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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10961-10975; doi:10.3390/su70810961

Network Theory Integrated Life Cycle Assessment for an Electric Power System

Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 440-746 Suwon, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yasuhiro Fukushima
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
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Abstract

In this study, we allocate Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of electricity transmission to the consumers. As an allocation basis, we introduce energy distance. Energy distance takes the transmission load on the electricity energy system into account in addition to the amount of electricity consumption. As a case study, we estimate regional GHG emissions of electricity transmission loss in Chile. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to estimate the total GHG emissions of the Chilean electric power system. The regional GHG emission of transmission loss is calculated from the total GHG emissions. We construct the network model of Chilean electric power grid as an undirected network with 466 nodes and 543 edges holding the topology of the power grid based on the statistical record. We analyze the total annual GHG emissions of the Chilean electricity energy system as 23.07 Mt CO2-eq. and 1.61 Mt CO2-eq. for the transmission loss, respectively. The total energy distance for the electricity transmission accounts for 12,842.10 TWh km based on network analysis. We argue that when the GHG emission of electricity transmission loss is estimated, the electricity transmission load should be separately considered. We propose network theory as a useful complement to LCA analysis for the complex allocation. Energy distance is especially useful on a very large-scale electric power grid such as an intercontinental transmission network. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; greenhouse gas; electric power grid; network analysis life cycle assessment; greenhouse gas; electric power grid; network analysis
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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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Kim, H.; Holme, P. Network Theory Integrated Life Cycle Assessment for an Electric Power System. Sustainability 2015, 7, 10961-10975.

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