Social, environmental and economic impacts of alternative energy and fuel supply chains
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Energy supply nowadays, being a vital element of a country’s development, has to independently meet diverse, sustainability criteria, be it economic, environmental and social. The main goal of the present research work is to present a methodological framework for the evaluation of alternative energy and fuel Supply Chains (SCs), consisting of a broad topology (representation) suggested, encompassing all the well-known energy and fuel SCs, under a unified scheme, a set of performance measures and indices as well as mathematical model development, formulated as Multi-objective Linear Programming with the extension of incorporating binary decisions as well (Multi-objective Mixed Integer-Linear programming). Basic characteristics of the current modelling approach include the adaptability of the model to be applied at different levels of energy SCs decisions, under different time frames and for multiple stakeholders. Model evaluation is carried for a set of Greek islands, located in the Aegean Archipelagos, examining both the existing energy supply options as well future, more sustainable Energy Supply Chains (ESCs) configurations. Results of the specific research work reveal the social and environmental costs which are underestimated under the traditional energy supply options' evaluation, as well as the benefits that may be produced from renewable energy based applications in terms of social security and employment.