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Economic Transformations, Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 10531

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Economics, Entrepreneurship and Business Administration, Sumy State University, 40007 Sumy, Ukraine
Interests: health economics; energy economics; sustainable development; environmental economics; EU economy; mathematical methods in economics

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Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Technologies, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: environment; water and wastewater treatment; environmental impact assessment; environmental analysis; sustainability; environmental pollution; environmental monitoring; sustainable development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Research Center of Western Energy Economy and Regional Development, Xi'an University of Finance and Economics, Xi'an 710100, China
Interests: energy poverty; sustainability, energy efficiency; emerging economies; econometric model

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humanity is entering a phase of transitioning to new socio-economic formations that are now taking place within Industries 4.0 and 5.0. Recent trends in human capital development, such as intellectualization, increased communication, internationalization, acquisition of skills, customization, and communication with consumers, align with Industries 4.0 and 5.0. The socio-economic transformations caused by disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, advanced virtual reality, artificial intelligence, algorithmic techniques, simulations and gamification, space colonization, renewable energy, high-speed travel, medical innovations, and 3D printing, could have positive and negative effects on sustainable development. Positive impacts include the dematerialization of industrial metabolism and less ecological impact on nature. The negative consequences of disruptive technologies are difficult to predict, but may include information vulnerability; increasing information dependence; the risk of creative potential reduction; the increasing cost of waste in the green economy; loss of jobs; a decrease in privacy; hacking, the loss of human control over cyber systems, etc.

This Special Issue aims to cover the advancements in state-of-the-art green economic transformations, as well as sustainable concepts, such as, but not limited to:

  • The innovative development of national economies, accounting for sustainability challenges;
  • The sustainable development under the conditions of Industries 4.0 and 5.0;
  • Green transportation and green industries;
  • A sustainable technological basis and new materials;
  • Resource and technological challenges under the conditions of Industries 3.0 and 4.0;
  • Green energy development and related economic transformations;
  • Disruptive technologies and sustainable agricultural production;
  • Sustainable development strategies;
  • Renewable energy for sustainable development;
  • Decision-making and decision support systems;
  • Synergetic effects and environmental conflicts caused by economic transformations;
  • The self-organization of economic and natural systems for sustainability.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Oleksandr Kubatko
Dr. Hynek Roubík
Dr. Rui Li
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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • disruptive technologies
  • socio-economic transformations
  • Industries 4.0 and 5.0
  • green economy
  • renewable energy
  • environmental health
  • ecological impacts

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 896 KiB  
Article
Does the Financial and Innovation Performance of European and Asian–Oceanian Companies Coincide with the Targets of the Green Deal?
by Raminta Vaitiekuniene, Kristina Sutiene, Bohdan Kovalov and Rytis Krusinskas
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041485 - 9 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 653
Abstract
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 and put into effect in 2016, led to the European Green Deal. It envisages ensuring climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, solutions to the climate challenge have to be implemented globally. This research aims to evaluate [...] Read more.
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 and put into effect in 2016, led to the European Green Deal. It envisages ensuring climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, solutions to the climate challenge have to be implemented globally. This research aims to evaluate interactions among corporate financial, innovation, and environmental performance indicators in European and Asian–Oceanian companies. Financial performance refers to the financial capacity and financial resources of companies that enable the creation of more sustainable innovations. More sustainable innovation could contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Science indicates that global greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut down by 43% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. According to our results, it is possible to compare which region, Europe or Asia, moved towards climate neutrality in the analyzed period of 2008–2019. By determining their starting positions, we seek to disclose how companies can contribute to climate change reduction. The results reveal that for both analyzed regions, financial and innovation indicators have an important impact on environmental performance. We found that the ROA ratio and R&D expenditures are significantly linked to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as an indicator of environmental performance. The interaction between ROA and CO2 emissions was identified as being stronger in Asia–Oceania. The relationship between R&D expenditures and CO2 emissions was more robust in Europe. Therefore, Europe is participating in the race towards sustainable goals by increasing R&D expenditures to stimulate green economy development. In the race to achieve the Green Deal’s long-term 2050 targets, companies will have to combine their strategic decisions, while business survival requires profitability, meaning that the race towards climate neutrality goals will hardly be possible without corporate R&D expenditures. Full article
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26 pages, 4466 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Integration for Sustainable Economic Growth: Insights and Challenges via Bibliometric Analysis
by Chien-Heng Chou, Sa Ly Ngo and Phung Phi Tran
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 15030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152015030 - 18 Oct 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5251
Abstract
This study investigates trends in research at the intersection of economic growth and renewable energy, recognizing the pressing need for sustainable long-term development. Through a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of 6794 research papers sourced from the Web of Science database spanning the period from [...] Read more.
This study investigates trends in research at the intersection of economic growth and renewable energy, recognizing the pressing need for sustainable long-term development. Through a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of 6794 research papers sourced from the Web of Science database spanning the period from 1990 to June 2023, this research provides valuable insights into the evolving research landscape. It sheds light on seminal works, noteworthy authors, and emerging themes within this interdisciplinary field. The findings of this study underscore the critical importance of harnessing renewable energy sources in the pursuit of enduring economic growth. Beyond the well-documented environmental benefits, renewable energy plays a pivotal role in catalyzing a green economic transformation. This transformation not only mitigates adverse ecological impacts, but also fosters job creation, local community development, and enhanced energy security. Moreover, our analysis uncovers a compelling positive correlation between the adoption of renewable energy and key economic indicators, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, industrial productivity, and technological innovation. This correlation is particularly pronounced in regions endowed with abundant renewable resources, reaffirming the potential for renewable energy to stimulate investment, propel economic expansion, and promote equitable development. This study serves as a roadmap toward a more sustainable and resilient future by advocating for the integration of renewable energy, the advancement of sustainable economic growth, and the formulation of effective strategies. The insights gleaned from this research are instrumental in guiding policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders toward the realization of a greener and more prosperous world. Full article
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19 pages, 2178 KiB  
Article
Romania Residents’ Attitude Investigation toward the Transition to Renewable Energy Sources through Importance-Performance Analysis
by Olimpia-Iuliana Ban, Simona Dzitac, Attila Simó and Adrian Florea
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014790 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Romania, like the whole world, is facing a sustainable development challenge that now takes the form of the energy transition towards renewable energy sources. This transition also addresses industrial consumers as well as domestic consumers. The number of household prosumers of electrical energy [...] Read more.
Romania, like the whole world, is facing a sustainable development challenge that now takes the form of the energy transition towards renewable energy sources. This transition also addresses industrial consumers as well as domestic consumers. The number of household prosumers of electrical energy from renewable sources reached above 63,000 in Romania in 2023, but there is a slowdown in the process with dissatisfaction from residents. The present research covers a gap in the specialty literature by investigating the perception of Romanian residents (from two cities, Oradea and Timișoara) regarding renewable energy sources and the barriers they identify to the adoption of these sources. The research enjoys a consistent sample of 1098 valid responses. The research method is the survey through a questionnaire applied with an operator and the use of a mix of data processing techniques, namely Importance-Performance Analysis with RStudio202207.1+554 and qualitative processing with Atlas.ti22. The results obtained are categorical by corroborating the two methods, which show valid results that express the position of the respondents. Immediate strategic measures that the Romanian state can take to remove barriers and accelerate the process of adopting renewable energy sources are suggested. Full article
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18 pages, 1338 KiB  
Article
Risk Prediction Method for Renewable Energy Investments Abroad Based on Cloud-DBN
by Wenjiao Zai, Yuying He and Huazhang Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11297; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411297 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 811
Abstract
There are many specific risks in renewable energy (RE) investment projects, and the incidences of these risk factors are fuzzy and uncertain. In different stages of a project’s life cycle, the main risk factors frequently change. Therefore, this paper constructed a cloud dynamic [...] Read more.
There are many specific risks in renewable energy (RE) investment projects, and the incidences of these risk factors are fuzzy and uncertain. In different stages of a project’s life cycle, the main risk factors frequently change. Therefore, this paper constructed a cloud dynamic Bayesian network model (Cloud-DBN) for RE operation processes; it uses the DBN graph theory to show the generation mechanism and evolution process of RE outbound investment risks, to make the risk prediction structure clear. Based on the statistical data of observation nodes, the probability of risk occurrence is deduced to ensure the scientific nature of the reasoning process. The probability of risk being low, medium, or high is given, which is highly consistent with the uncertainty and randomness of risk. An improved formula for quantitative data normalization is proposed, and an improved calculation method for joint conditional probability based on weight and contribution probability is proposed, which reduces the workload of determining numerous joint conditional probabilities and improves the practicability of the BN network with multiple parent nodes. According to the 20-year historical statistical data of observation nodes, the GM(1,1) algorithm was used to extract the transfer characteristics of observation nodes, construct the DBN network, and deduce the annual risk probability of each risk node during the operation period of the RE project. The method was applied to the wind power project invested by China in Pakistan, and the effectiveness of the method was tested. The method in this paper provides a basis for investment decisions in the RE project planning period and provides targeted risk reduction measures for the project’s operation period. Full article
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15 pages, 563 KiB  
Article
Promotion of Sustainable Development in the EU: Social and Economic Drivers
by Yu-Xia Tu, Oleksandr Kubatko, Vladyslav Piven, Bohdan Kovalov and Mykola Kharchenko
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097503 - 3 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
The transition to sustainability is a complex process that requires a clear understanding of its drivers and barriers. The paper explores the impact of different social and economic factors on sustainable development as a holistic process. The research involved data from 27 EU [...] Read more.
The transition to sustainability is a complex process that requires a clear understanding of its drivers and barriers. The paper explores the impact of different social and economic factors on sustainable development as a holistic process. The research involved data from 27 EU member states during 2012–2020. Hausman specification and Breusch and Pagan Lagrangian multiplier test were used to select the proper econometric model, which led to the use of generalized least squares regression with random effects to estimate the sustainable development drivers in the EU. The results suggested that corruption has no statistically significant impact on sustainability, whereas economic freedom increases Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index. Our empirical results demonstrated that GDP per capita inhibits sustainability transition, which could be a case of the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis. Unemployment has a negative impact on sustainable development; however, employment in science and research is its driver. It was unfolded that median income per capita and life expectancy have a statistically significant positive impact on the SDG Index. Following these findings, a wide range of policy recommendations was suggested. They include but are not limited to: ensuring economic freedom, human capital development, digitalization of public services, and lifelong education promotion. Full article
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