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Article

Definition of LCA Guidelines in the Geothermal Sector to Enhance Result Comparability

1
R2ES Lab, Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
2
Center for Colloid and Surface Science (CSGI), 50019 Florence, Italy
3
MINES ParisTech, PSL University, Centre Observation, Impacts, Energie (O.I.E.), 06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
4
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, 50135 Florence, Italy
5
Department of Science and Technology, University of Naples Parthenope, 80133 Naples, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3534; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143534
Received: 25 May 2020 / Revised: 4 July 2020 / Accepted: 7 July 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Footprint in Energy Systems)
Geothermal energy could play a crucial role in the European energy market and future scenarios focused on sustainable development. Thanks to its constant supply of concentrated energy, it can support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. In the energy sector, the decision-making process should always be supported by a holistic science-based approach to allow a comprehensive environmental assessment of the technological system, such as the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. In the geothermal sector, the decision-making is particularly difficult due to the large variability of reported results on environmental performance across studies. This calls for harmonized guidelines on how to conduct LCAs of geothermal systems to enhance transparency and results comparability, by ensuring consistent methodological choices and providing indications for harmonized results reporting. This work identifies the main critical aspects of performing an LCA of geothermal systems and provides solutions and technical guidance to harmonize its application. The proposed methodological approach is based on experts’ knowledge from both the geothermal and LCA sectors. The recommendations cover all the life cycle phases of geothermal energy production (i.e., construction, operation, maintenance and end of life) as well as a selection of LCA key elements thus providing a thorough base for concerted LCA guidelines for the geothermal sector. The application of such harmonized LCA framework can ensure comparability among LCA results from different geothermal systems and other renewable energy technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: geothermal energy; renewable resource; electricity; heat & cooling; life cycle assessment; environmental impact; harmonization geothermal energy; renewable resource; electricity; heat & cooling; life cycle assessment; environmental impact; harmonization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Parisi, M.L.; Douziech, M.; Tosti, L.; Pérez-López, P.; Mendecka, B.; Ulgiati, S.; Fiaschi, D.; Manfrida, G.; Blanc, I. Definition of LCA Guidelines in the Geothermal Sector to Enhance Result Comparability. Energies 2020, 13, 3534. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143534

AMA Style

Parisi ML, Douziech M, Tosti L, Pérez-López P, Mendecka B, Ulgiati S, Fiaschi D, Manfrida G, Blanc I. Definition of LCA Guidelines in the Geothermal Sector to Enhance Result Comparability. Energies. 2020; 13(14):3534. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143534

Chicago/Turabian Style

Parisi, Maria L., Melanie Douziech, Lorenzo Tosti, Paula Pérez-López, Barbara Mendecka, Sergio Ulgiati, Daniele Fiaschi, Giampaolo Manfrida, and Isabelle Blanc. 2020. "Definition of LCA Guidelines in the Geothermal Sector to Enhance Result Comparability" Energies 13, no. 14: 3534. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143534

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