and consumption are leading to higher levels of energy production and consumption. The growing demand for energy means that energy resources from conventional sources are not sufficient; moreover, [...] Read more.
In the era of globalization and rapid economic growth, affecting most world economies, increased production and consumption are leading to higher levels of energy production and consumption. The growing demand for energy means that energy resources from conventional sources are not sufficient; moreover, its production generates high costs and contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and waste. In view of the above, many countries have opted to implement an energy transformation. The energy transition allows the transition from an energy system based on conventional fuels to an energy system based mainly on renewable energy (RE) and low-emission sources. In the EU, the development of a “green economy” has become a strategic goal in the fight against climate change. The development of RE offers the possibility to improve the energy security of a given country and the entire EU. New, innovative technologies of RE also increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of the economies of the Member States. In line with the EU strategy, the activities carried out aim to achieve a situation in which, in 2050, the activities of economies will not endanger the environment. The main purpose of this article was the assessment of the RE sector in the Pomerania region in the context of energy transformation. To achieve this goal, PEST analysis regarding the functioning of the RE sector in the selected Polish region was used and the potential of the RE sector was determined using GIS tools on the basis of physical conditions. The article presents the research hypothesis that the RE sector within the Pomerania Voivodeship possesses appropriate energy potential, which will allow this Voivodeship to become an energy self-sufficient region based on the use of these energy sources (according to EU strategy). The implementation of the goal set in the article allowed for the verification of the research hypothesis, where the determined energy potential from the RE sector would cover the Voivodeship’s needs due to the use of electricity and heat. The conducted research shows that the RE sector in these regions has high energy potential to meet the criteria outlined in EU legal documents and to implement them successfully within the intended period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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18 pages, 912 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Level of Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy Sources in European Union Countries
by Robert Huterski, Agnieszka Huterska, Ewa Zdunek-Rosa and Grażyna Voss
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8150; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238150 - 5 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Changes in recent years have resulted in an increase in the ways in which renewable energy is used and shared in total electricity generation. Each type of renewable energy is characterised by its uniqueness of the physical specificity and, therefore, differences in technological [...] Read more.
Changes in recent years have resulted in an increase in the ways in which renewable energy is used and shared in total electricity generation. Each type of renewable energy is characterised by its uniqueness of the physical specificity and, therefore, differences in technological solutions. In this study, one of the methods of multidimensional comparative analysis (WAP)—Hellwig’s taxonomic measure of development—was used to assess the level of development of electricity production from renewable sources. Twenty-eight countries were surveyed, including 27 countries of the current European Union and the United Kingdom. Panel models were used to describe the relationship between the share of electricity production from RES in total electricity production and GDP per capita, public spending by countries on energy as a percentage of GDP as well as electricity production from water, wind, solar, and biogas per capita. The presented synthetic measures confirmed the more favourable situation of the rich northern EU countries in the production of electricity from renewable sources (solar, wind, hydro, and bio), at the same time highlighting problems with the greening of electricity production in a large group of the new EU member states. The panel study confirmed the importance of differences in economic potential and wealth between EU countries for the development of the use of RES for electricity production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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23 pages, 760 KiB  
Article
The ESCO Formula as Support for Public and Commercial Energy Projects in Poland
by Joanna Kurowska-Pysz and Grzegorz Kunikowski
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8098; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238098 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
The formula of engaging an energy service company (ESCO) in Poland is not a new form of accounting for investments in improving energy efficiency. The results of our survey confirm that many entities still lack sufficient knowledge about this subject. The research problem [...] Read more.
The formula of engaging an energy service company (ESCO) in Poland is not a new form of accounting for investments in improving energy efficiency. The results of our survey confirm that many entities still lack sufficient knowledge about this subject. The research problem this paper is concerned with is the conditions of applying the ESCO formula (a model of investment financing with the participation of a specialised company) to support local government units and enterprises in energy-industry project development. For the purpose of this study, the research questions were formulated to analyse of the following issues: the reasons for interest in the ESCO formula and the sources of knowledge about this solution; activities and other factors that can increase or reduce interest in the ESCO formula; services in terms of ESCO formula implementation; the attractiveness of alternative instruments for financing energy industry projects, the benefits of using the ESCO formula and the influence of current and future target groups on ESCO formula development in Poland. This paper, therefore aims to recognise the conditions under which the ESCO formula can be applied by local government units and enterprises implementing energy industry projects in Poland. The research problem was solved using a triangulation of research methods: empirical qualitative research (desk research analysis, individual in-depth interviews, computer-assisted web interview (CAWI) survey, and focus group interviews) and one of the foresight methods (an expert panel). The research revealed that the lack of knowledge amongst local government units and enterprises with regard to the ESCO formula, although not unique to Poland, is insufficient to explain the low level of interest in this solution. One of the key conclusions is the need to educate local government units and enterprises on energy efficiency. This is vital to arouse their interest in the more complex ESCO implementation solutions that they have not yet investigated. Furthermore, by following and analysing the project implementation process in the ESCO formula, we can conclude that the risk generated is primarily on the part of the energy service company itself. For this reason, it is doubtful that energy service companies will invest the equity necessary to develop this challenging market. Based on the research conclusions, we indicate some recommendations that the government and related public institutions should consider in order to boost this market and support ESCO companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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26 pages, 3747 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Ecological Distributed Energy Generation Systems, Situation, and Perspective for Poland
by Piotr Senkus, Waldemar Glabiszewski, Aneta Wysokińska-Senkus, Szymon Cyfert and Roman Batko
Energies 2021, 14(23), 7966; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237966 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
Poland needs to fulfill its climate goals and become “climate neutral” by 2050. The plan is intricate for the Polish Government because coal-powered power plants generate about 80 percent of electricity in the country. Although policymakers are making an effort to redesign the [...] Read more.
Poland needs to fulfill its climate goals and become “climate neutral” by 2050. The plan is intricate for the Polish Government because coal-powered power plants generate about 80 percent of electricity in the country. Although policymakers are making an effort to redesign the energy sector, a lot still remains to be done. The viral trend in that transformation involves installing photovoltaic (PV) panels by private, corporate, and self-government investors. For example, the “My energy” support program of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management has helped finance 220,000 micro-PV installations. The achievement is significant but constitutes only partial success. PV powerplants will not simply replace coal powerplants. That is why the research on the ecological distributed energy generation systems has to be executed. The article presents the research results on ecological distributed energy generation systems, making the transformation of the Polish energy sector possible. The study’s primary objectives were to review the energy situation with particular attention paid to the technologies that could be used as the ecological distributed energy generation systems and draw the scenarios for the sector development. The authors used Desk research, the Delphi method supported with the Computer Assisted-Web Interview (CAWI) technique, and the Weighted SWOT analysis to fulfill the objectives. The findings showed that photovoltaic (PV) systems would be the fastest-growing energy sector even in the perspective of doubling the energy consumption by 2050. Private investors investing in ecological distributed energy generation systems, especially the PV systems mentioned above, and biomass or biogas systems, would significantly help policymakers, including those in Poland, fulfill the climate goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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17 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Renewable Energy Sources in ‘New’ EU Member States in the Context of National Energy Transformations
by Agnieszka Wałachowska and Aranka Ignasiak-Szulc
Energies 2021, 14(23), 7963; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237963 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
The European Union strives to create sustainable, low-carbon economies; therefore, energy policies of all member states should move towards renewable energy sources (RES). That concerns also the so-called new EU member states. These countries, on the one hand, are characterized by significant historical [...] Read more.
The European Union strives to create sustainable, low-carbon economies; therefore, energy policies of all member states should move towards renewable energy sources (RES). That concerns also the so-called new EU member states. These countries, on the one hand, are characterized by significant historical similarities in terms of post-communist legacy and adopted development strategies linked with the EU membership, and on the other hand, by significant social, economic and environmental differences resulting from different transformation and development paths and conditions. The question remains how the selected countries should cope with actions in the field of national energy transformations to confront the multiple challenges linked to assuring a significant level of sustainable development. In order to be successful, it is necessary to conduct an effective and rapid changes in the energy industry, which should be preceded by an analysis of the differentiation of countries in terms of their potentials. The results of such analyses should be helpful in selecting the most appropriate strategies for transformation of the described industry. Therefore, the purpose of the article is to assess the new EU member states for RES diversification and identify similar subgroups of countries using cluster analysis, taking into account the percentage share of individual renewable energy sources in total renewable energy production. This was done for the years 2010, 2015 and 2019 which should allow us to demonstrate the differences between them as a group and also reveal changes recorded over time for a single country. Ward’s method was used for the analysis. The presented approach to the analysis of energy production enabled the acquisition of new knowledge in this field and supported the assessment of the current state of RES. The results obtained can be used in countries of comparable specificity to undertake activities of similar nature in relation to internal energy production, technological development or common energy policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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27 pages, 1592 KiB  
Article
Changes in Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources in the European Union Countries in 2005–2019
by Aleksandra Matuszewska-Janica, Dorota Żebrowska-Suchodolska, Urszula Ala-Karvia and Marta Hozer-Koćmiel
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6276; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196276 - 2 Oct 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2905
Abstract
The policy related to the use of renewable sources is a key element of the energy policy executed in the European Union (EU). One of the targets set for 2050 is to increase the share of electricity in energy consumption to 50%, and [...] Read more.
The policy related to the use of renewable sources is a key element of the energy policy executed in the European Union (EU). One of the targets set for 2050 is to increase the share of electricity in energy consumption to 50%, and 80% of electricity is to be generated from low-carbon sources. In recent years, the EU economies have significantly modified their electricity production, which raises the question of the scale of these changes. The aim of the presented analysis is to assess changes in the use of renewable sources for electricity production in the EU countries in 2005–2019. Gini coefficient and k-mean are applied in the analysis. The conducted research shows that EU countries, in line with the energy policy assumptions, have both increased the share of renewable sources in energy production, especially in electricity production, as well as increased the diversity of used renewable sources. The results also indicate a vast diversity in terms of the use of such sources for the production of renewable electricity in the EU. This indicates that the energy transition is being implemented by EU countries with individual country-level approaches. Nonetheless, a variety of the EU’s both support and restrictive measures are of considerable importance for the ongoing energy transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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16 pages, 440 KiB  
Article
Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance among Energy Sector Companies
by Magdalena Kludacz-Alessandri and Małgorzata Cygańska
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6068; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196068 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5893
Abstract
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the main drivers of corporate reputation. Many studies show that CSR can positively affect financial performance (FP) and vice versa. However, the relationship between FP and CSR depends on the type of industry in which the [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the main drivers of corporate reputation. Many studies show that CSR can positively affect financial performance (FP) and vice versa. However, the relationship between FP and CSR depends on the type of industry in which the company operates, and there is little research regarding the energy sector in this area. The basis of empirical research in this study is slack resource theory which argues that financial performance is the cause of corporate social performance. This paper aims to analyze if financial performance affects corporate social responsibility adoption in energy sector companies. In order to achieve this goal, the study specifically examines the relationship between selected financial performance indicators and CSR adoption. Analyzing an international sample of 219 companies from thirty-two countries for 2020, we observed the statistically significant relations between financial performance and the implementing of the CSR strategy of the energy industry companies. The Return on Assets measure (ROA) and the Earnings Before Interest and Taxes measure (EBIT) were significantly higher among companies implementing the CSR strategy. The Enterprise Value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ratio (EV EBITDA) was lower among companies that adopted CSR. We did not confirm that the Return on Equity measure (ROE), Beta coefficient, and EBITDA per Share correlated with CSR adoption. Our research had implications for firms’ investment policies in social initiatives and highlighted the relation between the financial performance and CSR initiatives of the energy sector companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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31 pages, 2844 KiB  
Article
The Consumption of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) by the European Union Households between 2004 and 2019
by Marlena Piekut
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5560; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175560 - 6 Sep 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3615
Abstract
The paper provides the analysis of fuel and energy transition in households sector and its sustainable development in the period 2004–2019. The main purpose of the paper is to determine the development trends in the use of renewable energy sources (RES) in the [...] Read more.
The paper provides the analysis of fuel and energy transition in households sector and its sustainable development in the period 2004–2019. The main purpose of the paper is to determine the development trends in the use of renewable energy sources (RES) in the EU countries household sector in 2004–2019, to recognize the state of development and functioning of the studied area as well as to indicate their successes and shortcomings in observed reality. The article employs the results of Energy balance sheets from Eurostat. The research entity were households from 28 European Union countries, with particular emphasis on households from Poland and selected neighboring countries. The research subjects there were different sources of renewable energy used by households, i.e., solar thermal system, geothermal technologies, primary solid biofuels, charcoal, biogases, blended biogasoline, blended biodiesels, ambient heat (heat pumps). To achieve the research objective a number of statistical measures ands methods, including cluster analysis and linear trend indicator applied. In the analyzed 16 years, an absolute and relative increase in the use of RES in the household sector was noticed. Taking into account the specificity of using RES in households, 6 clusters of countries were distinguished. In Poland, it was noted that there was a significant increase in the use of RES in households, with stagnation in the use of non-renewable energy sources, such as, for example, hard coal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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19 pages, 972 KiB  
Article
Environmental Production Efficiency in the European Union Countries as a Tool for the Implementation of Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda
by Katarzyna Cheba and Iwona Bąk
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4593; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154593 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2087
Abstract
The main purpose of the paper is to present a proposal to measure the relationships between Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and one of the areas considered in the green growth concept: environmental production efficiency. Both of these areas [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the paper is to present a proposal to measure the relationships between Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and one of the areas considered in the green growth concept: environmental production efficiency. Both of these areas illustrate the relationship between the natural environment and the economy, emphasizing transformations in the field of energy use. Selected taxonomic methods, TOPSIS, and multicriteria taxonomy, were applied to study the relationships between the two areas. The results of the EU countries classification showed a variety of countries’ development pathways within a single economic community. Despite continued attempts to equalize the development levels between European Union countries in many strategic areas, they remain highly diversified. That is also true for the areas analyzed in the paper, which is a disturbing situation, indicating that both strategies might not correlate in all respects. Further research into the relationships linking the remaining dimensions of both strategies is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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44 pages, 4245 KiB  
Article
The Sustainability of Decentralised Renewable Energy Projects in Developing Countries: Learning Lessons from Zambia
by Susann Stritzke and Prem Jain
Energies 2021, 14(13), 3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14133757 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4540
Abstract
Decentralised renewable energy (RE) systems such as solar PV mini-grids (MG) are considered to be a cornerstone for the strategic achievement of the UN’s energy access goals in the developing world. Many of these systems implemented however face substantial technical, financial and social [...] Read more.
Decentralised renewable energy (RE) systems such as solar PV mini-grids (MG) are considered to be a cornerstone for the strategic achievement of the UN’s energy access goals in the developing world. Many of these systems implemented however face substantial technical, financial and social sustainability challenges which are also a recurring theme in the relevant literature. MG analyses however often lack detailed technical or financial data or apply ‘silo-approaches’ as a comprehensive review of MG case study literature presented in this article reveals. Consequently, this study aims to enhance the understanding of RE MG sustainability in the developing context based on the integrated evaluation of the technical, financial and social dimensions of MG operation through empirical data from community surveys on energy use from Uganda and Zambia and two in-depth MG case studies from Zambia. By presenting detailed technical and financial data in combination with energy consumer perception, the study aims to close existing data gaps on sustainable RE MG operation and offers an approach to evaluate and optimise the operational sustainability of an MG in its individual local context. The article finds that the complex rural community ecosystem is a central, but yet undervalued determinant of MG sustainability in rural developing contexts. The mismatch between energy affordability and MG tariffs threatens MG sustainability and the scaling of energy access projects if not addressed specifically during project development and implementation. Consequently, the article calls for a strategic inclusion of community-ecosystem parameters and MG planning based on realistic energy affordability levels and an added value approach that includes dynamic MG financing mechanisms and targeted measures to generate added value through energy consumption as integral parts of RE MG projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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15 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Application of Technological Processes to Create a Unitary Model for Energy Recovery from Municipal Waste
by Robert Sidełko
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3118; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113118 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
The subject matter of this paper is the functioning of a highly effective waste management system. Assumptions of the Energy Recovery Waste Processing (ERWP) model, being a universal solution for towns and regions irrespective of their population, are presented here. The result of [...] Read more.
The subject matter of this paper is the functioning of a highly effective waste management system. Assumptions of the Energy Recovery Waste Processing (ERWP) model, being a universal solution for towns and regions irrespective of their population, are presented here. The result of simulations illustrating the energetic potential of municipal waste stored and processed in biological and physicochemical processes are also presented. Calculations were performed for the municipality of Koszalin (Poland), with a population of 106,000. Mixed household and commercial waste, organic waste, waste from selective collection and sewage sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant were considered in the waste mass balance. Empirical equations and unit coefficients describing the energetic efficiency of particular processes originating from the author’s own research work as well as from the results available from the scientific literature were used in the calculations. The developed ERWP model is based on the functioning of four objects constituting a comprehensive technical infrastructure, i.e., biological stabilisation in air condition (BSAC), mechanical treatment plant (MTP), cogeneration system plant (CSP) and gas production plant (GPP) where two independent modules operate, namely, dry/wet methane fermentation (DMF and WMF). Each day, this system generates highly energetic refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for combustion in amounts of 82.2 t for CSP and 127.3 t for GPP, generating 5519 m3 of gas/d. The value of the energy contained in such generated gas and in waste making up an alternative fuel is 1027.4 GJ, which is equivalent to 285.4 MWh. It should be noted that the creation of a waste management system based on the ERWP model assumptions fulfills the criteria of energetic recycling and allows for recovery of energy in the form of gas and heat equivalent to 79,917.6 MWh/a, i.e., 754 kWh/inhabitant/a. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Current State and Prospects)
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