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Sustainability of Geothermal Energy Conversion—Life Cycle Analysis

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 14218

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy
Interests: energy; sustainability; renewable energy sources; exergy analysis; exergo-economic analysis; exergo-environmental analysis
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Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
Interests: physical chemistry; environmental chemistry; renewable energy sources; life cycle assessment of energy processes; sustainable energy storage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geothermal energy conversion is rapidly developing as a renewable energy resource capable of supporting the reduction of use of fossil fuels. Advanced, innovative solutions are being proposed, capable of reducing the environmental impact, and applicable in different contexts, from natural to enhanced geothermal systems, making this energy resource widely applicable at a worldwide level. A comprehensive approach to the evaluation of the environmental sustainability of this energy resource has not yet been developed, mainly because the characteristics of the resource (temperature, pressure, and chemical composition; reservoir extension; and geological characterization) are widely different, and different types of impacts need to be evaluated. The purpose itself is different, depending on resource location, as valuable products can be power, heat, and other goods.

Life cycle analysis is being proposed as a powerful tool to provide a quantitative assessment of these matters; however, the development of specific guidelines is necessary, and a focus on the system boundaries and on the types of impacts that should be considered is required.

The scope of this Special Issue of Sustainability is to gather and organize the results of research work in this field, relying both on the existing research and support actions, and on the contribution of research groups and experts all over the world.

This Issue of Sustainability has the ambition to complete information from existing specialist journals publishing research advancements in this field, providing the interdisciplinary support that is needed to consider the different potential issues, and to perform an objective evaluation for the use of stakeholders and  communities.

Prof. Giampaolo Manfrida
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Basosi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • geothermal energy
  • life cycle analysis
  • environmental assessment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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23 pages, 20806 KiB  
Article
LCA and Exergo-Environmental Evaluation of a Combined Heat and Power Double-Flash Geothermal Power Plant
by Vitantonio Colucci, Giampaolo Manfrida, Barbara Mendecka, Lorenzo Talluri and Claudio Zuffi
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041935 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3618
Abstract
This study deals with the life cycle assessment (LCA) and an exergo-environmental analysis (EEvA) of the geothermal Power Plant of Hellisheiði (Iceland), a combined heat and power double flash plant, with an installed power of 303.3 MW for electricity and 133 MW for [...] Read more.
This study deals with the life cycle assessment (LCA) and an exergo-environmental analysis (EEvA) of the geothermal Power Plant of Hellisheiði (Iceland), a combined heat and power double flash plant, with an installed power of 303.3 MW for electricity and 133 MW for hot water. LCA approach is used to evaluate and analyse the environmental performance at the power plant global level. A more in-depth study is developed, at the power plant components level, through EEvA. The analysis employs existing published data with a realignment of the inventory to the latest data resource and compares the life cycle impacts of three methods (ILCD 2011 Midpoint, ReCiPe 2016 Midpoint-Endpoint, and CML-IA Baseline) for two different scenarios. In scenario 1, any emission abatement system is considered. In scenario 2, re-injection of CO2 and H2S is accounted for. The analysis identifies some major hot spots for the environmental power plant impacts, like acidification, particulate matter formation, ecosystem, and human toxicity, mainly caused by some specific sources. Finally, an exergo-environmental analysis allows indicating the wells as significant contributors of the environmental impact rate associated with the construction, Operation & Maintenance, and end of life stages and the HP condenser as the component with the highest environmental cost rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Geothermal Energy Conversion—Life Cycle Analysis)
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29 pages, 6024 KiB  
Article
Life Cycle Analysis of a Geothermal Power Plant: Comparison of the Environmental Performance with Other Renewable Energy Systems
by Riccardo Basosi, Roberto Bonciani, Dario Frosali, Giampaolo Manfrida, Maria Laura Parisi and Franco Sansone
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072786 - 1 Apr 2020
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 9772
Abstract
A life cycle analysis was performed for the assessment of the environmental performances of three existing Italian power plants of comparable nominal power operating with different sources of renewable energy: Geothermal, solar, and wind. Primary data were used for building the life cycle [...] Read more.
A life cycle analysis was performed for the assessment of the environmental performances of three existing Italian power plants of comparable nominal power operating with different sources of renewable energy: Geothermal, solar, and wind. Primary data were used for building the life cycle inventories. The results are characterized by employing a wide portfolio of environmental indicators employing the ReCiPe 2016 and the ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ methods; normalization and weighting are also applied using the ReCiPe 2016 method at the endpoint level. The midpoint results demonstrate a good eco-profile of the geothermal power plant compared to other renewable energy systems and a definite step forward over the performance of the national energy mix. The Eco-Point single score calculation showed that wind energy is the best technology with a value of 0.0012 Eco-points/kWh, a result in line with previously documented life cycle analysis studies. Nevertheless, the geothermal power plant achieved a value of 0.0177 Eco-points/kWh which is close to that calculated for the photovoltaic plant (0.0087 Eco-points/kWh) and much lower than the national energy mix one (0.1240 Eco-points/kWh). Also, a scenario analysis allowed for a critical discussion about potential improvements to the environmental performance of the geothermal power plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Geothermal Energy Conversion—Life Cycle Analysis)
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