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Special Issue "Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Samuel Asumadu-Sarkodie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science, Macquarie University, Balaclava Road, North Ryde, NSW, 2109, Australia
Interests: multidisciplinary research; climate change; sustainability; econometrics; renewable energy; energy modeling; environmental science; energy economics; environmental sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The escalation of human activities has been linked to the growing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, hence exacerbating climate change impacts such as drought, flooding, wildfires, cyclones, extreme temperatures (cold and heat waves), etc.

Climate change mitigation and its impact play a critical role in achieving the global warming target of below 2 °C, expounded in the 21st session of the Conference of Parties—2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The adoption of the agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 has established the preface for the integration and implementation of sustainable climate policies.

The IPCC 5th Assessment Report links the immediate causes of increasing levels of GHG emissions to economic sectors like, inter alia, industrialization, energy production and consumption, transportation, agricultural, forestry, and land use (Blanco et al., 2014). However, renewable and clean energy technologies play a mitigation role in reducing anthropogenic GHG emissions (Owusu and Asumadu, 2016).

While there have been reports of improving environmental sustainability, a recent study by Sarkodie and Strezov (2019) on the “Economic, social and governance adaptation readiness for mitigation of climate change vulnerability: Evidence from 192 countries” revealed that climate change vulnerability is high in developing countries—specifically Africa and Asia—due to low adaptive capacity and readiness to the mitigation of climate change. Thus, research on climate change mitigation and adaptation are crucial to increase the global debate on environmental sustainability.

In line with achieving the SDGs by 2030, we invite scientific and technical papers that address climate change vulnerability, readiness, and adaptation options on but not limited to the following subtopics of energy issues, food, water, cities, oceans, agricultural, forestry, and land use.

Reference

Blanco, A.S.; Gerlagh, R.; Suh, S.; Barrett, J.A.; de Coninck, H.; Diaz Morejon, C.F.; Mathur, R.; Nakicenovic, N.; Ahenkorah, A.O.; Pan, J.; et al. Drivers, Trends and Mitigation. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2014.

Owusu, P.; Asumadu, S.S. A Review of Renewable Energy Sources, Sustainability Issues and Climate Change Mitigation. Cogent Eng. 2016, 3, 1167990.

Sarkodie, S.A.; Strezov, V. Economic, social and governance adaptation readiness for mitigation of climate change vulnerability: Evidence from 192 countries. Sci. Total Environ. 2019, 656, 150–164.

Dr. Samuel Asumadu-Sarkodie
Guest Editor

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

  • energy economics
  • environmental economics
  • resource economics
  • climate change

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Econometrics of Anthropogenic Emissions, Green Energy-Based Innovations, and Energy Intensity across OECD Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084118 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 633
Abstract
The increasing global attention on climate change underscores the importance of alternative energy technologies with emission reduction effects. However, there are several caveats of economic productivity and environmental sustainability tradeoffs that require empirical consideration—owing to long-term effects on climate change. Here, we examine [...] Read more.
The increasing global attention on climate change underscores the importance of alternative energy technologies with emission reduction effects. However, there are several caveats of economic productivity and environmental sustainability tradeoffs that require empirical consideration—owing to long-term effects on climate change. Here, we examine the relationship between emissions, green energy-based innovations, and energy research and development across energy-intensive OECD countries while accounting for industrial structure dynamics. We utilize several novel time series and panel estimation techniques including time-varying causality, defactored instrumental variable-based homogeneous, and heterogeneous slope dynamics that control for unobserved common factors. Our empirical assessment emphasizes the significance of energy research and development in expanding green energy innovations while reducing long-term emissions. Conversely, continual dependence on obsolete energy research and development may worsen environmental sustainability. However, the inclusion of green energy technologies offset environmental pollution without compromising economic productivity. Besides, the mitigation effect of energy research and development is channeled through a decline in energy intensity and technological advancement. We show that green energy-based innovations and energy research and development play a critical role in achieving environmental sustainability in OECD countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Article
Analyses of Waste Treatment in Rural Areas of East Java with the Possibility of Low-Pressure Briquetting Press Application
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8153; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198153 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 594
Abstract
The study deals with the possibility of waste utilization by using briquetting technology (production of solid fuels) and the potential of the manual low-pressure briquetting press in rural and peri-urban areas of East Java, where firewood is still commonly used as a source [...] Read more.
The study deals with the possibility of waste utilization by using briquetting technology (production of solid fuels) and the potential of the manual low-pressure briquetting press in rural and peri-urban areas of East Java, where firewood is still commonly used as a source of energy for heating and cooking (besides LPG). The research compares households from the Donowarih village (Malang regency) and from the Maron peri-urban area (Blitar regency). Through quantitative and qualitative research, we document the potential of briquette production from household waste and agriculture production. The population from the peri-urban area is interested and willing to invest more in the technology, even though a higher biomass production has been found in the rural area. Financial possibilities were similar in both areas (p = 0.8986). A positive correlation (R = 0.5146) was found between the level of education and level of potential investments. Thus, higher education level meant higher interest in technology and the willingness to invest in it. In both areas there is a potential for briquette production and demand for its usage. Nevertheless, further research is recommended to find the suitable composition of bio-briquettes after the installation of wooden manual low-pressure briquetting press. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Article
Accelerating Climate Service Development for Renewable Energy, Finance and Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7540; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187540 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Wider applications of climate services within the management of climate risks face significant challenges. This paper presents a forecasting approach, to assess the development trends in climate service needs and thereby potential demand in key sectors that are essential to the green solution [...] Read more.
Wider applications of climate services within the management of climate risks face significant challenges. This paper presents a forecasting approach, to assess the development trends in climate service needs and thereby potential demand in key sectors that are essential to the green solution and will face a general growth in activity and key climate vulnerabilities towards 2050. These sectors are renewable energy, international climate finance, and cities. The geographical scope focuses on Europe, but global trends are included. We here suggest scenarios for growth in future climate services based on baseline development trends and policy scenarios reflecting future low-emission and SDG targets. Barriers and specific needs for climate service development within these sectors are discussed, and alignment of supply and demand within the climate service market is particularly emphasized. We find that several complexities influence the climate service market, including policy frameworks aimed at facilitating climate risk management as well as a lack of fit between the supply and demand sides of the market. Other barriers include uncertainties related to available climate information and socioeconomic climate risk information. Based on the forecasting, we find that substantial benefits can be seen with increased climate service development and deployment across the three sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Article
Energy–Climate–Economy–Population Nexus: An Empirical Analysis in Kenya, Senegal, and Eswatini
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6202; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156202 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Motivated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its impact by 2030, this study examines the relationship between energy consumption (SDG 7), climate (SDG 13), economic growth and population in Kenya, Senegal and Eswatini. We employ a Kernel Regularized Least Squares (KRLS) machine [...] Read more.
Motivated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its impact by 2030, this study examines the relationship between energy consumption (SDG 7), climate (SDG 13), economic growth and population in Kenya, Senegal and Eswatini. We employ a Kernel Regularized Least Squares (KRLS) machine learning technique and econometric methods such as Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (DOLS), Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS) regression, the Mean-Group (MG) and Pooled Mean-Group (PMG) estimation models. The econometric techniques confirm the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis between income level and CO2 emissions while the machine learning method confirms the scale effect hypothesis. We find that while CO2 emissions, population and income level spur energy demand and utilization, economic development is driven by energy use and population dynamics. This demonstrates that income, population growth, energy and CO2 emissions are inseparable, but require a collective participative decision in the achievement of the SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Article
Differences in Perception of the Environmental and Health Impacts of Decorative Paints among Average Consumers
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114495 - 01 Jun 2020
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Decorative paints may evaporate hazardous emissions such as volatile organic compounds and formaldehydes. Studying the paints’ packaging showed that a great amount of decorative paints available in the German market contain low concentrations of volatile organic compounds. In fact, volatile organic compounds may [...] Read more.
Decorative paints may evaporate hazardous emissions such as volatile organic compounds and formaldehydes. Studying the paints’ packaging showed that a great amount of decorative paints available in the German market contain low concentrations of volatile organic compounds. In fact, volatile organic compounds may cause an irritation of eyes and respiratory organs, leukaemia, lymphoma and nasal cancer. This paper presents and discusses the results of a questionnaire survey, conducted among the visitors of the trade fairs for construction products in Germany, on the awareness of possible environmental and health impact of paint products. Furthermore, this paper investigates the differences in the importance values of the ecolabels and Material Safety Data Sheets for decorative paints among females and males and respondents with and without children. In order to highlight the essential findings, the key questions were analysed within statistical t-tests. According to the results, females and males do perceive various issues regarding the availability of ecolabels for decorative paints and the use of solvent-free paints differently and put different importance values on these issues. Some results of the questionnaire survey confirm findings of the previous studies on the importance of the ecolabels. Moreover, having children influenced the behaviour of the respondents towards the significance of the Material Safety Data Sheets and using solvent-free indoor paints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Article
Integrated Software Development and Case Studies for Optimal Operation of Cascade Reservoir within the Environmental Flow Constraints
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4064; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104064 - 15 May 2020
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Reservoir optimal operation considering aquatic ecological protection is a hot topic in current research. This paper proposes an improved minimum monthly average runoff method (IMMR) for calculating environmental flow and an improved invasive weed optimization algorithm (IIWO) for optimizing complex problems. An integrated [...] Read more.
Reservoir optimal operation considering aquatic ecological protection is a hot topic in current research. This paper proposes an improved minimum monthly average runoff method (IMMR) for calculating environmental flow and an improved invasive weed optimization algorithm (IIWO) for optimizing complex problems. An integrated software consists of three modules, which is developed in this paper, i.e., IIWO convergence test module, environmental flow calculation module, and cascade reservoir operation module. Three test functions are included in the IIWO convergence test module. The minimum monthly average runoff method (MMR), IMMR, Tennant Method, Q90, and Q95 are included in the environmental flow calculation module. The IIWO and invasive weed optimization algorithm (IWO) are included in the cascade reservoir operation module. Wujiang River Basin in China is studied as a case in this paper. The results show that the environmental flow of cascade reservoir calculated by IMMR is 1871 m3/s, the maximum and the minimum are calculated by T-O and T-M, respectively. The power generation of cascade reservoir calculated by IWO is less than IIWO. The conclusions that IIWO has better convergence than IWO in solving cascade reservoir model, and the water volume of environmental flow has no obvious influence on cascade reservoir operation are drawn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Climate Economic Models in Malaysia
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010325 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
This paper presents a review of literature on the development of climate economy models in Malaysia from 1988 to 2020. The type of climate economic models used in Malaysia and their attributes were analyzed. The key attributes reviewed include functions, capability, the various [...] Read more.
This paper presents a review of literature on the development of climate economy models in Malaysia from 1988 to 2020. The type of climate economic models used in Malaysia and their attributes were analyzed. The key attributes reviewed include functions, capability, the various approaches, types of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and various sectors included in the modelling. The review analysis revealed that climate economic modelling in Malaysia can be categorized into two groups namely Input-Output (I-O) table and Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) models as well as the Integrated Assessment Models (IAM). Both groups of climate economic models complement each other in functional capability to do top-down or bottom-up as well as short-term and long-term analysis. The key contribution of this review is in discovering three key gap clusters that exist in climate economic modelling in Malaysia. These gaps include the coverage on types of GHGs, disclosing the GHG sector’s coverage in the modelling, and the discovering of the exclusion of climate damage functions as well as the unavailability of customized functions to suit Malaysia’s climate and geography. These three key gaps need to be urgently addressed for effective policy interventions in Malaysia and to meet the global goals of the Paris Agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Review
Microorganisms and Enzymes Used in the Biological Pretreatment of the Substrate to Enhance Biogas Production: A Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177205 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass (LC biomass) prior to the anaerobic digestion (AD) process is a mandatory step to improve feedstock biodegradability and biogas production. An important potential is provided by lignocellulosic materials since lignocellulose represents a major source for biogas production, thus [...] Read more.
The pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass (LC biomass) prior to the anaerobic digestion (AD) process is a mandatory step to improve feedstock biodegradability and biogas production. An important potential is provided by lignocellulosic materials since lignocellulose represents a major source for biogas production, thus contributing to the environmental sustainability. The main limitation of LC biomass for use is its resistant structure. Lately, biological pretreatment (BP) gained popularity because they are eco-friendly methods that do not require chemical or energy input. A large number of bacteria and fungi possess great ability to convert high molecular weight compounds from the substrate into lower mass compounds due to the synthesis of microbial extracellular enzymes. Microbial strains isolated from various sources are used singly or in combination to break down the recalcitrant polymeric structures and thus increase biogasgeneration. Enzymatic treatment of LC biomass depends mainly on enzymes like hemicellulases and cellulases generated by microorganisms. The articles main purpose is to provide an overview regarding the enzymatic/biological pretreatment as one of the most potent techniques for enhancing biogas production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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Review
Econometric Studies on the Development of Renewable Energy Sources to Support the European Union 2020–2030 Climate and Energy Framework: A Critical Appraisal
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124828 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
One of the key objectives of the European Union is the transition to a total decarbonization of the economy by 2050. Within this strategic framework, the renewable energy development target plays a key role. This renewable energy deployment must be translated into national [...] Read more.
One of the key objectives of the European Union is the transition to a total decarbonization of the economy by 2050. Within this strategic framework, the renewable energy development target plays a key role. This renewable energy deployment must be translated into national and European Union realities through specific political decisions. The econometric analysis techniques have the capacity to represent, in a mathematical and objective way, the system of relations comprising the economic, technical, and political factors that contribute to the deployment of renewable energy, and the impact that such an investment in renewable energy has at an economic, environmental, and social level. Therefore, econometric studies have a high potential to support policymakers who have to translate the guidelines of the strategic plan for renewable energy deployment into concrete policies. This article analyzed the capacity of the econometric literature on renewable energy development to provide this support, by means of a bibliometric study carried out on a sample of 153 documents related to 1329 keywords. The results show that, in general, there is a large literature based on econometric methodology to support the different renewable energy guidelines provided by the European Union 2020–2030 climate and energy strategic framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
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