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Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O'Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
Programa de Planejamento Energético, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco C, Sala 211, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro 21941-972, Brazil
Departamento de Engenharia Elétrica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Passo da Pátria, Bloco D, Sala 509, São Domingos, Niteroi 24210-240, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 April 2013; in revised form: 13 June 2013 / Accepted: 25 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
Abstract: Brazil’s status as a rapidly developing country is visible in its need for more energy, including electricity. While the current electricity generation mix is primarily hydropower based, high-quality dam sites are diminishing and diversification to other sources is likely. We combined life-cycle data for electricity production with scenarios developed using the IAEA’s MESSAGE model to examine environmental impacts of future electricity generation under a baseline case and four side cases, using a Monte-Carlo approach to incorporate uncertainty in power plant performance and LCA impacts. Our results show that, under the cost-optimal base case scenario, Brazil’s GHGs from electricity (excluding hydroelectric reservoir emissions) rise 370% by 2040 relative to 2010, with the carbon intensity per MWh rising 100%. This rise would make Brazil’s carbon emissions targets difficult to meet without demand-side programs. Our results show a future electricity mix dominated by environmental tradeoffs in the use of large-scale renewables, questioning the use tropical hydropower and highlighting the need for additional work to assess and include ecosystem and social impacts, where information is currently sparse.
Keywords: life-cycle assessment (LCA); scenarios; Brazil; energy; climate change; Monte-Carlo analysis (MCA)
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Dale, A.T.; Pereira de Lucena, A.F.; Marriott, J.; Borba, B.S.M.C.; Schaeffer, R.; Bilec, M.M. Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil. Energies 2013, 6, 3182-3208.
Dale AT, Pereira de Lucena AF, Marriott J, Borba BSMC, Schaeffer R, Bilec MM. Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil. Energies. 2013; 6(7):3182-3208.
Dale, Alexander T.; Pereira de Lucena, André F.; Marriott, Joe; Borba, Bruno S.M.C.; Schaeffer, Roberto; Bilec, Melissa M. 2013. "Modeling Future Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts of Electricity Supplies in Brazil." Energies 6, no. 7: 3182-3208.