Decarbonization of the energy system avoids the direct emissions resulting from fossil fuel combustion. On the other hand, other environmental impacts can arise during plants’ construction, transport, use, or disposal. The life cycle assessment method is used to balance the ecological effects over the entire life cycle. By linking life cycle assessment with energy system modeling, the environmental impacts of the energy system can be determined today and in the future. For example, emission factors of individual energy sources for specific points in time can be determined in addition to the total ecological impact of the energy system.
In particular, we consider the following questions:
- What are the current and future environmental impacts of our electricity mix?
- What share does manufacturing account for in the total environmental impacts of energy-related plants in the future energy system?
- How can the environmental impacts of the entire life cycle of energy systems and energy sources be integrated into the energy system modeling?
- How can environmental impacts be quantified? Which methods are available? How is it done exactly?