Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Developing a Novel Environmental Assessment Model for Power Generation Plants

Version 1 : Received: 24 June 2018 / Approved: 25 June 2018 / Online: 25 June 2018 (11:03:05 CEST)

How to cite: Mulongo, N.Y.; Aigbavboa, C. Developing a Novel Environmental Assessment Model for Power Generation Plants. Preprints 2018, 2018060382 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0382.v1). Mulongo, N.Y.; Aigbavboa, C. Developing a Novel Environmental Assessment Model for Power Generation Plants. Preprints 2018, 2018060382 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0382.v1).

Abstract

Environmental assessment is a concept that has been designed to facilitate the present generation to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs as well. Thus, this concept has drawn significant attention from various scholars, researchers and industrial practitioners around the world over the past three decades. Life Cycle Environmental Assessment (LCEA) is a widely metric used to assess the potential ecological impacts, which can be caused by electricity generating supply systems or by other systems than power production plants. However, the current LCEA model is biased and ineffective. Because, its omits factors that are increasingly contributing to the ecological degradation. This study has identified the omitted factors through a critical analysis of a set of previous journal articles conducted in the energy sector. In light of this, this study has developed a novel LCEA framework addressing those blind spots. The framework developed in this study is holistic in nature including all the life cycle stages of a power supply system such as Extraction of the Raw Material (ERM), Transport of Raw Material (TRM), Conversion of Raw into Electricity (CRE), and Transmission and Distribution of Electricity (TDE) to the end users. The novel developed LCEA model has been tested and applied to nine power generation plants such as coal, gas, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar thermal, wind onshore and wind offshore. The results have demonstrated that of conventional technologies including coal, gas, and nuclear, coal energy generating source has got the highest life cycle greenhouse gas Grid Emission Factor (GEF) of 2866 kg CO2e/MWh, followed by gas with 728 kg CO2e/MWh, and nuclear has got the least GEF of 35 kg CO2e/MWh. Whereas of renewable energy sources biomass has got the highest GEF of 1508 kg CO2e/MWh, followed by solar thermal with 46.6 kg CO2e/MWh, hydro 39 kg CO2e/MWh, wind offshore 25.25 kg CO2e/MWh, wind onshore 10.1 kg CO2e/MWh, and geothermal closes the ranking with 6.23 kg CO2e/MWh.

Subject Areas

environmental assessment; novel LCEA model; electricity generating supply systems; lifecycle greenhouse gas grid emission factor

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