Development of stochastic model for energy poverty analysis in Greece. The case of mountainous areas.

Energy poverty is one of the crucial socio-economic problems of the modern world, particularly affecting vulnerable groups of the population. The lack of a common, effective way of measuring energy poverty is detected as a major weakness in handling the issue, mainly due to the inability of modeling the objective domestic energy needs at a country level, a fact that makes the application of the official definition of energy poverty impossible.

Thus, the subject of the thesis is the modeling of the required energy consumption at country level and the correct application of the definition of energy poverty. At the same time, such a model leads to the parameterization of the factors contributing to energy poverty, as well as to the determination of their weighting factors. The above goals are achieved through the development of the Stochastic Model of Energy Poverty (SMEP). The model was developed for Greece, as a country-level application. As a case study, the mountainous population of Greece was selected, as a population group particularly vulnerable to energy poverty, but also due to the high importance of mountainous regions of the planet. Through the development of the model (SMEP), a more accurate estimation of energy poverty is achieved, the weighting factors of the various parameters affecting energy poverty at a given country are determined and underestimated but important aspects of energy poverty are highlighted, through the introduction of new indicators.

Creation of an integrated system of cadastral infrastructure, environment and development

The recent crisis, especially in countries such as Greece, has pressed for the exploration of new approaches with methods and tools that would optimize development planning. A further research step in development planning is to explore and substantiate the logical chains of linked variables from the level of outputs to the level of development objective. In response to these challenges the thesis aims to establish and document an integrated cadastral infrastructure system to support environment and development policies.

The integrated system entitled IDPSS (Integrated development Planning Support System) is based on the synthesis of interdisciplinary research with advanced technologies (Planning support systems, Spatial decision-making systems, Exert Systems) in the light of an integrated development cadastre. Key features are the use of qualitative and quantitative research approaches, the use of objective and subjective indicators and the integrated synthesis of research data. The system allows the incorporation of any development objective related to a specific group of people or a certain area of any size (neighborhood, community, municipality, region). The system was constructed in three stages. In the first stage, a mixed method strategy was conducted by an Interdisciplinary Research Team aiming at investigating factors that tend to play an important role in the well-being, local psychical and socio-economic features, political will of authorities, social consciousness about the problems, constraints, opportunities and prospects and social dynamics for development of the study area. In the second stage, a knowledge base for the study area, based on triangulation and descriptive statistical analysis, was created. In the third stage in order to develop the decision making system, linkages between variables were elaborated with bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis and logical chains of linked variables, from the level of outputs to the level of overall improvement of life satisfaction, were substantiated thought means-ends analysis.
This integrated tool can help development actors to identify appropriate development strategies for different social groups, assess benefits, and clarify connections between outputs and their intended effects on selected development objective.

Optimal use of renewable energy sources in mountainous areas. The case of Metsovo, Greece

Energy is a core part of development and spatial planning. Sufficient access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for economic and social development. The doctoral thesis focuses on energy issues of mountainous areas and explores the particularities of energy planning in these areas. More analytically, the energy identity of mountainous areas is investigated, with special emphasis on thermal energy needs and the renewable energy potential. An energy optimization model for decentralized energy planning is created, which includes economic, environmental and social parameters.

In the area of Metsovo, which has been used as a case study, environmental economics surveys have been conducted, in order to directly estimate the externalities of “green” energy investments in the area. After testing the energy optimization model in Metsovo, it is generalized. A hypothetical settlement is created and so, various “mountain” characteristics are introduced in the decentralized energy planning process. In this way, their influence on energy planning is assessed.

Evaluation of the vernacular architecture of mountainous areas using Environmental Economics methods

The objective of PhD Thesis rests in the area of the protection and management of cultural heritage, of built environment and, in specific, of the vernacular architecture of mountain regions in Greece.  The general theoretical frame of Cultural Economics is presented along with its methods and tools; the science which forms a continuity of Environmental Economics and focuses on the estimation of the economic value of the non-market cultural goods.

The PhD Thesis investigates, through the implementation of the Contingent Valuation Method in five in-situ surveys, the economic value of the vernacular architecture of Metsovo and Sirako, as this is reflected in the collective conscience of the habitants and the visitors of the two settlements. The results of the PhD Thesis focus on three categories: a) on the characteristics of vernacular architecture as a cultural value (an aspect that hasn’t been studied in Greece), b) on the estimation of the economic value of vernacular architecture and c) on the use of the Contingent Valuation Method as a tool for the vernacular architecture, in specific, as well as an evaluation method, in general. In addition, the PhD Thesis is an important contribution on the substantiation of the scientific knowledge on the mountain regions in Greece.