Publisher: BMC (Biomed Central)   (Total: 316 journals)

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Showing 201 - 316 of 316 Journals sorted alphabetically
Intl. J. of Retina and Vitreous     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Investigative Genetics     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.809, CiteScore: 3)
Irish Veterinary J.     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.657, CiteScore: 1)
Israel J. of Health Policy Research     Open Access   (SJR: 0.488, CiteScore: 1)
Italian J. of Pediatrics     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.685, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Angiogenesis Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
J. of Animal Science and Biotechnology     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.228, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Animal Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
J. of Biological Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.34, CiteScore: 4)
J. of Biological Research - Thessaloniki     Open Access   (SJR: 0.32, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Biomedical Semantics     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.952, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Cardiothoracic Surgery     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.607, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 2.292, CiteScore: 5)
J. of Clinical Movement Disorders     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
J. of Congenital Cardiology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
J. of Cotton Research     Open Access  
J. of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.818, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Eating Disorders     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.693, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Environmental Health Science & Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.802, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine     Open Access   (SJR: 0.693, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2, CiteScore: 6)
J. of Foot and Ankle Research     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.873, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Health, Population and Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.875, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Hematology & Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 2.292, CiteScore: 6)
J. of Inflammation     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.101, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Intensive Care     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.137, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Medical Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.331, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Molecular Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.355, CiteScore: 0)
J. of Nanobiotechnology     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.38, CiteScore: 5)
J. of Negative Results in BioMedicine     Open Access   (SJR: 0.483, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Neurodevelopmental Disorders     Open Access   (SJR: 1.71, CiteScore: 4)
J. of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation     Open Access   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.515, CiteScore: 5)
J. of Neuroinflammation     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2.336, CiteScore: 5)
J. of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology     Open Access   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.751, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.827, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Ovarian Research     Open Access   (SJR: 1.008, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.545, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Physiological Anthropology     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.514, CiteScore: 2)
J. of the Intl. AIDS Society     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 2.092, CiteScore: 4)
J. of the Intl. Society of Sports Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 58, SJR: 0.775, CiteScore: 2)
J. of Therapeutic Ultrasound     Open Access   (SJR: 0.906, CiteScore: 3)
J. of Translational Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.565, CiteScore: 4)
J. of Trauma Management & Outcomes     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.398, CiteScore: 1)
J. of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.573, CiteScore: 2)
Kidney Disease and Transplantation     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Lipids in Health and Disease     Open Access   (SJR: 0.915, CiteScore: 2)
Longevity & Healthspan     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Malaria J.     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 2.082, CiteScore: 3)
Marine Biodiversity Records     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.354, CiteScore: 1)
Measurement Instruments for the Social Sciences     Open Access  
Microbial Cell Factories     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.443, CiteScore: 4)
Military Medical Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.601, CiteScore: 2)
Mobile DNA     Open Access   (SJR: 3.783, CiteScore: 5)
Molecular Autism     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 2.377, CiteScore: 5)
Molecular Brain     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.805, CiteScore: 4)
Molecular Cancer     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.778, CiteScore: 7)
Molecular Cytogenetics     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.623, CiteScore: 1)
Molecular Neurodegeneration     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 3.418, CiteScore: 7)
Movement Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 2.242, CiteScore: 4)
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.13, CiteScore: 2)
Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Disorders     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Neural Development     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.821, CiteScore: 2)
NeuroCommons     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
NeuroMetals     Open Access  
Neuropsychiatric Electrophysiology     Open Access  
Neurovascular Imaging     Open Access  
Nutrition & Metabolism     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Nutrition J.     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.447, CiteScore: 4)
One Health Outlook     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Orphanet J. of Rare Diseases     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.413, CiteScore: 3)
Particle and Fibre Toxicology     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2.253, CiteScore: 8)
Patient Safety in Surgery     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.525, CiteScore: 1)
Pediatric Rheumatology     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.729, CiteScore: 2)
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.285, CiteScore: 1)
Pilot and Feasibility Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Methods     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.885, CiteScore: 4)
PMC Biophysics     Open Access  
Population Health Metrics     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.954, CiteScore: 3)
Porcine Health Management     Open Access  
Proteome Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.792, CiteScore: 2)
Public Health Reviews     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.454, CiteScore: 1)
Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.293, CiteScore: 3)
Renal Replacement Therapy     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.203, CiteScore: 3)
Reproductive Health     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.228, CiteScore: 2)
Research Involvement and Engagement     Open Access  
Respiratory Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.644, CiteScore: 4)
Retrovirology     Open Access   (SJR: 1.855, CiteScore: 3)
Safety in Health     Open Access   (Followers: 70)
Scandinavian J. of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.618, CiteScore: 2)
Scoliosis     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.843, CiteScore: 2)
Signals     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Skeletal Muscle     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 2.32, CiteScore: 4)
Source Code for Biology and Medicine     Open Access   (SJR: 0.784, CiteScore: 2)
Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Stem Cell Research & Therapy     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.685, CiteScore: 5)
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 2)
Sustainable Earth     Open Access  
Systematic Reviews     Open Access   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.794, CiteScore: 4)
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.783, CiteScore: 2)
Thrombosis J.     Open Access   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.009, CiteScore: 3)
Thyroid Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.329, CiteScore: 1)
Tobacco Induced Diseases     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.716, CiteScore: 2)
Translational Neurodegeneration     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.901, CiteScore: 5)
Trials     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.291, CiteScore: 2)
Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Urban Transformations     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Vascular Cell     Open Access   (SJR: 1.349, CiteScore: 4)
Veterinary Research     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Virology J.     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.053, CiteScore: 2)
Women's Midlife Health     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
World Allergy Organization J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.936, CiteScore: 6)
World J. of Emergency Surgery     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.098, CiteScore: 3)
World J. of Surgical Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.688, CiteScore: 2)

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Energy, Sustainability and Society
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.607
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 17  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2192-0567
Published by BMC (Biomed Central) Homepage  [316 journals]
  • Energy transition looming behind the headlines' Newspaper coverage of
           biogas production in Finland

    • Abstract: Background Media coverage can play an important part in energy transitions. It creates awareness of landscape-level megatrends affecting energy systems. It influences and is influenced by public and policy agendas on a regime level. On a niche level, it can spread or screen out information and motivate or discourage actors to adopt new technologies and practices. However, relatively few studies have specifically addressed the role of media in energy transitions. Newspaper coverage of biogas is studied here as a case of media framing of a potential renewable energy solution. Methods This article examines the long-term development of newspaper coverage of biogas in Finland. The aim of the quantitative content analysis is to draw an overall picture of the main phases of biogas coverage of a widely read newspaper focusing on agriculture and forestry, actors using discursive power in this coverage and key framings of the discussion. The results are discussed from the perspective of energy transition studies. In particular, future expectations created by the media are explored. Results The results show a lack of newspaper coverage on biogas in the early 2000s, followed by a rapid increase and stabilisation of the volume of newspaper coverage. Biogas was most often mentioned as a secondary topic of broader discussions related to renewable energy. The core discussion focusing on biogas was characterised by very positive framings of biogas as a preferable energy solution fully compatible with the principle of circular economy. The news stories often had a strong future orientation, and examples of enthusiastic forerunners were frequently presented. However, the coverage also emphasised the poor economic profitability of biogas technologies and a need for considerable public subsidies that are inherently unpredictable. Conclusions The future of niche-level energy technologies such as biogas can be strongly shaped by information flows, public perceptions and expectations created in part by media coverage. The analysed newspaper coverage in Finland was ambivalent from the perspective of energy transition. On the one hand, biogas production was represented as a preferable, environmentally friendly niche-level energy technology that should be encouraged. On the other hand, by emphasising the economic unviability of biogas technologies, the analysed newspaper coverage did not promote the adoption of biogas.
      PubDate: 2018-06-04
  • Environmental consciousness and choice of bulb for lighting in a
           developing country

    • Abstract: Background Most countries in the world especially those in Asia and Africa have been undertaking policies meant to help promote science, technology and innovation towards meeting some provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, there is still a sizable number of households who have not yet fully embraced energy-saving technologies. This study provides highlights on the economic and environmental benefits for investing in energy-saving light bulbs. Methods Using a survey and a multistage random sampling approach, we administered questionnaires to 1650 households in Ghana. The relevant diagnostic tests associated with cross-sectional data were undertaken. We estimated a maximum-likelihood probit model with its associated marginal effects to find out how the choice of energy-saving light bulb (behaviour) is influenced by environmental consciousness (both local knowledge and global knowledge) and other demographic factors. Results Our results are consistent with economic theory as well as what earlier empirical evidence found in literature. That is, environmental consciousness, education, income, etc. are very important in explaining the choice of buying energy-saving light bulbs in Ghana. Conclusions Besides advocating for information that will make society more environmentally conscious, we further recommend the use of fiscal policies (i.e. subsidies) to support lower income brackets who are predominant in developing countries.
      PubDate: 2018-05-21
  • Contributions of flexible power generation from biomass to a secure and
           cost-effective electricity supply—a review of potentials, incentives and
           obstacles in Germany

    • Abstract: Background With wind power and photovoltaics, volatile renewables have emerged as central pillars of the energy transition. This increases the demand for flexibility options to compensate fluctuations in power generation. Focussing on the role of bioenergy as a renewable flexibility option, this article seeks to address two questions. The first is whether there is an option value of bioenergy as a provider of low-carbon flexibility in a future power system, which might justify continued technology-specific deployment support. The second question is whether existing market and policy incentives are effective in activating flexibility potentials, and what perspectives exist for increasing flexibility incentives. Methods The article follows an interdisciplinary approach. First, technical potentials for flexible bioenergy plants and potential systemic contributions are examined. This is followed by an economic assessment of what flexibility incentives are provided by relevant market and policy framework conditions. Findings Power from biomass can be well suited to provide flexible generation for grid stabilisation and residual load balancing. Biogas plants require an increase of nominal power over rated power, whereas the technical flexibilisation potential of solid biomass plants depends on specific technologies. Particularly, small-scale combined heat and power systems can deliver fast responses. For existing biogas plants, the Renewable Energy Sources Act’s (EEG) flexibility premium and balancing market revenues have incentivised some changes in the production behaviour and investments in plant flexibilisation. However, decreasing spot market price levels and decreasing price variance reduce incentive strength. This also limits flexibilisation incentives for solid biomass plants. For new biogas plants, the EEG’s remuneration rules set effective flexibility incentives, but 2014 reductions in remuneration rates have significantly slowed down the expansion. Conclusions Given high technical potentials for flexibility provision, there is an option value of keeping bioelectricity in the technology mix until more is known about its future competitiveness with other low-carbon flexibility options. To maintain this option value, there is a case for setting policy incentives in a way that continued technological development remains possible. A stringent climate policy could accelerate structural change in the electricity sector, to allow for market price signals which incentivise low-carbon flexibility provision.
      PubDate: 2018-05-14
  • Residential solar electricity adoption: how households in Sweden search
           for and use information

    • Abstract: Background As a renewable energy solution, photovoltaics (PVs) are crucial in the transition to a more sustainable energy system. Besides large PV installations, household adoption of PVs will be an important contribution to this transition. However, the adoption of PVs on a household level faces many barriers, with gathering and understanding information being one of the major barriers. The aim of this article is to do an in-depth analysis of how households search for and interpret information about PVs and to discuss how to reach different groups with information. Methods The results in this paper are based on three interview studies made between autumn 2013 and autumn 2016. In the first interview study, seven non-adopters of photovoltaics were interviewed. In the second study, seven adopters of photovoltaics were addressed. In the third study, a total of 44 households were interviewed, with a mix of non-adopters and adopters. In total, 58 households were interviewed. Results From the interviews, we developed four ideal types for PV adoption. The non-adopters use few sources of information, find the information complicated, and have a tendency to emphasize barriers rather than enablers for PV adoptions. The environmentally engaged adopters search a lot of information but find it difficult to know when they have enough or the right information. They also find information too technical and complicated and find it hard to compare quotes. The professionally skilled group easily accesses information but also experienced problems in comparing quotes and are critical to that many problems occur during the installation process. The accidental adopters more or less happen to get a PV system and needed little information. They usually took the offer from the provider first met. Conclusions We can conclude that when dividing the households into different ideal types, it is possible to detect what kind of information measures different groups need. To get a future increase of the number of installed PVs, it is important to develop different measures in parallel, to meet the needs from the different groups.
      PubDate: 2018-05-07
  • A potential phosphorous fertilizer for organic farming: recovery of
           phosphorous resources in the course of bioenergy production through
           anaerobic digestion of aquatic macrophytes

    • Abstract: Background A major problem with farming systems is the deficiencies in phosphorus (P) due to fixation in soils, erosion and run-off, and exports of herbal and animal products. P resources for the compensation of these losses will sooner or later be depleted. For this reason, innovative ideas for phosphorus recycling are highly relevant. The P excess from farming systems mostly ends up in surface waters, leads to eutrophication, and promotes the growth of aquatic plants. Particularly invasive neophytes such as western waterweed (Elodea nuttallii) can rapidly generate high levels of biomass in waters with good nutrient supply and bind relevant amounts of phosphorus. Methods In the renatured open-pit mine Goitzsche (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany), biomass from E. nuttallii was harvested (2005–2008) and the biomass dry matter and the P concentration were determined. The phosphorus recovery potential from this plant biomass was calculated by extrapolation based on the phosphorus analyses and the area potentially populated by E. nuttallii. One analysis of E. nuttallii was conducted to evaluate the content of potentially toxic elements (PTEs). Results The results showed that with 0.5 to 6.3 kg P/Mg of total solid (dry matter), E. nuttallii could have a high potential to recycle phosphorus, e.g., by anaerobic digestion and digestate fertilization. Lake Goitzsche offered an annual recovery potential from 0.5 to 1.7 Mg phosphorus in the investigation period. This could meet the needs of 114-ha organic farming land based on a 7 kg/(ha*year) regional phosphorus deficit. The digestate of E. nuttallii is very well suited as a fertilizer due to its high phosphorus concentration. The concentrations of PTEs in the current digestate (related to an individual case) are sufficient for legal admission in Germany. In this study, nickel was above the threshold values for Germany. The elevated nickel levels in the Elodea biomass correspond to the geogenic high nickel concentrations in the sediment of this lake. Conclusions Aquatic macrophytes have a significant potential for recovering phosphorus from waters and sediments of relevant phosphorus concentrations. Further studies of surface water zones, particularly with regard to the aquatic plant biomass and phosphorus concentration of sediments, are needed to assess future exploration.
      PubDate: 2018-05-01
  • A qualitative evaluation approach for energy system modelling frameworks

    • Abstract: Background The research field of energy system analysis is faced with the challenge of increasingly complex systems and their sustainable transition. The challenges are not only on a technical level but also connected to societal aspects. Energy system modelling plays a decisive role in this field, and model properties define how useful it is in regard to the existing challenges. For energy system models, evaluation methods exist, but we argue that many decisions upon properties are rather made on the model generator or framework level. Thus, this paper presents a qualitative approach to evaluate frameworks in a transparent and structured way regarding their suitability to tackle energy system modelling challenges. Methods Current main challenges and framework properties that potentially contribute to tackle these challenges are derived from a literature review. The resulting contribution matrix and the described application procedure is then applied exemplarily in a case study in which the properties of the Open Energy Modelling Framework are checked for suitability to each challenge. Results We identified complexity (1), scientific standards (2), utilisation (3), interdisciplinary modelling (4), and uncertainty (5) as the main challenges. We suggest three major property categories of frameworks with regard to their capability to tackle the challenges: open-source philosophy (1), collaborative modelling (2), and structural properties (3). General findings of the detailed mapping of challenges and properties are that an open-source approach is a pre-condition for complying with scientific standards and that approaches to tackle the challenges complexity and uncertainty counteract each other. More research in the field of complexity reduction within energy system models is needed. Furthermore, while framework properties can support to address problems of result communication and interdisciplinary modelling, an important part can only be addressed by communication and organisational structures, thus, on a behavioural and social level. Conclusions We conclude that the relevance of energy system analysis tools needs to be reviewed critically. Their suitability for tackling the identified challenges deserves to be emphasised. The approach presented here is one contribution to improve current evaluation methods by adding this aspect.
      PubDate: 2018-04-16
  • Sustainability assessment of the German energy transition

    • Abstract: Background The goal of the energy transition in Germany is to achieve a sustainable supply of energy. Providing advice for decision-makers to either continue the current transition pathway or implement strategic adjustments requires a comprehensive assessment tool. The authors have developed a Sustainability Indicator System (SIS) consisting of 45 indicators to assess if policy measures implemented so far by the Federal Government are appropriate and sufficient to achieve the energy policy targets and, furthermore, the sustainability targets defined for the German energy system. Methods The assessment is carried out applying the SIS. For each indicator, a linear projection was calculated, based on the past 5 years for which data were available, assuming that this trend will continue in a linear way until 2020. Then, the projected value for 2020 resulting from the trend was compared to the political or defined target for 2020. The assessment was based on distance-to-target considerations, i.e. to which degree the set, proposed or desirable target will be met within the framework of the existing energy policy. The results are illustrated using a traffic light colour code. Indicators with less than 5 years of data available were given a white traffic light since no assessment was possible. Results A profound view on eight selected sustainability indicators that are not already part of the German monitoring process ‘Energy of the Future’ and a comprehensive overview on the sustainability assessment of the German energy system are presented. The results show that 24% of the assessed indicators are rated with a green, 7% with a yellow, 45% with a red and 24% with a white traffic light. This means that it cannot be expected that the sustainability targets defined for the German energy system will be achieved by 2020 without substantial modifications of political strategies and measures implemented so far. Conclusions The developed SIS is a comprehensive decision support and navigation tool with respect to long-term governance of the German energy transition. It aims to assess and monitor the overall sustainability performance of the energy system, to identify unsustainable energy strategies and measures as well as trade-offs and to evaluate the achievements or failures of policies regarding the energy transition. It can also be adapted to assess the sustainability of the energy systems in other European countries.
      PubDate: 2018-04-09
  • A change in the wind' US public views on renewable energy and climate

    • Abstract: Background Renewable energy development is a necessary step toward climate change mitigation, so these topics have often been linked. In US public discourse, however, they have somewhat different profiles—climate change views are tied closely to partisan identity, whereas renewable energy exhibits more cross-cutting appeal, and sometimes more cross-cutting opposition as well. To what extent are such differences reflected in survey data tracking rates of change, respondent characteristics, and local or regional variations in public opinion on renewable energy and climate' Methods We explore similarities and differences in views of renewable energy and climate change using a unique collection of 18 US national or regional surveys totaling more than 14,000 interviews, conducted between 2011 and 2017. Individual surveys varied in context, content, and goals, but all asked two common energy and climate questions, which yield comparable and strikingly consistent results. Results Public support for renewable energy appears broader than acceptance of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), especially in a more conservative region. Despite local controversies, support for renewable energy in recent years rose faster than ACC acceptance on two regional surveys. Political divisions remain wide on both topics, but wider regarding climate change—particularly among college-educated respondents. Renewable energy views in counties with proposed or operating wind farms are not systematically different from those in other counties. Conclusions Overall, these results provide encouragement for promoting renewable energy in terms of its economic benefits, working around some of the political identity-based resistance to climate change mitigation. That approach could be most important in politically conservative regions where such resistance is strong.
      PubDate: 2018-04-02
  • Social innovations in the German energy transition: an attempt to use the
           heuristics of the multi-level perspective of transitions to analyze the
           diffusion process of social innovations

    • Abstract: Background For a successful transition to a sustainable energy system, not only technical but also social innovations are required. A major challenge to social innovation research is how to translate the social innovation from a novelty with big potential into a mainstream practice. The multilevel perspective (MLP) of socio-technical transitions provides a heuristic to understand how niches can potentially break through to the regime level. In this paper, we examine in how far a multilevel perspective approach is suited to analyze and better understand diffusion trajectories of social rather than technological innovations, taking a social practice theory perspective. Five example projects, selected among the top social innovations for the Energiewende in North Rhine-Westphalia, are analyzed. We discuss to what extend the MLP provides a helpful tool to understand the transition processes. Results Social innovations can be very divers. We find that the MLP does not offer a one-size-fits-all framework for the analysis of the diffusion of social innovations. The MLP proves applicable only in those cases where the social innovation (1) can lead to a system change and (2) has a clear competing or symbiotic relationship with an existing regime. Conclusions Social innovations that aim to be transformative in the sense that they have the goal to be system changing (rather than incremental) can be analyzed along the heuristics of the MLP. For this type of social innovation, the MLP can be fruitful to learn to better understand the diffusion dynamics of social innovation and the barriers and drivers they might face. However, for social innovations that aim at incremental improvements without challenging the existing system, the MLP cannot be applied to study the diffusion process.
      PubDate: 2018-03-12
  • Evaluation of various means of transport for urban areas

    • Abstract: Background Personal transportation in urban areas is characterised by different transportation technologies with significantly varying properties regarding usability, infrastructural requirements and environmental impacts. This characterisation motivates the objective evaluation of mobility solutions, based on different criteria. State of the art evaluations in the scientific literature mainly focus on one specific criterion at a time. The most common criteria investigated are found in energy demand or equivalent fuel consumption. Other parameters include the traffic space demand or mean velocity as a reference for the user-related criterion “travel time”. Since different modes of transport show various potentials in different criteria, an interesting point for scientific research is consideration of the different criteria in a more comprehensive evaluation approach. To address this issue, the aim of this study is to present a new approach for an objective evaluation and comparison of different transport technologies under consideration of pre-defined range of criteria and defined boundary conditions and requirements for personal mobility in cities. Besides technical-oriented aspects like driving range, transport capability and life cycle-related consumption of resources, additional factors influencing user-behaviour and traffic density are reflected. The evaluation method is presented, based on a generated exemplary data collection regarding technical and in-use characteristics of different modes of transport, mainly investigated in the city of Graz, Austria. Methods The study focuses on different means of transport, in particular walking, bicycling, the use of powered two-wheelers, passenger cars with different propulsion systems and public transport systems. It is based on the determination of selected criteria, considering ecologic, infrastructural and user-related aspects. With respect to ecologic criteria, the study considers resources and energy consumption as also the resulting CO2 equivalent emissions. The mean velocity and transport capacity are considered in the context of user-related criteria. Traffic space demand is an important and limited resource, especially in urban areas. The present study thus includes the determination and comparison of the relative traffic and parking space demands for the different modes of transport. The evaluation is based on a specifically developed evaluation methodology, considering weighted traffic performance indices, which are also proposed and discussed. Results Within the present study, a database providing specific mobility-related criteria and parameters has been generated, representing technical characteristics and the effects of the use of different vehicles and means of transportation in urban areas. The illustrated results allow an objective evaluation of a broad range of different means of transportation and vehicles, based on introduced “weighted traffic performance indices” (WTPI). Conclusions The study contributes to a discussion of transportation technologies and allows a derivation of measures for further research topics to face future intra-urban mobility demands. This represents a basis for decision making on the priorisation of the most suitable transport systems for urban areas. It is shown that the motorised individual passenger transport as dominated by the use of private passenger cars in particular represents today the most inefficient form of inner-urban mobility.
      PubDate: 2018-03-07
  • Mixed silage of Elodea and wheat straw as a substrate for energy
           production in anaerobic digestion plants

    • Abstract: Background Waterweeds (Elodea nuttallii and Elodea canadensis) are invasive neophytes, which have been proliferating at a phenomenal rate during the last decades in German waterways. In case of overgrowth, the strong covering of vegetation can cause problems in hydroelectric power plants and leads to limitations in ship and boat traffic as well as in use for bathing and fishing activities. After vegetation period, dead plants can accumulate and then negatively influence flood protection and water engineering works. For this reason, the aquatic biomass has been periodically removed and disposed without further use. In order to enable the energetic use of this water-containing substrate, the aim of the present study was the optimization of storage methods for an aquatic plant-based feedstock for biogas production. In climatic cold regions, substrate conservation is necessary in order to guarantee a year-round substrate availability. With waterweed (Elodea) taken as an example, the ensiling of aquatic plants was studied. The main focus was to develop practical methods for biomass conservation while producing high biogas yields. Methods Elodea was harvested in the river Parthe in Leipzig-Schönefeld in October 2015. Silage mixtures of Elodea and wheat straw were tested after 180 days of storage for pH, volatile fermentation products, and methane potentials. The effect of different silage moisture contents and straw particle sizes on the substrate quality was studied. Results Results show that waterweeds can be stored by ensiling and can achieve considerable biogas yields. However, with a water content of about 95%, the storability of the material is challenging. Mixed silage of waterweeds and wheat straw were suitable for storage in clamp silos. The pH values were between 4.9 and 6.5, and the volatile fatty acid content as lactic acid ranged from 0.0 to 1.9% total solid. The mixed silages achieved methane potentials between 166 and 228 mL g− 1 volatile solid (VS), which is equivalent to 52 and 72% of maize silage. Considering a methane potential of 228 mL g− 1 VS and costs for material pretreatment, the most promising silage variant was mixed silage from waterweeds and ground straw with 30% total solid content. Conclusions Long storability of waterweeds could be possible by ensiling fermentation. Mixed silages from Elodea and wheat straw show suitable substrate characteristics for biogas production and can achieve high biogas yields.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
  • Correction to: Balanced renewable energy scenarios: a method for making
           spatial decisions despite insufficient data, illustrated by a case study
           of the Vorderland-Feldkirch Region, Vorarlberg, Austria

    • Abstract: Correction In the publication of this article [1], there is an error in the Figures 4, 5 and 6 which are missing the map design and data source of the copyright owners.
      PubDate: 2018-02-26
  • Sustainability assessment of a micro hydropower plant in Nepal

    • Abstract: Background Many rural electrification projects around the world employ micro hydropower plants (MHPs). These installations provide immediate and direct benefits to the local people. However, the sustainability of their operation in the long run remains a vital issue. Without proper sustainability assessment, the projects may face operational problems. However, to date, only a few empirical studies exist which offer tools to assess sustainability of MHP projects post-implementation. Given that every site has peculiar characteristics that could largely vary from site to site, there is a need to develop a model which could assess and compare the feasibility of the projects from the sustainability point of view before the project is implemented. For this purpose, a thorough sustainability assessment model was developed for an MHP project in a mountainous region of Nepal. Methods This paper presents a sustainability assessment model for micro hydropower plants. In order to collect the data necessary to run the model, different sets of questionnaires were prepared for all relevant stakeholders. The developed model was used to assess an overall sustainability of a 26-kW plant at Mahadevsthan in Dhading District of Nepal. At this site, 15 community households, a project management committee member, an operator, and three policy makers/micro hydro experts were interviewed. The indicator system developed here was finalized with the stakeholder’s participation. Results A sustainability assessment model for the operation of micro hydropower plants in a remote rural area of Nepal was developed. Our model includes 54 assessment indicators taking into account economic, social, environmental, and technical sustainability dimensions and a scoring system (ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best). It was found that the social dimension shows the best performance with a score of 4.17 for the studied MHP, followed by environmental (3.94), economic (3.74), and technical dimensions (3.04). Conclusions The results show that the developed model creates a qualitative and quantitative basis for sustainability assessment of MHPs, allowing easiness for comparison of micro hydro projects, providing an effective decision-making support tool in rural electrification and development sector. The input of all stakeholders in identifying site-specific indicators that are relevant to the sustainability of the projects is crucial for minimizing biases in the assessment framework.
      PubDate: 2018-02-09
  • Anaerobic digestion of mixed silage of waterweed biomass and wheat straw
           in a long-term semi-continuous biogas production process

    • Abstract: Background As part of the maintenance of lakes and rivers, large quantities of aquatic biomass are produced every year. Neophytes, such as Elodea nuttallii, compete with native species and cause a disturbance to the ecosystem, which can manifest itself in the form of eutrophication. Aquatic macrophytes are not in competition with the production of food and animal feed and thus can be used in anaerobic digestion plants to replace a fraction of commonly used renewables such as maize or grass silage. Mixed silage of Elodea biomass with wheat straw was recently developed to allow for the conservation of mowed aquatic biomass. In this paper, the digestibility of this silage was tested in a long-term semi-continuous fermentation experiment with a duration of 212 days. Methods A continous-stirred tank reactor with a working volume of 31 L was used for the semi-continuous fermentation experiment. The substrate Elodea-straw silage was supplied to the fermenter once a day. The samples of digestates were analyzed directly after sampling twice a week for total solids, volatile solids, VFA/TAC, NH4-N, acetate, propionate, butyrate, and water-solutle elements. The biogas composition was determined by means of gas chromatograph once a week. Results The results show that mono-fermentation of Elodea straw silage was stable for a period of at least 6 months. A stable anaerobic digestion process was achieved at an organic loading rate (OLR) of up to 2 gVS/(L*d), when the highest specific biogas yield of 642 mLN/(gVS*d) was reached. The process turned unstable when the OLR was increased to 3 gVS/(L*d) due to the accumulation of volatile fatty acids. A nitrogen source, urea, was added in order to support the anaerobic digestion process. No addition of any further supplements was needed. Throughout the whole experiment, the specific biogas yield reached 647 ± 71 mLN/(gVS*d) with a mean methane content of 51%. Conclusions The results of this semi-continuous fermentation experiment confirm the possibility of using Elodea straw silage as a mono-substrate in the anaerobic digestion process for the production of biogas being the aim of this Short Communication.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
  • Carbon capture and sequestration in power generation: review of impacts
           and opportunities for water sustainability

    • Abstract: Abstract This article reviews the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as a viable mitigation strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in fossil-fuel power plants and discusses the impacts on the sustainability of freshwater resources. While CCS technology can significantly mitigate anthropogenic GHG emissions, CCS installations are expected to impose new water stresses due to additional water requirements for chemical and physical processes to capture and separate CO2. In addition to these processes, the parasitic loads imposed by carbon capture on power plants will reduce their efficiency and thus require more water for cooling the plant. Groundwater contamination due to CO2 leakage during geologic sequestration is an additional concern when adapting CCS into power plants. Imposing such constraints on the quantity and quality of freshwater resources will influence decisions on the types of energy facilities and threaten the sustainability of water systems. A review of recent studies highlights three main challenges that would impact water sustainability due to CCS installation: (1) water requirements needed for different stages of CCS, (2) changes in groundwater quality due to carbon leakage into geologic formations, and (3) opportunities for using desalinated brine from saline sequestration aquifers to provide new freshwater sources and offset the CCS-induced water stresses. This article also reviews availability and gaps in datasets and simulation tools that are necessary for an improved CCS analysis. Illustrative analyses from two US states, Louisiana and Arizona, are presented to examine the possible consequences of introducing CCS technologies into existing power plants. A basin-scale, water stress framework is applied to estimate the added stresses on freshwater resources due to CCS installations. The scenario-based illustrative examples indicate the need for a full analysis of the inter-relationship between implementing different CCS technologies in the electric generation sector and the water system. Such analyses can be examined in future studies via an integrated energy-water nexus approach. Furthermore, the current article highlights the need for integrating the environmental, economic, and societal aspects of CCS deployment into future assessment of the viability of CCS operations and how to make water systems less vulnerable to CCS impacts.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
  • Balanced renewable energy scenarios: a method for making spatial decisions
           despite insufficient data, illustrated by a case study of the
           Vorderland-Feldkirch Region , Vorarlberg , Austria

    • Abstract: Background An increasing production of renewable energy requires planning strategies that are able to coordinate the higher-level energy goals with local-level land use interests. While the spatial scope of energy objectives is usually set up on a federal state or national scale, decisions to allocate and implement renewable energy sites are often taken on a municipal scale. This leads to a lack of regional coordination, as the task to achieve a balanced regional energy demand and renewable energy production cannot be solved by individual municipalities alone and calls for cooperation on a regional level. This paper focuses on a recently applied method to support decisions that are committed to empowering the production of renewable energy on a regional scale. In addition, it reflects the generic use of this method, which should be manageable and repeatable under the conditions of an input of only a few quantitative data. At the same time, it addresses the question of how planning decisions, both in spatial and energy planning, may be empowered. Methods The research team applied a cardboard games approach that required several steps of analysis. First, energy data and spatial attributes of different renewable energy sources were collected from reference projects and the literature. The end product was a catalogue of renewable energy generators, which also included the estimated energy output (kWh/a) and land consumption (m2) per source. A measuring unit of m2/kWh/a was developed that represented an inverse value for the consumption of heat (kWh/m2/a). Second, the current and future (2030) energy demand of the Austrian region of Vorderland-Feldkirch was estimated for this the pilot study area to which the cardboard games method should be applied, which resulted in two energy demand scenarios for 2030—a “business-as-usual” and an “optimum” scenario. The two scenarios were then related to the current renewable energy goal of the federal state (Vorarlberg) in order to calculate the required share of renewable energy for both the year 2030 and the chosen pilot study area. As a third step, a scenario-building workshop was organized for regional stakeholders and experts in energy planning. About 30 people joined the workshop. There were different backgrounds among the workshop participants: local experts and mayors, researchers from the project itself, and energy and planning experts from Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The three workshop groups had to develop spatial scenarios for Vorderland-Feldkirch to reach the required share of renewable energy. And as a final step, the resulting strategies derived from the workshop scenarios were evaluated by using a GIS analysis. Results The cardboard games method produced interesting spatial strategies for achieving an equivalent between energy demand and renewable energy production. The main advantage of the method is that it produces quick results and creates awareness of the land consumption of renewable energy. Furthermore, the cardboard games method worked as a participatory approach to simulating a decision-making process in regional (energy) planning. Conclusions The estimated energy scenario (2015–2030) is based on several factors that are unfortunately greatly simplified and/or difficult to verify—where the latter is mainly caused by an almost total lack of useable data. On the other hand, the simplification represents the strength of the method bundle, as it ensures a “generic” quality as well as repeatability of the workflow of standard planning situations for many regions, which is also an important part of the research module profile. Still, an in-depth GIS pre-assessment would further enhance and refine the results.
      PubDate: 2018-01-22
  • Scenario-based stochastic optimal operation of
           wind/PV/FC/CHP/boiler/tidal/energy storage system considering DR programs
           and uncertainties

    • Abstract: Background Micro-grid (MG) can be described as a group of controllable loads and distributed energy resources that can be connected and disconnected from the main grid and utilized in grid-connected or islanded modes considering certain electrical constraints. Methods The objective of this article are as follows: (1) predict the uncertainties through the hybrid method of WT-ANN-ICA and (2) determine the optimal generation strategy of a MG containing wind farms (WFs), photovoltaic (PV), fuel cell (FC), combined heat and power (CHP) units, tidal steam turbine (TST), and also boiler and energy storage devices (ESDs). The uncertainties include wind speed, tidal steam speed, photovoltaic power generation (PVPG), market price, power, and thermal load demand. For modeling uncertainties, an effort has been made to predict uncertainties through the hybrid method of wavelet transform (WT) in order to reduce fluctuations in the historical input data. An improved artificial neural network (ANN) based on the nonlinear structure is applied for better training and learning. Furthermore, the imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA) is applied to find the best weights and biases for minimizing the mean square error of predictions. Result The scenario-based stochastic optimization problem is proposed to determine the optimal points for the energy resources generation and to maximize the expected profit considering demand response (DR) programs and uncertainties. Conclusions In this study, three cases are assessed to confirm the performance of the proposed method. In the first case study programming, MG is isolated from grid. In the second case study, which is grid-connected mode, the WT-ANN-ICA and WT-ANN uncertainty prediction methods are compared. In the third case, which is grid-connected mode, the effect of DR programs on the expected profit of energy resources is assessed.
      PubDate: 2018-01-15
  • A real options approach to renewable electricity generation in the

    • Abstract: Background The Philippines is making a significant stride to become energy independent by developing more sustainable sources of energy. However, investment in renewable energy is challenged by competitive oil prices, very high investment cost for renewable energy, and high local electricity prices. This paper evaluates the attractiveness of investing in renewable energy sources over continue using oil for electricity generation. Methods This paper uses the real options approach to analyze how the timing of investment in renewable energy depends on volatility of diesel price, electricity price, and externality for using oil. Results The result presents a positive net present value for renewable energy investment. Under uncertainty in oil prices, dynamic optimization describes how waiting or delaying investment in renewables incurs loses. Decreasing the local electricity price and incorporating negative externality favor investment in renewable energy over continuing the use of oil for electricity generation. Conclusions Real options approach highlights the flexibility in the timing of making investment decisions. At the current energy regime in the Philippines, substituting renewable energy is a better option than continue importing oil for electricity generation. Policies should aim at supporting investment in more sustainable sources of energy by imposing externality for using oil or decreasing the price of electricity.
      PubDate: 2018-01-09
  • How expensive is an energy transition' A lesson from the German

    • Abstract: Abstract The Paris climate agreement of December 2015 is generally considered a breakthrough on the way to a sustainable future for mankind. In particular, the agreement calls for fundamental transitions in the energy systems worldwide, since more than 80% of CO2 emissions stem from the use of fossil fuels in the energy supply. Considering such energy transitions, in any country there will certainly be technical issues, there will be debates as to which political instruments are most suitable, and others; but there is no doubt that the question of cost is one of the most crucial issues in the course of such a long-term project. After all, the expected financial burden on the national economy and its stakeholders is the most convincing argument for putting in energy transition off or for slowing it down. There is also no doubt that the German Energiewende, at first sight, does not serve as an encouraging example in this respect: The cost bill - in the sense of the direct, perceptible financial effects - has already run up to almost € 500 billion, and the German private households as well as many businesses pay significantly more for electricity than in most other OECD-countries. As a consequence, in Germany there is a growing opposition against going forward with the Energiewende as planned, and also in the international media, the initially positive image of the German project has suffered. A closer look at the costs of the German energy transition, however, reveals that around 75% of them are due to two particularities of the Energiewende that do not hold true for other energy transitions: the politically enforced nuclear phase-out and the fact that Germany massively expanded renewable energies at a time when they were still very expensive. Therefore, the real lesson of the German example is the opposite of what it may seem: The transition to renewable energies in the electricity sector in a highly industrialized country can be quite affordable.
      PubDate: 2017-12-18
  • Analysis of the development of the wind power industry in China — from
           the perspective of the financial support

    • Abstract: Background The wind energy industry is an important part of the renewable energy industry. Helpful financial support plays an essential role in the process of its development. This study analyzes the financial support efficiency not only from the aspect of capital raise, but also from the aspect of the allocation of up-, middle- and down-stream of the Chinese wind power industry chain (which includes the fan component manufacturing enterprises, the fan production enterprises, the wind farm generation and operation enterprises). Methods Based on a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model, this study selected 30 representative public companies which sampled and extracted their financial data in a panel analysis from 2010 to 2015, in which the financial support efficiency for the Chinese wind power industry was investigated from the aspect of capital raise and allocation. Results In terms of capital raise, the comprehensive efficiencies of these three streams all reached their peak in 2011, and then indicated a slight decline, whereas the fan component manufacturing enterprises had both the largest pure technical efficiency value in 2011 and a relatively high scale efficiency value during the sampling period. In terms of capital allocation, the fan component manufacturing enterprises and the wind farm generation and operation enterprises indicated both the highest comprehensive efficiency in 2011, which is merely the expansion period of the new energy industry. The wind farm generation and operation enterprises showed the lowest pure technical value in 2012, which is also the depression period of the new energy industry. The scale efficiency of the fan production enterprises as well as the wind energy generation and operation enterprises had a relatively high scale efficiency value from 2010 to 2015. Conclusion The overall efficiency of financial support in the Chinese wind power industry has a close relationship to the macro-economic environment and capital raise while the allocation efficiency of up-, middle-and down-stream show different characteristics. Moreover, the lag of the core technology is the biggest barrier to the financial support efficiency of the wind power industry.
      PubDate: 2017-12-04
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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