Energy, Sustainability and Society

http://link.springer.com/journal/13705

List of Papers (Total 177)

Understanding the expansion of energy crops beyond the global biofuel boom: evidence from oil palm expansion in Colombia

Background The global palm oil market experienced a remarkable boom since the year 2000. Since palm oil can be used for biodiesel production, the global expansion of oil palm cultivation has been associated with the global biofuel boom. Biofuel policies—especially those adopted in the European Union (EU)—have been blamed for the socio-environmental impacts of oil palm expansion. We ...

Performance assessment of an improved cook stove (Esperanza) in a typical domestic setting: implications for energy saving

Background Much of the Malawi’s energy source, which is biomass, is consumed using traditional household technologies. These technologies contribute to over consumption of biomass leading to increased forest degradation, and they release various gases and particulate matter that often cause indoor air pollution which is a health hazard to the users. To combat deforestation and ...

The impact and challenges of sustainable biogas implementation: moving towards a bio-based economy

Background Engineers face increasing pressure to manage and utilize waste (whether of animal, human or municipal origin) in a sustainable way. We suggest that a solution to the problem of organic waste in rural communities lies in their being able to convert it to biogas technology. This would offer smallholders and farmers a long-term, cheap and sustainable energy source that is ...

Potential water requirements of increased ethanol fuel in the USA

Background To mitigate climate impacts associated with energy consumption, renewable fuel policies have been established in the USA that encourage production and use of corn ethanol. Current fuel usage of corn ethanol is approximately 15 billion gallons/year (57 billion liters/year), with nearly all of this in the form of E10 (10% blend in gasoline). There is now interest in ...

Biogas between renewable energy and bio-economy policies—opportunities and constraints resulting from a dual role

Background Biogas plays a major role in two policy domains: the renewable energy domain and the bio-economy domain. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship of current biogas practices with the two policy domains and to identify how biogas can contribute to both. Methods The paper is based on an analysis of views and ideas gained in a large European project ...

The study of the variability of biomass from plants of the Elodea genus from a river in Germany over a period of two hydrological years for investigating their suitability for biogas production

Background Aquatic plants are an important component of aquatic ecosystems. They are valuable for the oxygen and carbon dioxide household and generate habitats especially for small fish and other small organisms. However, problems for the maintenance of water bodies can result from mass occurrences of these plants. Invasive neophytes - such as members of the Elodea genus - are ...

Biofuel research: perceptions of power and transition

Whether biofuels represent a sustainable innovation, a creative alternative, or a gold rush, very much depends on our perception of power and change with regard to sustainability. This article provides an overview of existing understandings of power in the research on biofuels, including positive perceptions that often lead to more optimistic evaluations of biofuels. It exposes the ...

From cumulated energy demand to cumulated raw material demand: the material footprint as a sum parameter in life cycle assessment

Background Global targets for reducing resource use have been set by organizations such as the International Resource Panel and the European Commission. However, these targets exist only at the macro level, e.g., for individual countries. When conducting an environmental analysis at the micro level, resource use is often neglected as an indicator. No sum parameter indicating all ...

From the fuel versus food controversy to the institutional vacuum in biofuel policies: evidence from West African countries

Background Since the early 2000s, biofuel production has been developed in West Africa with the encouragement and support of notably Europe, Brazil, and China. Yet the development of biofuels can also be viewed from the angle of West African interests. The principle arguments advanced in favor of biofuels pointed to their potential to reduce oil trade deficits and improve the ...

Low-carbon development strategy for the West African electricity system: preliminary assessment using System dynamics approach

Background Policy makers seek to understand the trade-offs needed between economic growth and climate change. This provides the context to explore low-carbon development (LCD) pathways for the West African electricity system. Methods The study relied on both primary and secondary sources to elicit required information. These data were elicited from relevant authorities in the West ...

Factors influencing the adoption of biogas digesters in rural Ethiopia

Background Increasing energy demands on farm households in Ethiopia have escalated challenges related to land degradation, indoor air quality, and rural economic development. Soil deterioration followed by reduced carbon sequestration compounds the adverse effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The Ethiopian government has disseminated thousands of bio-digesters ...

The production of hydrogen as an alternative energy carrier from aluminium waste

Background Aluminium dross is a valuable resource that is often redirected to landfill as there are no real viable solutions for the utilisation of this industrial waste. A study has been conducted to provide a recycling process where the dross is reacted with an alkaline solution in order to generate hydrogen with bayerite and gibbsite products. Methods Samples of aluminium dross ...

Assessing the energy justice implications of bioenergy development in Nepal

Background The emerging concept of energy justice has focused on the justice implications of conventional energy systems (oil, gas, coal, etc.). Instead, we focus on the meaning of energy justice in the context of unconventional energy systems, by investigating small-scale bioenergy development in Nepal. We approach energy justice as a conceptual framework that focuses on social ...

A case study of a procedure to optimize the renewable energy coverage in isolated systems: an astronomical center in the North of Chile

Background Renewable energy resources show variabilities at different characteristic time scales. For a given resource and demand pro le, there is an absolute maximum achievable coverage (when limiting the fraction of energy lost during production and delivery to a reasonable value). To reach larger coverage factors, two plausible paths can be taken: a mix of resources with ...

Innovative offices for smarter cities, including energy use and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions

Background Concentration of knowledge work in cities generates innovations entailing economic development. This paper addresses the challenge of turning around the present trend of urban sprawl toward the concentrated knowledge work in cities. The assumption is that dislocation of office and residential housing entailing longer commuting mileage is the main cause of urban sprawl. ...

Are decisions well supported for the energy transition? A review on modeling approaches for renewable energy policy evaluation

This study reviews energy policy evaluation approaches on their capability to estimate a successful implementation of renewable energy policies. This is predominantly done via energy system modeling and analysis. Although modeling the possible success and effects is not a precondition for policy making, it is a powerful tool to support decision makers in policy making. This ...

Impact of flexible bioenergy provision on residual load fluctuation: a case study for the TransnetBW transmission system in 2022

Background The transition towards a renewable based power system in Germany largely depends on variable renewable energy sources (vRES) like wind power and solar PV. Their high variability over time poses new challenges for power system stability. Bioenergy as a renewable source has already been established in recent years and has the capability to offset fluctuations from wind and ...

Ecological evaluation of biogas from catch crops with Sustainable Process Index (SPI)

Background Ever increasing global population requires to find additional options or increase the efficiency of food and feed supply to fulfil its dietary needs. In agricultural sector, competing situations with energy supply occur and ask for more sustainable solutions in an ethically correct manner. Methods The Sustainable Process Index (SPI) provides a powerful method for an ...

A spatial explicit scenario method to support participative regional land-use decisions regarding economic and ecological options of short rotation coppice (SRC) for renewable energy production on arable land: case study application for the Göttingen district, Germany

Background Renewable energy (RE) production is a land-use driver with increasing impact on landscape configuration and a matter of controversial debate. Woody biomass cropping provides an opportunity to interlink RE supply with spatial planning goals, RE concepts and rural development programmes since it tackles several issues, ranging from climate or soil protection to over food ...

Indicator system for the sustainability assessment of the German energy system and its transition

In response to climate change, the limited availability of fossil fuels and the risks associated with nuclear energy, Germany’s energy transition aims to achieve a sustainable, environmentally sound supply of energy services. A monitoring process was established by the Federal Government to ensure that the targets defined for the transformation will be reached. The indicator system ...

Smart design rules for smart grids: analysing local smart grid development through an empirico-legal institutional lens

Background This article entails an innovative approach to smart grid technology implementation, as it connects governance research with legal analysis. We apply the empirico-legal ‘ILTIAD framework’, which combines Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework with institutional legal theory (ILT), to an empirical case study of a local smart grid project. ...

The role of bioenergy in the German “Energiewende”—whose demands can be satisfied by bioenergy?

The transformation of the energy system and especially the electricity system into a renewable-based system requires systemic changes of the different system components. The planned progressive decommissioning of fossil- or nuclear-based power plants implies that renewable-based power plants need to take over their functions. This article examines the possible role of ...

Analysing Gordon’s trade-off by adapting Thurow’s approach of pure public good to the German energy sector

Background We analyse Gordon’s trade-off by adapting Thurow’s approach of pure public good using the example of the German energy sector which is in a transition process to a low-carbon sustainable energy system (Energiewende). The income distribution and the energy expenditures of households are interpreted as public goods. Their distribution is measured with the Atkinson index, ...

Village differences in rural household energy consumption within the Loess hilly region of China

Background There are obvious differences in rural household energy consumption, which vary according to the location of the households. At the village level, geographic factors significantly influence household energy choices and consumption. Therefore, it is vital to research differences in rural energy use among different types of villages to pertinently strengthen the ...