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Resources 2016, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/resources5010008

Dynamic Ecocentric Assessment Combining Emergy and Data Envelopment Analysis: Application to Wind Farms

Systems Analysis Unit, Instituto IMDEA Energía, Av. Ramón de la Sagra 3, Móstoles E-28935, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mario Schmidt
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consideration of Abiotic Natural Resources in Life Cycle Assessments)
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Abstract

Most of current life-cycle approaches show an anthropocentric standpoint for the evaluation of human-dominated activities. However, this perspective is insufficient when it comes to assessing the contribution of natural resources to production processes. In this respect, emergy analysis evaluates human-driven systems from a donor-side perspective, accounting for the environmental effort performed to make the resources available. This article presents a novel methodological framework, which combines emergy analysis and dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for the ecocentric assessment of multiple resembling entities over an extended period of time. The use of this approach is shown through a case study of wind energy farms. Furthermore, the results obtained are compared with those of previous studies from two different angles. On the one hand, a comparison with results from anthropocentric approaches (combined life cycle assessment and DEA) is drawn. On the other hand, results from similar ecocentric approaches, but without a dynamic model, are also subject to comparison. The combined use of emergy analysis and dynamic DEA is found to be a valid methodological framework for the computation of resource efficiency and the valuation of ecosystem services. It complements traditional anthropocentric assessments while appropriately including relevant time effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic data envelopment analysis; efficiency; emergy; life cycle assessment dynamic data envelopment analysis; efficiency; emergy; life cycle assessment
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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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Martín-Gamboa, M.; Iribarren, D. Dynamic Ecocentric Assessment Combining Emergy and Data Envelopment Analysis: Application to Wind Farms. Resources 2016, 5, 8.

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