Life cycle assessment of electricity generation: A systematic review of spatiotemporal methods

Jordaan, Sarah M., Combs, Cory and Guenther, Edeltraud, (2021). Life cycle assessment of electricity generation: A systematic review of spatiotemporal methods. Advances in Applied Energy, 3 1-15

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Jordaan, Sarah M.
    Combs, Cory
    Guenther, Edeltraud
    Title Life cycle assessment of electricity generation: A systematic review of spatiotemporal methods
    Appearing in Advances in Applied Energy
    Volume 3
    Publication Date 2021-08-25
    Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Publisher Elsevier Ltd.
    Start page 1
    End page 15
    Language eng
    Abstract Life cycle assessments (LCAs) of electricity generation are increasingly incorporating more granular spatial and temporal information, enhancing the accuracy of both inventories and results. This systematic review determined contributions to LCA that improved spatial, temporal, or spatiotemporal resolution from 2009-2018. We analyzed 251 articles screened from an initial review of 6,519 to identify such contributions and determine areas in need of research. The geographic focus of the studies leans towards Europe, Asia, and North America, suggesting many regions remain understudied. As the impact categories were heavily weighted towards greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts that may benefit most from more granular analyses reflecting local environmental conditions were less studied (e.g., land use and eutrophication). While studies tend to focus more on spatial rather than temporal information, those that examine the most granular spatial and temporal scales (for this review, site and hourly) can result in more effective interventions that improve both environmental and economic outcomes. The two most common analysis tools used in the screened articles were optimization and Geographic Information Systems. The increasing use of these tools supported diverse improvements in LCA, such as more detailed investigations of grid interactions, enhanced characterization of impacts, and improved evaluation of resource availability. Analyses conducted at more refined spatiotemporal resolutions can provide more realistic representations of electricity generation, grid operations, and environmental impacts, supporting more effective interventions.
    Keyword Life cycle assessment
    Spatial resolution
    Temporal resolution
    Electricity generation
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2021
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.1016/j.adapen.2021.100058
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    Created: Wed, 04 Aug 2021, 03:24:26 JST by Eric Siegmund on behalf of UNU FLORES