Special Issue "Renewable Energy: Pathways towards Sustainable Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ling Shao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
Interests: ecological economics; ecological accounting; resource nexus
Dr. Xudong Wu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
Interests: renewable energy and climate change; land use and land cover change; socio-hydrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Based on IEA's Renewables 2019 report, renewables contributed 26% to global electricity generation in 2018. The share would be expected to increase significantly over the next decades  for the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable energy system.

Renewable energy is closely related to lots of technical, social, political, economic, and environmental issues. The wide social acceptance is critical to a bright prospect of renewable energy infrastructure. Renewable energy systems offer a possibility for more democratic energy futures. There have been growing concerns about the environmental issues of renewable energy, such as the life-cycle environmental impact, the scrap and waste management. The nexus between renewable energy and land/water use also attracts extensive attention recently. All these issues can be relevant to sustainability. The meaning is twofold; one is to achieve sustainable development of a renewable energy system and the other is how the renewables can help with sustainability.

This Special Issue aims to collect advances on sustainability in renewable energy. We invite the authors to contribute to this issue by submitting their original work in terms of comprehensive reviews, case studies, or research articles. Researches related to the keywords below are welcomed.

Dr. Ling Shao
Dr. Xudong Wu
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.


  • renewable energy and carbon-neutral prospect
  • renewable energy policy and management
  • life cycle assessment of renewable energy
  • renewable energy development in urban/rural area
  • energy, food and water nexus
  • renewable energy technology and engineering practice
  • modelling for renewable energy systems
  • renewable energy and land use change
  • renewable energy and climate change
  • renewable energy deployment and soil and water loss

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Energy Network Embodied in Trade along the Belt and Road: Spatiotemporal Evolution and Influencing Factors
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10530; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910530 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 345
As an important part of trade in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) area, significant research attention has been devoted to direct energy transfer, whereas studies on energy embodied in non-energy products have largely been neglected. To present an overview of energy trade [...] Read more.
As an important part of trade in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) area, significant research attention has been devoted to direct energy transfer, whereas studies on energy embodied in non-energy products have largely been neglected. To present an overview of energy trade for the BRI members, this study combined multi-regional input-output (MRIO) analysis with complex network analysis to model energy use flows within the BRI’s intermediate and final trade network during 2000–2015. Results showed that intermediate energy trade volume is about 7.29-fold larger than that of final trade. Russia and Mainland China were found to be the main net exporter and net importer in intermediate energy trade, respectively, but in final energy trade their roles are reversed. In intermediate energy trade, resource exploitation and heavy industry are the leading intermediate exporter and importer respectively, whereas household consumption is the largest importer (accounting for about three-fifths of the total) in final energy trade. Based on the complex network analysis, the BRI countries were found to trade widely in the final network while cooperating deeply in the intermediate network, with obvious small-world features. Mainland China and Russia were identified as key economies in both intermediate and final trade networks. In addition, quadratic assignment procedure (QAP) analysis was adopted to explore the determinants of the BRI energy trade from 2000 to 2015. It was found that geographic distance, land adjacency, and culture and language have a consistently significant impact on intermediate trade. Closer geographic distance, being adjacent to land, a higher level of economic development, and a larger size of population can promote final trade. This study aimed to supplement existing studies on direct energy trade and provides implications for understanding the sustainable energy development in the BRI area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy: Pathways towards Sustainable Development)
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