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Energy sustainability: a definition and assessment model

Evangelos Grigoroudis (), Vassilis S. Kouikoglou (), Yannis A. Phillis () and Fotis D. Kanellos ()
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Evangelos Grigoroudis: Technical University of Crete
Vassilis S. Kouikoglou: Technical University of Crete
Yannis A. Phillis: Technical University of Crete
Fotis D. Kanellos: Technical University of Crete

Operational Research, 2021, vol. 21, issue 3, No 17, 1845-1885

Abstract: Abstract Energy is the fundamental component of all economic activity and a central ingredient of international politics. Energy is finite and often creates externalities. A fundamental question then arises about its sustainability. Assessing energy sustainability is important since energy is a key factor of all economies. However, energy generation imposes large pressures on the environment and is mostly based on limited resources. Energy sustainability is related with the provision of adequate, reliable, and affordable energy, in conformity with social and environmental requirements. In this paper we develop a mathematical model that defines and measures energy sustainability for a given region or country. It is based on a number of indicators that cover such aspects as environmental impact, access, health, economy, generation, consumption, and security. Statistical methods and fuzzy logic reasoning lead to an index in [0, 1] and a subsequent ranking. A sensitivity analysis discovers those aspects of an economy that have the highest potential for improving energy sustainability. The model, unlike most existing ones, is nonlinear and uncovers some counterintuitive results such as the higher rankings of Brazil over the USA and Canada. Such results are explained by the high performance of Brazil in the area of energy security and the low scores of the USA and Canada in generation, consumption, and environmental aspects of energy.

Keywords: Fuzzy evaluation; Energy sustainability; Indicators; Ranking; Sensitivity analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12351-019-00492-2

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