Life Cycle Assessment of Geothermal Energy: a Case Study on Hellisheidi
Andrea PAULILLO, Xiaofei CUI, Marta Rós KARLSDÓTTIR, Alberto STRIOLO, Paola LETTIERI
[University College London, United Kingdom]
Power generation is the industrial sector with the highest potential to reducing carbon emissions, and thus contributing to reaching the goals established in the Paris Agreement. To this end, geothermal energy is set to play a key role. But to what extent? And, what about environmental impacts other than global warming? This study provides tentative answers to these questions by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. LCA is a standardized methodology, widely used to support decisions and development of policies, which quantifies and assesses the environmental impacts of products (i.e. goods or services) from a life cycle perspective, i.e., from the extraction of raw materials to the disposal of wastes. The present LCA study relies on publicly-available data regarding the Hellisheiði geothermal plant in Iceland, which co-generates electricity and hot water for district heating. A detailed hot-spot analysis is presented to identify the key sources of impacts. The carbon intensity of the Hellisheiði plant is compared against other energy technologies.
|        Topic: Sustainability and Climate Change||Paper Number: 05008|