A Conceptual Review on Using Consequential Life Cycle Assessment Methodology for the Energy Sector

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Abstract

Energy is engaged in the supply chain of many economic sectors; therefore,the environmental impacts of the energy sector are indirectly linked to those of other sectors.Consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) is an appropriate methodology to examine the direct andindirect environmental impacts of a product due to technological, economic or social changes. To date,different methodological approaches are proposed, combining economic and environmental models.This paper reviews the basic concept of CLCA and the coupling of economic and environmentalmodels for performing CLCA in the energy sector during the period 2006–2020, with the aim to providea description of the different tools, highlighting their strengths and limitations. From the review,it emerges that economic modelling tools are frequently used in combination with environmentaldata for CLCA in the energy sector, including equilibrium, input-output, and dynamic models. Out ofthese, the equilibrium model is the most widely used, showing some strengths in availability of dataand energy system modelling tools. The input-output model allows for describing both direct andindirect effects due to changes in the energy sector, by using publicly available data. The dynamicmodel is less frequently applied due to its limitation in availability of data and modelling tools,but has recently attracted more attention due to the ability in modelling quantitative and qualitativeindicators of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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