About this Research Topic
As we strive to achieve sustainable and low-carbon future energy systems, the ways in which we supply and use energy are changing significantly. Over the coming decades, there will be a societal shift towards more sustainable low-carbon technologies and primary sources of energy. As the penetration of renewable energy increases, we will see increasingly complex energy networks, with a mix of technologies of different types and at different scales for generating, transmitting, distributing and storing energy. The diverse sets of resources and technologies that constitute these integrated energy networks will create new and many interweaved value chains. Whereas existing energy systems are dominated by fossil fuels as the primary resource, with electricity and natural gas as the energy vectors, increasing the penetration of renewable energy will change the energy mix and other energy vectors, such as hydrogen, methanol, syngas, ammonia etc. may also play important roles. Valuable products (both energy and materials) and co-products are generated at the same time as waste streams and emissions. Therefore, the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the entire value chain must be considered and the unintended consequences evaluated to ensure that these energy networks are sustainable.
This multidisciplinary Research Topic is a platform for engineers and scientists to disseminate their recent research, development and innovation in the area of integrated energy networks and sustainable value chains, with an emphasis on mathematical modelling.
Contributions, in the form of full-length original papers, short communications, review articles, technical notes and perspectives, on the following topics are welcome:
• Design/planning and/or operation of one or more integrated energy networks/value chains, e.g.:
o Renewable energy
o Biomass/bioenergy (bio-fuels, bio-heat, bio-electricity, etc.)
o Other alternative energy vectors (e.g. methanol, ammonia, syngas)
• The analysis may include:
o Risk and uncertainty
o Socio-economic and environmental impact assessment
o Life cycle assessment
o Demand-side management
o Co-evolution of supply and demand
o Energy storage
• Systems at different scales may be considered: household, clusters of buildings, district, city, national or international scale
• The more complex these types of model become, the more difficult data management becomes. Therefore studies involving the following would also be interesting:
o Integration of GIS and planning/optimisation tools
o Visualisation of results
Keywords: sustainable energy vectors, integrated systems, value chains, energy networks, low-carbon energy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.