Special Issue "Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Adolf Acquaye
Website
Guest Editor
Reader in Sustainability, Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK
Interests: renewable energy; climate change policies; mitigation and adaptation; energy efficiency; policy and economics; triple bottom line sustainability modelling including carbon accounting; input-output analysis and LCA; green supply chain management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Taofeeq Ibn-Mohammed

Guest Editor
Assistant Professor in Industrial Ecology and Sustainability, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, UK
Interests: Low carbon technologies; carbon accounting; embodied emissions; supply chain lifecycle analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The relationship between fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is well established, with strong evidence that anthropogenic emissions are the primary cause of climate change [1]. It is currently estimated that about 25,000 GW of low-carbon energy will be required by 2050 to accomplish the international community’s ambition of reducing CO2 emissions, to mitigate the pernicious effects of climate change [2]. Renewable energy systems (RES) will therefore play a decisive and vital role through the supply of a significant fraction of the future energy supply mix, providing a uniquely attractive contribution to the world’s environmental sustainability and energy security challenges [3-5]. The quest for sustainable energy systems constitutes a major part of national and global energy policies [6] and will therefore continue to dominate the twenty-first century research, business and policy agendas.

The deployment of increasingly renewable energy options continues to expand rapidly, with electricity generation from RES currently accounting for half of additional global energy generation. This is buoyed by declining costs and, in some cases, by dedicated policy initiatives and/or subsidies. Despite this, present and future advancements in RES present uncertainties in terms of technical, policy and various triple bottom line sustainability dimensions.

This Special Issue, therefore, seeks to contribute to the renewable energy agenda through enhanced scientific and multi-disciplinary knowledge to improve performance and deployment by harnessing the shifting energy landscape in order to meet technical, socio-economic and environmental goals, as well as for energy security. We therefore invite contributions on innovative technical developments, reviews, case studies, analysis, and assessment from different disciplines, which are relevant to sustainable and renewable energy systems.

REFERENCES:

  1. IPCC, Climate change 2014: mitigation of climate change. Vol. 3. 2015: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Energy Initiative Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Future of Solar Energy- an interdisciplinary MIT study. 2015 [cited 2015 10th November]; Available from: https://mitei.mit.edu/system/files/MIT%20Future%20of%20Solar%20Energy%20Study_compressed.pdf.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy. Does the world have enough materials for PV to help address climate change? 2005 [cited 2015 10th November 2015].
  4. García‐Valverde, R., J.A. Cherni, and A. Urbina, Life cycle analysis of organic photovoltaic technologies. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 2010. 18(7): p. 535-558.
  5. Cucchiella, F., et al., Renewable energy options for buildings: Performance evaluations of integrated photovoltaic systems. Energy and Buildings, 2012. 55: p. 208-217.
  6. Ibn-Mohammed, T., et al., Perovskite solar cells: An integrated hybrid lifecycle assessment and review in comparison with other photovoltaic technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017. 80: p. 1321-1344.

Dr. Adolf Acquaye
Dr. Taofeeq Ibn-Mohammed
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
High-Resolution Electricity Spot Price Forecast for the Danish Power Market
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104267 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
Energy markets with a high penetration of renewables are more likely to be challenged by price variations or volatility, which is partly due to the stochastic nature of renewable energy. The Danish electricity market (DK1) is a great example of such a market, [...] Read more.
Energy markets with a high penetration of renewables are more likely to be challenged by price variations or volatility, which is partly due to the stochastic nature of renewable energy. The Danish electricity market (DK1) is a great example of such a market, as 49% of the power production in DK1 is based on wind power, conclusively challenging the electricity spot price forecast for the Danish power market. The energy industry and academia have tried to find the best practices for spot price forecasting in Denmark, by introducing everything from linear models to sophisticated machine-learning approaches. This paper presents a linear model for price forecasting—based on electricity consumption, thermal power production, wind production and previous electricity prices—to estimate long-term electricity prices in electricity markets with a high wind penetration levels, to help utilities and asset owners to develop risk management strategies and for asset valuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Power Generation Using Biogas from Landfills in an Equatorial Tropical Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072669 - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
This work evaluates the biogas production potential of the Ceibales landfill for feeding a power plant in the southern region of Ecuador. Biogas production is estimated through mathematical models that consider energy generation and technologies available to supply electricity plants. Characteristic landfill data [...] Read more.
This work evaluates the biogas production potential of the Ceibales landfill for feeding a power plant in the southern region of Ecuador. Biogas production is estimated through mathematical models that consider energy generation and technologies available to supply electricity plants. Characteristic landfill data are accounted for to analyze and develop these mathematical models. Once the generation capability of each source is identified, a decision can be made on the most suitable electricity generation technology. A local model (Ecuadorian model) is applied to calculate the potential of biogas and is compared with other models commonly used for evaluating this type of project. This type of renewable energy is attractive because it produces electricity from waste; however, it is not an attractive option unless its application is encouraged, as hydro has been encouraged through the investment of taxpayer resources. Technologies require a boost to become profitable, and even more so if they compete with traditional technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic Assessment of Distribution Network with High Penetration of Distributed Generators
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051709 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
Over the past decades, the deployment of distributed generations (DGs) in distribution systems has grown dramatically due to the concerns of environment and carbon emission. However, a large number of DGs have introduced more uncertainties and challenges into the operation of distribution networks. [...] Read more.
Over the past decades, the deployment of distributed generations (DGs) in distribution systems has grown dramatically due to the concerns of environment and carbon emission. However, a large number of DGs have introduced more uncertainties and challenges into the operation of distribution networks. Due to the stochastic nature of renewable energy resources, probabilistic tools are needed to assist systems operators in analyzing operating states of systems. To address this issue, we develop a probabilistic framework for the assessment of systems. In the proposed framework, the uncertainties of DGs outputs are modeled using short term forecast values and errors. Moreover, an adaptive cluster-based cumulant method is developed for probabilistic load flow calculation. The performance of the proposed framework is evaluated in the IEEE 33-bus system and PG&E 69-bus system. The results indicate that the proposed framework could yield accurate results with a reasonable computational burden. The excellent performance of the proposed framework in estimating technological violations can help system operators underlying the potential risks of systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Challenges and Opportunities of Energy-Flexible Factories: A Holistic Case Study of the Model Region Augsburg in Germany
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010360 - 02 Jan 2020
Abstract
Economic solutions for the integration of volatile renewable electricity generation are decisive for a socially supported energy transition. So-called energy-flexible factories can adapt their electricity consumption process efficiently to power generation. These adaptions can support the system balance and counteract local network bottlenecks. [...] Read more.
Economic solutions for the integration of volatile renewable electricity generation are decisive for a socially supported energy transition. So-called energy-flexible factories can adapt their electricity consumption process efficiently to power generation. These adaptions can support the system balance and counteract local network bottlenecks. Within part of the model region Augsburg, a research and demonstration area of a federal research project, the potential, obstacles, effects, and opportunities of the energy-flexible factory were considered holistically. Exemplary flexibilization measures of industrial companies were identified and modeled. Simulations were performed to analyze these measures in supply scenarios with advanced expansion of fluctuating renewable electricity generation. The simulations demonstrate that industrial energy flexibility can make a positive contribution to regional energy balancing, thus enabling the integration of more volatile renewable electricity generation. Based on these fundamentals, profiles for regional market mechanisms for energy flexibility were investigated and elaborated. The associated environmental additional expenses of the companies for the implementation of the flexibility measures were identified in a life-cycle assessment, with the result that the negative effects are mitigated by the increased share of renewable energy. Therefore, from a technical perspective, energy-flexible factories can make a significant contribution to a sustainable energy system without greater environmental impact. In terms of a holistic approach, a network of actors from science, industry, associations, and civil society organizations was established and actively collaborated in a transdisciplinary work process. Using design-thinking methods, profiles of stakeholders in the region, as well as their mutual interactions and interests, were created. This resulted in requirements for the development of suitable business models and reduced regulatory barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Building a Wind Power Plant from Scrap and Raising Public Awareness for Renewable Energy Technology in a Circular Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010090 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Putting renewable energy to good use is necessary to deal with one of the greatest challenges of our time, namely, climate change. One problem, however, is that the technology we are using today turns into toxic waste at the end of its useful [...] Read more.
Putting renewable energy to good use is necessary to deal with one of the greatest challenges of our time, namely, climate change. One problem, however, is that the technology we are using today turns into toxic waste at the end of its useful life, which in particular concerns the blades of wind turbines. We investigated how the ideas of a circular economy can be applied to address this issue. To this end, we built a small wind turbine almost entirely from used materials. The social purpose of this is to raise public awareness about renewable energy technology that is part of a circular economy. Therefore, we chose a reliable and easy-to-build concept for a small wind turbine, which can be reproduced in a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) approach. The core challenges we had to face consisted of how to acquire appropriate used materials and how to improve the efficiency of the system to obtain adequate electrical power. With a financial investment of less than €100, we built a Savonius wind turbine for use in, for example, a private garden to charge a power bank or other USB-chargeable devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment for Bioethanol Production from Oil Palm Frond Juice in an Oil Palm Based Biorefinery
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246928 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A study was conducted to estimate the possible environmental impacts arising from the generation of bioethanol from oil palm frond sugar juice in a theoretical oil palm based biorefinery model. A life cycle assessment (LCA) with the gate-to-gate approach was performed with the [...] Read more.
A study was conducted to estimate the possible environmental impacts arising from the generation of bioethanol from oil palm frond sugar juice in a theoretical oil palm based biorefinery model. A life cycle assessment (LCA) with the gate-to-gate approach was performed with the aid of SimaPro version 8.0 whereby ten impact categories were evaluated. The scope included frond collection and transportation, frond sugar juice extraction, and bioethanol fermentation and purification. Evaluation on the processes involved indicated that fermentation contributed to the environmental problems the most, with a contribution range of 52% to 97% for all the impact categories. This was due to a substantial usage of nutrient during this process, which consumes high energy for its production thus contributing a significant burden to the surrounding. Nevertheless, the present system offers a great option for biofuel generation as it utilizes sugar juice from the readily available oil palm waste. Not only solving the issue of land utilization for feedstock cultivation, the enzymatic saccharification step, which commonly necessary for lignocellulosic sugar recovery could also be eliminated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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