Special Issue "Sustainable Solutions toward Climate Change Impacts on Renewable Energy"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Emilio Cerdá
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Guest Editor
Department of Economic Analysis, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: natural resource economics; environmental economics; mathematical economics; sustainable energy
Dr. Kepa Solaun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Sciences, University of Navarra and Factor CO2, 48009 Bilbao, Spain
Interests: climate change; renewable energy; environmental economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change mitigation will require the adoption of decarbonisation strategies in all sectors and countries. The global energy system needs an accelerated transformation to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The GHG emissions must be reduced in order to keep a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5º C.

Renewables will be key in a low-carbon future. According to IRENA, the share of renewable energy in primary energy supply would grow from less than one-sixth today to nearly two-thirds in 2050. Moreover, electricity would progressively become the central energy carrier, growing from a 20% share of final consumption to an almost 50% in 2050, and renewable power would be able to provide 86% of global power demand economically.

However, climate change can affect the development of renewable energy in various ways. On one hand, changes in climate variables may negativelly affect the availability of renewable energy resources, which are needed in order to generate electricity with those technologies. The physical impacts of climate change are among the challenges that renewables will have to face, as they have implications for the reliability and performance of the energy systems. Initial studies on this topic addressed the vulnerability of the energy sector from a demand perspective, but there are a growing number of studies analysing impacts on supply as well. Transmission lines and other areas along the value chain of the energy sector can also be affected. One of the reasons why the energy sector has received so much attention in the literature is because of the long lifespan of energy infrastructure.

On the other hand, the sector may also face transition risks and oportunities, due to the policy, legal, technology, and market changes to address mitigation and adaptation requirements. It is to be expected that renewable energies will mainly benefit from them, due to their contribution to low-carbon development. In any case, the transition poses many relevant challenges to the whole value chain, from the availability or resources to generation or transmission networks.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to studying the sustainability aspects related to the climate change impacts on renewable energy generation.

Research and review articles are therefore invited to be submitted to this Special Issue.


  • Threats and impacts on renewable generation
  • Identification and analysis of risks
  • Identification and analysis of opportunities
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Projections on potential changes in resources or generation
  • Economic estimates for the expected changes
  • Asessment methodologies
  • Global, continental, regional, national, or local scope
  • Investment impacts

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Using the GREET Model—A Comparative Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094872 - 26 Apr 2021
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Facing global warming and recent bans on the use of diesel in vehicles, there is a growing need to develop vehicles powered by renewable energy sources to mitigate greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. Among the various forms of non-fossil energy for vehicles, hydrogen [...] Read more.
Facing global warming and recent bans on the use of diesel in vehicles, there is a growing need to develop vehicles powered by renewable energy sources to mitigate greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. Among the various forms of non-fossil energy for vehicles, hydrogen fuel is emerging as a promising way to combat global warming. To date, most studies on vehicle carbon emissions have focused on diesel and electric vehicles (EVs). Emission assessment methodologies are usually developed for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) which are non-durable household goods such as packaged foods, beverages, and toiletries instead of vehicle products. There is an increase in the number of articles addressing the product carbon footprint (PCF) of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the recent years, while relatively little research focuses on both vehicle PCF and fuel cycle. Zero-emission vehicles initiative has also brought the importance of investigating the emission throughout the fuel cycle of hydrogen fuel cell and its environmental impact. To address these gaps, this study uses the life-cycle assessment (LCA) process of GREET (greenhouse gases, regulated emissions, and energy use in transportation) to compare the PCF of an EV (Tesla Model 3) and a hydrogen fuel cell car (Toyota MIRAI). According to the GREET results, the fuel cycle contributes significantly to the PCF of both vehicles. The findings also reveal the need for greater transparency in the disclosure of relevant information on the PCF methodology adopted by vehicle manufacturers to enable comparison of their vehicles’ emissions. Future work will include examining the best practices of PCF reporting for vehicles powered by renewable energy sources as well as examining the carbon footprints of hydrogen production technologies based on different methodologies. Full article
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