Renewable Energy in Harsh Environments: A Comparative Case of the Role of Renewables for Energy Importers and Fossil Fuel Exporters

  • Konstantinos Dimitropoulos

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


A sustainable energy transition aims to ensure that in the process of switching from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy there is sufficient energy availability to cover the demands of a dynamic economy and, importantly, to avoid the potential of falling into an energy trap where the dropping Energy Return on Energy Invested of fossil fuels and short-sighted policy prevents the deployment of renewables in sufficient scale to make up the gap in fossil fuel availability. Using a System Dynamics model, we investigate the timing of the potential transition to renewable sources of energy from the perspective of energy importers and exporters (using Greece and the United Arab Emirates as a comparative case analysis). Renewables impact the energy balance of a country with different mechanisms for an energy importing country and a fossil fuel exporting country and therefore, the dynamics involved in the relationship between renewable energy deployment and growth can be divergent and the generated effects in the two cases can vary. In the former case, the effect is one of import substitution while in the latter is one of export potential augmentation. We find that although renewables’ deployment is beneficial for both countries, Greece has a higher incentive for early deployment.
Date of AwardDec 2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorSgouris Sgouridis (Supervisor)


  • Sustainable Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Fossil Fuel
  • System Dynamics Model
  • Energy Resources
  • Energy Transition.

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