Topic Editors

Department of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering, University of Valladolid, Campus Duques de Soria, 42004 Soria, Spain
Department of Agricultural Engineering and Forestry, Campus Ciudad Universitaria, Technical University of Madrid (UPM), 28040 Madrid, Spain

Electrification and Sustainable Energy Systems to Improve Agriculture and Rural Areas

Abstract submission deadline
closed (11 March 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
20 June 2024
Viewed by
3912

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the United Nations sustainable objectives, agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, sustaining the livelihoods of 40 percent of the world’s population, many of whom continue to live in poverty. Agriculture uses a large amount of water, which in turn requires a lot of energy to be transformed to the point where it can actually be used. Such energy is usually electric, which implies a great economic cost as well as greenhouse gas emissions, since it is usually of non-renewable origin. Today, rural areas are unpopulated, but this must be changed. In addition, rural areas contain the largest amount of crops on the planet. Sustainable energy systems are the solution to many of the problems regarding the growth of energy demand, and therefore, their sustainable development must begin to proliferate. These systems must be supported by renewable generation sources, distributed storage and new control and management techniques. Sustainable energy systems should be implemented in modern agriculture and rural areas, allowing in the latter a more efficient and sustainable electrification. With this scenario, this Topic is focused on electrification and sustainable energy systems to achieve an improvement in agriculture and rural areas. These developments will allow for a more sustainable and efficient agricultural system and rural areas.

Prof. Dr. Luis Hernández-Callejo
Prof. Dr. Miguel-Ángel Muñoz-García
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • sustainable energy systems in agricultural and rural areas
  • microgrids in agricultural and rural areas
  • electrification in agriculture
  • rural electrification
  • distributed storage
  • wind energy
  • photovoltaics
  • hydraulic
  • agrivoltaics
  • solar energy
  • solar pumping
  • soiling
  • remote solar sensors
  • remote sensing
  • greenhouses
  • precision agriculture

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Electronics
electronics
2.9 4.7 2012 15.6 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Sensors
sensors
3.9 6.8 2001 17 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Solar
solar
- - 2021 16.9 Days CHF 1000 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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23 pages, 10805 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Stage Approach to Assessing the Echo-Tech Feasibility of a Hybrid SAM-CREST Model for Solar PV Power Plants in Maryland, USA
by Youngil Kim and Allie Skaggs
Solar 2024, 4(2), 246-268; https://doi.org/10.3390/solar4020012 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Maryland is actively working towards doubling its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030. Furthermore, Maryland stands out as a state that strongly supports solar initiatives, offering incentives and [...] Read more.
Maryland is actively working towards doubling its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030. Furthermore, Maryland stands out as a state that strongly supports solar initiatives, offering incentives and specialized programs to assist residents in adopting solar energy solutions. The paper presents a multi-stage approach: Stage 1—Location Selection Process, Stage 2—Technical Feasibility Study, and Stage 3—Economical Feasibility Study. In Stage 1, the study focuses on three potential solar farm locations in Maryland: Westover, Princess Anne, and Eden. Stages 2 and 3 involve a feasibility assessment with detailed technical analysis using the NREL System Advisor Model (SAM) and PVWatts to determine monthly power to the grid and Energy Yield. Subsequently, economic feasibility is assessed using the NREL Clean Renewable Energy Estimation Simulation Tool (CREST), focusing on competitive levelized costs of energy (LCOE), payback time, and cumulative cash flows. Results indicate that all three locations exhibit promising solar irradiance levels, system outputs, and potential energy yields. Due to high solar irradiation, the Westover area has the highest energy yield at 1583.13 kWh/kW, while Princess Anne boasts the highest system output at 333.59 GWh. The economic evaluation suggests that all three locations become profitable within a two-year payback time, with competitive levelized costs of energy (LCOE). Westover emerges as the most cost-effective option at 5.99 cents/kWh, attributed to its higher solar irradiation values and energy yield compared to Princess Anne and Eden. Cumulative cash flows provide insights into long-term profitability, with Princess Anne, MD, having the highest Cumulative Cash Flow over 25 years at $183,383,304. By evaluating technical and economic aspects, this feasibility study offers quantitative insights to guide decision-making for the installation of Solar PV, considering both technological and economic feasibility. Full article
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21 pages, 533 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Family Life Cycle on Farmers’ Living Clean Energy Adoption Behavior—Based on 1382 Farmer Survey Data in Jiangxi Province
by Xiang Ding, Jing Wang and Shiping Li
Agriculture 2023, 13(11), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13112084 - 1 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Encouraging farmers to adopt greener and cleaner energy is crucial for reducing energy pollution and achieving carbon neutrality goals. In rural China, the decision making of farmers is often closely related to the whole family. At different stages of the family life cycle, [...] Read more.
Encouraging farmers to adopt greener and cleaner energy is crucial for reducing energy pollution and achieving carbon neutrality goals. In rural China, the decision making of farmers is often closely related to the whole family. At different stages of the family life cycle, the family has different characteristics, which leads to heterogeneity in the focus and final decision of farmers in adopting living clean energy. Therefore, this paper studies the farmers’ living clean energy adoption behavior from the perspective of the family life cycle. It is helpful to identify the different policy needs and the evolution of farmers in different stages in order to provide a reference and inspiration for encouraging the adoption of living clean energy by farmers and for promoting the development of clean energy in rural areas. Based on the survey data of 1382 farmers in Jiangxi Province, this paper uses a multiple linear regression model to explore the impact of the family life cycle on farmers’ clean energy adoption behavior. The results show the following: (1) The family life cycle has a significant impact on farmers’ living clean energy adoption behavior, which is reflected in four aspects: energy demand, livelihood strategy, health demand and support burden; (2) Awareness of environmental ecology and frequency of government promotion have significant positive effects on farmers’ living clean energy adoption behavior, while gender has significant negative effects on farmers’ clean energy adoption behavior; (3) There are also differences in the influencing factors of farmers’ living clean energy adoption behavior at different stages of the family life cycle. Therefore, when promoting clean energy in rural areas, a precise clean energy incentive mechanism should be adopted to treat families in different family life cycle stages differently. Full article
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22 pages, 3207 KiB  
Article
Optimal Sizing and Assessment of Standalone Photovoltaic Systems for Community Health Centers in Mali
by Abid Ali, Maïté Volatier and Maxime Darnon
Solar 2023, 3(3), 522-543; https://doi.org/10.3390/solar3030029 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Despite abundant solar resources, Mali has remained one of the least electrified countries in the world. Besides daily life activities and the economy, the shortage of electricity has severely affected the quality of healthcare services in the country. In the absence of electrical [...] Read more.
Despite abundant solar resources, Mali has remained one of the least electrified countries in the world. Besides daily life activities and the economy, the shortage of electricity has severely affected the quality of healthcare services in the country. In the absence of electrical grids, standalone photovoltaic (PV) systems could be an alternative option in Mali for the electrification of isolated community health centers. However, because standalone PV systems are highly weather-dependent, they must be properly sized according to the local weather conditions. This paper presents the optimal sizing of standalone PV systems for the electrification of community health centers in Mali. The optimization for PV systems was performed for five different locations through simulation and modeling using PVsyst, considering the autonomy of 1 to 3 days and the probability of loss of load for 1 to 5%. Furthermore, for the economic analysis, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), payback period and return on investment for the standalone PV systems were calculated. Through the optimization, it was found that the standalone PV systems with PV array sizes ranging from 1650 to 2400 watts, along with 606 Ah battery storage, would be suitable to supply the daily energy demand for community health centers anywhere in the country. Moreover, by only replacing the 606 Ah battery storage with 1212 Ah and 1818 Ah sizes, the PV systems would be able to help and keep the energy reserves for 2 and 3 autonomous days, respectively. Furthermore, the results show that in comparison to a LCOE of 0.94–0.98 USD/kWh for a diesel generator, the LCOE for the standalone PV system would range from 0.23 to 0.46 USD/kWh without discounted rates and from 0.33 to 0.60 USD/kWh if discounted at 6%. In addition to a lower LCOE, the saving of 46–76 tons of CO2 during the project’s lifespan, the short payback periods and high return of investment (ROI) values make standalone PV systems a suitable electrification option for Mali. Considering the total expenses, LCOE, payback period, and ROI, standalone PV systems for community health centers were found to be economically viable in all cases for Mali. Full article
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