Special Issue "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: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Giampaolo Manfrida
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
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Basosi
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy
Interests: sustainable energy; renewable energy sources; Life Cycle Assessment of energy processes; novel Photo Voltaics; DSSC; Perowskite solar cells; Geothermal; energy efficiency; biomass; enzymatic bioremediation; oxyzimes; laccases; peroxidases

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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 1800 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.


  • geothermal energy
  • life cycle analysis
  • environmental assessment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Analysis of a Geothermal Power Plant: Comparison of the Environmental Performance with Other Renewable Energy Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072786 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
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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