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Energies 2016, 9(6), 413; doi:10.3390/en9060413

Life Cycle Assessment of a HYSOL Concentrated Solar Power Plant: Analyzing the Effect of Geographic Location

Department of Chemical and Environmental, Engineering, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales (ETSII), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, c/ José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, Madrid 28006, Spain
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Academic Editor: Vasilis Fthenakis
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy Systems in Current and Evolving Grids)
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Abstract

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology is developing in order to achieve higher energy efficiency, reduced economic costs, and improved firmness and dispatchability in the generation of power on demand. To this purpose, a research project titled HYSOL has developed a new power plant, consisting of a combined cycle configuration with a 100 MWe steam turbine and an 80 MWe gas-fed turbine with biomethane. Technological developments must be supported by the identification, quantification, and evaluation of the environmental impacts produced. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the environmental performance of a CSP plant based on HYSOL technology using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology while considering different locations. The scenarios investigated include different geographic locations (Spain, Chile, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and South Africa), an alternative modelling procedure for biomethane, and the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel. Results indicate that the geographic location has a significant influence on the environmental profile of the HYSOL CSP plant. The results obtained for the HYSOL configuration located in different countries presented significant differences (between 35% and 43%, depending on the category), especially in climate change and water stress categories. The differences are mainly attributable to the local availability of solar and water resources and composition of the national electricity mix. In addition, HYSOL technology performs significantly better when hybridizing with biomethane instead of natural gas. This evidence is particularly relevant in the climate change category, where biomethane hybridization emits 27.9–45.9 kg CO2 eq per MWh (depending on the biomethane modelling scenario) and natural gas scenario emits 264 kg CO2 eq/MWh. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment; solar energy; biomethane; natural gas; Spain; Chile; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Mexico; South Africa; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) environment; solar energy; biomethane; natural gas; Spain; Chile; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Mexico; South Africa; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Corona, B.; Ruiz, D.; San Miguel, G. Life Cycle Assessment of a HYSOL Concentrated Solar Power Plant: Analyzing the Effect of Geographic Location. Energies 2016, 9, 413.

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