Energy performances and life cycle assessment of an Italian wind farm

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184 Citations (Scopus)


Renewable energy sources are often presented as "clean". A more correct definition is that they are "cleaner" than ones based on fossil fuel conversion. When the energy consumption and the environmental impacts related to the plant''s life-cycle are considered, a more comprehensive assessment of these technologies can be carried out. This paper aims to evaluate the energy and the environmental performances of the electricity production of a wind farm. The impacts related to all the phases of the wind farm construction and operation have been compared to the environmental benefits due to the "green" electricity generation during its useful life. In other terms, the goal is to trace the ecoprofile of the production of 1 kWh of electricity. A life cycle assessment (LCA) has been performed based on data related to an Italian wind farm: production and deliver of energy and raw materials, components manufacturing, transports, installation, maintenance, disassembly and disposal have been analysed. The attention focused to those life cycle steps generally neglected or not adequately investigated as installation, civil works and maintenance. The results can be assumed as representative of the Italian context and they can represent a further incentive to the diffusion of wind farms. In fact, the environmental performances of the wind farm have been compared to other power energy generation systems. The results showed a great environmental convenience of the inquired technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-217
Number of pages18
VolumeVolume 12, Issue 1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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