Special Issue "Multidimensional Perspectives for Energy Poverty Sustainable Mitigation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. João Pedro Gouveia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CENSE—Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: energy poverty; building energy demand; energy efficiency in buildings; renewable energy technologies; energy modeling; energy demand projections; low-carbon energy technologies; climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies
Dr. Ricardo Barbosa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: energy efficiency in buildings; buildings renovation; energy poverty; nZEB buildings; building physics; energy simulation; sustainable construction and life cycle analysis; policy instruments; climate adaptation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy poverty is a growing societal issue that puts the welfare of many citizens on both sides of the global north–south divide at risk. It is recognized as a multidimensional problem which exceeds individual households and has linkages and interdependencies with the economic, technological, and social systems with multiple geographical specificities. Connecting sustainable energy transitions, energy equity issues, and energy poverty is therefore a new challenge at hand.

This Special Issue will be composed of a selection of papers addressing a wide range of approaches and tools to mitigate energy poverty while also taking into account sustainability. Authors from different disciplines such as geography, sociology, economics, engineering, and other related disciplines are invited to submit their papers. Covered topics could be related, but are not limited, to the following topics:

  • Innovative solutions to tackle energy poverty;
  • Policy innovations;
  • Energy efficiency approaches;
  • Sustainable building renovation;
  • Assessment of indoor thermal comfort and energy use in vulnerable households;
  • Health effects of energy poverty;
  • Methodologies and metrics for energy poverty characterization and monitoring;
  • Climate change vulnerability (summer and winter problems);
  • Sustainable energy access;
  • Energy justice;
  • Energy governance;
  • Energy use and social practices.

Dr. João Pedro Gouveia
Dr. Ricardo Barbosa
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 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. 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 1900 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

  • sustainable energy
  • buildings energy performance
  • lived experience
  • energy use
  • winter and summer vulnerability
  • innovative solutions
  • energy access

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Cooling Degree Models and Future Energy Demand in the Residential Sector. A Seven-Country Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052987 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1280
Abstract
The intensity and duration of hot weather and the number of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, are increasing, leading to a growing need for space cooling energy demand. Together with the building stock’s low energy performance, this phenomenon may also increase households’ [...] Read more.
The intensity and duration of hot weather and the number of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, are increasing, leading to a growing need for space cooling energy demand. Together with the building stock’s low energy performance, this phenomenon may also increase households’ energy consumption. On the other hand, the low level of ownership of cooling equipment can cause low energy consumption, leading to a lack of indoor thermal comfort and several health-related problems, yet increasing the risk of energy poverty in summer. Understanding future temperature variations and the associated impacts on building cooling demand will allow mitigating future issues related to a warmer climate. In this respect, this paper analyses the effects of change in temperatures in the residential sector cooling demand in 2050 for a case study of nineteen cities across seven countries: Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain, by estimating cooling degree days and hours (CDD and CDH). CDD and CDH are calculated using both fixed and adaptive thermal comfort temperature thresholds for 2020 and 2050, understanding their strengths and weaknesses to assess the effects of warmer temperatures. Results suggest a noticeable average increase in CDD and CDH values, up to double, by using both thresholds for 2050, with a particular interest in northern countries where structural modifications in the building stock and occupants’ behavior should be anticipated. Furthermore, the use of the adaptive thermal comfort threshold shows that the projected temperature increases for 2050 might affect people’s capability to adapt their comfort band (i.e., indoor habitability) as temperatures would be higher than the maximum admissible values for people’s comfort and health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Energy Poverty Measurement in Southern European Regions through Equivalization of Modeled Energy Costs
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5721; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145721 - 16 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
In many European countries, energy poverty is measured on the basis of real energy bills, as theoretical energy costs are hard to calculate. The UK is an exception—the data inputs for the Low Income-High Cost (LIHC) indicator are based on reasonable energy costs, [...] Read more.
In many European countries, energy poverty is measured on the basis of real energy bills, as theoretical energy costs are hard to calculate. The UK is an exception—the data inputs for the Low Income-High Cost (LIHC) indicator are based on reasonable energy costs, these data are collected through specially designed surveys, often an intensive and costly procedure. Approaches which calculate energy needs are valid when energy bill data are unreliable or where households restrict consumption. In this analysis, energy poverty levels are evaluated for Greece, the municipality of Évora (Portugal), and the Basque Country (Spain): energy bills are modeled based on building energy performance data and other energy uses, and adjusted according to socio-demographic variables. To this end, equivalization weights are calculated using socio-economic data from the aforementioned southern European countries/regions. Data are analyzed to compare measurements with actual versus modeled bills using the Ten-Percent Rule (TPR) and Hidden Energy Poverty (HEP) against twice the median (2M) indicator, enhancing the identification of households with low energy consumption. In conclusion, theoretical energy needs can be combined with socio-demographic data instead of actual energy bills to measure energy poverty in a simplified way, avoiding the problem of targeting households that under consume. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Affordability, Accessibility, and Awareness in the Adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas: A Case-Control Study in Rural India
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114790 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Interventions in the clean cooking sector have focused on improved biomass stoves in a bid to address household air pollution (HAP) in low- and middle-income countries. These initiatives have not delivered adequate health and environmental benefits owing to the less than optimal performance [...] Read more.
Interventions in the clean cooking sector have focused on improved biomass stoves in a bid to address household air pollution (HAP) in low- and middle-income countries. These initiatives have not delivered adequate health and environmental benefits owing to the less than optimal performance of improved biomass stoves. There is an urgency to transition communities to cleaner cooking systems such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to reduce the prevalence of HAP. Adoption of LPG also has challenges. This case-control cross-sectional study with 510 households examines how affordability, accessibility, and awareness (3As) are associated with LPG adoption in rural poor households of Andhra Pradesh, a state of India. Using binomial logistic regression analyses, the study examines the association of 3As with LPG adoption, adjusting for demographic predictors. Results show disparities in LPG adoption owing to affordability, accessibility, and awareness. Household income is positively associated with LPG adoption. Easy availability of biomass deters households from adopting LPG. Concerns for LPG safety reduces likelihood of LPG adoption. On the other hand, attending awareness campaigns on clean cooking benefits is strongly associated with LPG adoption. Awareness drives, primarily targeted marketing campaigns, could help expand LPG coverage among poorer households. This paper offers insights into the determinants of clean fuel adoption with implications for resource-poor settings across the world to advance energy justice and address energy poverty. Full article
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