Special Issue "Sustainable Energy & Society"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Yuriy Bilan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rzeszow University of Technology, Aleja Powstancow Warszawy 12, PL-35959 Rzeszow, Poland
Interests: economics; energy and society; energy consumtion; environmental science
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Today, the sustainable supply of energy resources is seen, worldwide, as the key determinant of both economic and social development. “Sustainability”, in this particular context, combines two important notions – “stability” [of energy supply] and its friendliness to the natural environment. Societies across the globe are attempting to find, develop, and implement energy solutions that are eco-friendly, economically feasible, and socially tolerable. This has been a challenging task for both policy-makers and researchers. Innovations and R&D are an integral part of this process, which is covering a wide array of research directions: sustainability of logistics and supply; development of new, more efficient technical solutions; adjustment of the already functioning energy systems to the changing political, economic and environmental context; public awareness changes and overall social context as applied to sustainable energy.

In this specific research context, the Special Issue “Sustainable Energy and Society” is collecting texts that cover the following topics: government regulation of changes in energy systems; social and socio-cultural changes due to changes in the national energy systems; growing prosumer attitudes to energy supply and energy use; description of implemented local “green” initiatives; SME interests and participation in the alternative energy development; energy equality and energy justice across the globe and in the context of developing nations especially.

Prof. Dr. Yuriy Bilan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Public discourse in sustainable energy policy
  • Changes in the national energy systems
  • Social and socio-economic changes caused by the energy transition
  • Socio-cultural shift from consumer to prosumer in the energy sector
  • Local “green” sustainable initiatives
  • SME interests and participation in alternative energy development
  • The cultures of energy consumption: national, regional and local levels
  • Food wastes management, sustainable approach
  • Justice in energy distribution, energy poverty
  • Forecasting energy demand trends

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Impacts of Electricity Outages in Urban Households in Developing Countries: A Case of Accra, Ghana
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3676; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123676 - 20 Jun 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Many developing countries in Africa face a “double tragedy” when it comes to electrification. Electricity access rates are low, while those who have access to electricity face frequent outages. There are ongoing efforts aimed at increasing access to electricity on the continent. However, [...] Read more.
Many developing countries in Africa face a “double tragedy” when it comes to electrification. Electricity access rates are low, while those who have access to electricity face frequent outages. There are ongoing efforts aimed at increasing access to electricity on the continent. However, the need to improve the reliability of electricity supply receives limited attention. Unreliable electricity impacts users by limiting electricity utilization and the benefits that should accrue from having an electricity connection. Using data from 496 household survey questionnaires, this study examines the impacts of electricity outages in urban households in Accra, Ghana. The study applies correlation and regression analyses to identify which household characteristics are associated with or predict households reporting outage impacts. Outages were found to impact household safety/security, access to food, and access to social services and were found to cause appliance damage as well. Factors that are significantly correlated with reporting certain outage impacts include respondent’s annual income and employment status, frequency of electricity outages, and household size. Significant predictors of reporting outage impacts are socioeconomic disadvantage, high exposure to outages, and living in a large family setting. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions to eliminate, or at least minimize, electricity supply interruptions in developing countries if sustainable social and economic development is to be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
Intelligent Street Lighting in a Smart City Concepts—A Direction to Energy Saving in Cities: An Overview and Case Study
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3018; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113018 - 23 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
The aim of the article is to present and analyze the implementation of intelligent lighting within the concept of smart energies and smart cities. Motivation and research hypothesis: Electricity consumption in the world is based largely on non-renewable energy. Until these full changes, [...] Read more.
The aim of the article is to present and analyze the implementation of intelligent lighting within the concept of smart energies and smart cities. Motivation and research hypothesis: Electricity consumption in the world is based largely on non-renewable energy. Until these full changes, it is necessary to look for opportunities to save and use it efficiently. Today’s cities are increasingly implementing the smart concept, of which smart energy is one area. One of the smart city elements implemented by cities is smart energy. Within this framework, a supported concept is the replacement of traditional lighting with LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes), which contributes to energy and cost savings and reduces the pollution of the sky with artificial light, while increasing the efficiency of urban lighting. Positive effects of modern solutions include reduced lighting expenses and increased safety of residents. Methods and results of the research: The authors chose the case study method for their research. The authors present forecasts for the development, not only from the point of view of the number of lamps but also the cost efficiency pointing out the importance of this element in the context of building smart cities. These are specific benchmarks for cities that have not yet implemented this concept. Conclusions and interdisciplinary implications: solutions are desirable directions for the development of the smart city concept, bringing benefits and reducing external costs. Considerations show a quantitative development forecast and an indication of the possibility of achieving trade-offs and cost reductions. It translates into meeting the requirements of sustainable development providing tangible benefits. The analysis of the case studies is intended to show the effects that can be achieved and the wide range of applications (indicating that modern lamps are not just lighting, but a platform for urban services). The analyses presented are intended to serve as benchmarks showing the possibilities of reducing costs and increasing the quality of life of residents in modern cities. The indicated examples and analyses are of economic importance, they show managers, but also inhabitants, in which direction they should lead the smart city concept, which will allow saving costs, but also to increase the quality of life of inhabitants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
Mineral Policy within the Framework of Limited Critical Resources and a Green Energy Transition
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2688; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092688 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
The green energy transition is associated with the use of a wide range of metals and minerals that are exhaustible. Most of these minerals are limited in access due to small resource fields, their concentration in several locations and a broader scale of [...] Read more.
The green energy transition is associated with the use of a wide range of metals and minerals that are exhaustible. Most of these minerals are limited in access due to small resource fields, their concentration in several locations and a broader scale of industry usage which is not limited exclusively to energy and environmental sectors. This article classifies 17 minerals that are critical in the green energy transition concerning the 10 main technologies. The following classification signs of metal resources were used: (1) the absolute amount of metals used in the current period for energy; (2) projected annual demand in 2050 from energy technologies as a percentage of the current rate; (3) the number of technologies where there is a need for an individual metal; (4) cumulative emissions of CO2, which are associated with metal production; (5) period of reserves availability; (6) the number of countries that produced more than 1% of global production; (7) countries with the maximum annual metal productivity. The ranking of metals according to these characteristics was carried out using two scenarios, and the index of the availability of each mineral was determined. The lowest availability index values (up to 0.15) were calculated for cobalt, graphite and lithium, which are key battery minerals for energy storage. Low indices (up to 0.20) were also obtained for iron, nickel and chromium. The calculation of the availability index for each mineral was enhanced with linear trend modelling and the fuzzy logic technique. There are two scenarios of demand–supply commodity systems with a pre-developed forecast up to 2050: basic independent parameter probability and balanced fuzzy sum. Both scenarios showed comparable results, but the second one highlighted supply chain importance. Generally, the lowest availability index values (up to 0.15) were calculated for cobalt, graphite and lithium, which are key battery minerals for energy storage. Low indices (up to 0.20) were also obtained for iron, nickel and chromium. The fuzzy logic model helped to reveal two scenarios up to 2050. The two scenarios presented in the current research expose a high level of uncertainty of the projected 2050 forecast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
Determinants of Decarbonization—How to Realize Sustainable and Low Carbon Cities?
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2640; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092640 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to identify the determinants of decarbonization processes in Poland by urban and rural areas. It also presents directions for knowledge diffusion on decarbonization to develop a sustainable energy strategy for Poland, particularly for local governments and cities. [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to identify the determinants of decarbonization processes in Poland by urban and rural areas. It also presents directions for knowledge diffusion on decarbonization to develop a sustainable energy strategy for Poland, particularly for local governments and cities. Despite extensive research on the determinants of decarbonization and sustainable energy development, there is a lack of specific solutions in this area. The authors of this paper investigated which determinants, according to the respondents, would lead to better decarbonization solutions in cities and villages in terms of sustainability. The studied sample was purposefully selected and an online questionnaire was used with the use of the “snowball” method. The authors conducted surveys that allowed the concerned parties themselves (respondents) to indicate which factors they believe best influence decarbonization. Such measures are helpful in terms of the understanding public acceptance of decarbonization in terms of the energy transition. This is of particular importance in terms of green governance globally and in Europe. The results of the authors’ research indicate that despite the reduction in the share of coal in residential and domestic heating, coal remains the main source of electricity generation and that the potential for low-carbon policy to have an impact on solving urban challenges is underestimated. From the findings, it can be concluded that more in-depth research is needed on public acceptance of decarbonization in its broadest sense and its implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
Europeanization Processes of the EU Energy Policy in Visegrad Countries in the Years 2005–2018
Energies 2021, 14(7), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071802 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
Energy issues are sensitive for the four Visegrad countries as European Union (EU) member states; thus, this area’s convergence might be problematic for these countries. There is a clear research gap concerning the processes of Europeanization of the energy policy in the Visegrad [...] Read more.
Energy issues are sensitive for the four Visegrad countries as European Union (EU) member states; thus, this area’s convergence might be problematic for these countries. There is a clear research gap concerning the processes of Europeanization of the energy policy in the Visegrad countries. This article aims to identify and evaluate the progress of four Visegrad countries (V4) in implementing the EU energy goals in the context of the Europeanization. The article uses three main methods: Hellwig’s method, Kendall’s rank concordance coefficient, and k-means clustering. These calculations will allow one to study the Europeanization processes, which means checking the gamma convergence. For calculations, we use the available statistical data from Eurostat for the years 2005–2018. Poland and other Central European countries, including Czechia, and Hungary, largely depend on coal for their energy needs. The empirical results have shown that there have been no significant changes in the classification of EU countries in terms of their fulfillment of the EU climate and energy targets in the analyzed period. This is the case in all EU member states, including the Visegrad Group countries, but except for Poland. This means that the level of Europeanization of the energy policy and its effectiveness is similar in all member states except for Poland, which is becoming a kind of the exception. Throughout the investigating period, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia were close to meeting the set targets and could be rated high compared to the EU countries. Poland, especially since 2015, has been noticeably and increasingly distanced from the other V4 countries. It can be perceived as a gradual drift away from Europeanization of the EU climate and energy policy in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
The Impact of Energy Consumption on the Three Pillars of Sustainable Development
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051372 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
The paper analyzes the impact of energy consumption on the three pillars of sustainable development in 74 countries. The main methodological challenge in this research is the choice of a single integral indicator for assessing the social component of sustainable development. Disability-adjusted life [...] Read more.
The paper analyzes the impact of energy consumption on the three pillars of sustainable development in 74 countries. The main methodological challenge in this research is the choice of a single integral indicator for assessing the social component of sustainable development. Disability-adjusted life year (DALY), ecological footprint, and GDP (Gross domestic product) are used to characterize the social, ecological, and economical pillars. The concept of physics, namely the concept of density (specific gravity), is used. It characterizes the ratio of the mass of a substance to its volume, i.e., reflects the saturation of a certain volume with this substance. Thus, to assess the relationship between energy consumption and the three foundations of sustainable development, it is proposed to determine the energy density of the indicators DALY, the ecological footprint, and GDP. The reaction to changes in energy consumption is described by the elasticity of energy density functions, calculated for each of the abovementioned indicators. The state of the social pillar is mostly dependent on energy consumption. As for the changes in the ecological pillar, a 1% reduction in energy consumption per capita gives only a 0.6% ecological footprint reduction, which indicates a low efficiency of reducing energy consumption policy and its danger for the social pillar. The innovative aspect of the research is to apply a cross-disciplinary approach and a calculative technique to identify the impact that each of the pillars of sustainable development imposes on energy policy design. The policy of renewable energy expansion is preferable for all sustainable development pillars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
GHG Emissions Mitigation in the European Union Based on Labor Market Changes
Energies 2021, 14(2), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020465 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 603
Abstract
The effects of the labor market on environmental issues are an actual problem at the global level, and recommendations are required to achieve equilibrium between labor productivity and environmental protection. Considering the ecological limits of work and the necessity of reducing the working [...] Read more.
The effects of the labor market on environmental issues are an actual problem at the global level, and recommendations are required to achieve equilibrium between labor productivity and environmental protection. Considering the ecological limits of work and the necessity of reducing the working time to mitigate GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, this paper aims to assess the impact of the labor market on GHG emissions in the EU-28 countries. Using panel data models for 2007–2019, a positive effect of working time for employed persons on GHG emissions was detected. Labor productivity has a positive impact on emissions for most of the developed countries in the EU (old member states), while the effect is negative in the case of most of the new member states, which suggests that more efforts should be made by old member states to correlate labor productivity with a sustainable level of GHG emissions. As a novelty for research in the field, we assessed also the effect of targeted labor utilization on GHG emissions in order to describe the context of a sustainable economy that is an objective for each country in the EU. These results suggest that progress in GHG emissions mitigation might be achieved by reducing the working time for employed persons, which will also improve well-being. These recommendations could be useful also for other developed countries outside the EU that encounter the same difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Article
Multi-Time Scale Spillover Effect of International Oil Price Fluctuation on China’s Stock Markets
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4641; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184641 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
With the continuous increase of China’s foreign-trade dependence on crude oil and the accelerating integration of the international crude oil market and the Chinese finance market, the spillover effect of international oil price fluctuation on China’s stock markets increasingly attracts the attention of [...] Read more.
With the continuous increase of China’s foreign-trade dependence on crude oil and the accelerating integration of the international crude oil market and the Chinese finance market, the spillover effect of international oil price fluctuation on China’s stock markets increasingly attracts the attention of the public. In order to explore the impact of international oil price fluctuation on China’s stock markets and the time-varying spillover differences of industry sectors, this study proposes three research hypotheses and constructs a multi-time scale analysis framework based on wavelet analysis and a time-varying t-Copula model. In this paper, we use the Shanghai Composite Index as the representative of a general trend of the stock market, and we use the stock index of the China Securities Industry as the counterpart of industrial sectors. Based on the data from 5 January 2005 to 31 May 2020, this paper measures and analyzes the spillover effect of international oil price fluctuation on China’s stock markets, under different volatility periods. The results show that, firstly, the spillover effect of international oil price fluctuation on the Chinese stock markets is different. In the short and medium volatility period, the changes in international oil price are ahead of the changes in the Chinese stock markets, while the latter is ahead of the former under long-term fluctuations. Secondly, the spillover effect of international oil price fluctuation on China’s industry stock indexes is persistent. As the time scale increases, the tail dependency will increase. Finally, the impact of risk events aggravates the volatility of the stock markets in the short-term, while the mid- to long-term impact mainly affects the volatility trend. Investment risk control can make overall arrangement on the basis of the characteristics of oil price impact under different fluctuation stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy & Society)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The Impact of Energy Consumption on the Three Pillars of Sustainable Development
Authors: Silviu Nate*; Yuriy Bilan; Danylo Cherevatskyi; Ganna Kharlamova; Oleksandr Lyakh; Agnieszka Wosiak
Affiliation: 1. Department of International Relations, Political Science and Security Studies, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, 550324 Sibiu, Romania; [email protected] (S.N.); 2. Faculty of Management, Rzeszów University of Technology, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland; [email protected] (Y.B.); 3. Institute of Industrial Economics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Maria Kap-nist Street, 2, Kyiv 03057, Ukraine; [email protected] (D.C.); [email protected] (O.L.); 4. Department of Economic Cybernetics, Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ukraine, Vasylkivska street 90-A, Kyiv 03022, [email protected] (G.K.); 5. Institute of Information Technology, Lodz University of Technology, Wólczańska 215, 90-924 Lodz, Poland, [email protected] (A.W.)
Abstract: The paper analyzes the impact of energy consumption on three pillars of sustainable development in 74 countries. Disability-adjusted life year; Ecological Footprint; GDP are indicators were used to characterize the social, ecological, and economical pillars state. The reaction to changes in energy consumption is described by the elasticity of energy density functions, calculated for each of the above-mentioned indicators. The state of the social pillar most dependent on energy consumption. As for the changes in the ecological pillar, a one percent reduction in energy consumption per capita gives only a 0.6% Eco-logical Footprint reduction, which indicates low efficiency of reducing energy consumption policy and its danger for the social pillar. The policy of renewable energy expansion is preferable for all sustainable development pillars.

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