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Assessment aims to maximize greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy

Date:
January 21, 2016
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
A study used a new method, never before applied to the energy sector, to assess the 'sustainability index' of various sources of energy, both conventional and renewable.
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A study reported in the journal Energy used a new method, never before applied to the energy sector, to assess the "sustainability index" of various sources of energy, both conventional and renewable.

The new model used by the researchers is based on the MIVES method (which stands for Modelo Integrado de Valor para una Evaluación Sostenible or Integrated Value Model for Sustainability Assessment). This model seeks to generate a 360 degree view of each energy source and includes parameters such as costs, from obtaining the fuel to operating the plant; environmental impacts, such as global warming, ozone depletion, and noise; and social dimensions, such as jobs, population displacement and visual impact.

"The mistake is sometimes made of associating sustainability solely with caring for or respecting the environment," said author Juan José Cartelle Barros. "Sustainable development is something more. It covers aspects related to the economy, society and the environment. Thus, it is time to think about electricity generation in a broad sense, covering all three pillars in depth."

With the exception of biomass fuels, this new model shows renewable energies consistently come out on top. The authors' analyses found that renewable energies have a sustainability index between 0.39 and 0.80, with 0 being the lowest relative contribution to sustainability and 1 being highest. By comparison, the sustainability indices of conventional power plants ranged from 0.29 to 0.57.

Co-authors of the study include Manuel Lara-Coira, María Pilar de la Cruz-López and Alfredo del Caño-Gochi. The work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.


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Materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Juan José Cartelle Barros, Manuel Lara Coira, María Pilar de la Cruz López, Alfredo del Caño Gochi. Assessing the global sustainability of different electricity generation systems. Energy, 2015; 89: 473 DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2015.05.110

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Assessment aims to maximize greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121121645.htm>.
Elsevier. (2016, January 21). Assessment aims to maximize greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121121645.htm
Elsevier. "Assessment aims to maximize greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121121645.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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