Macquarie University
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Life-cycle assessment and economic analysis of renewable energy technologies

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posted on 2022-03-28, 16:28 authored by M.A Parvez Mahmud
Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) offer the potential for low-carbon electricity production. The true potential of RETs can be established by assessing their environmental impact and cost for a region, based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. This Ph.D. thesis presents six contributions which analyse the environmental and economic benefit of RETs in specific regions. The first contribution is the LCA-based environmental effects evaluation of a solar-PV and a solar-thermal system. The second contribution is the environmental hazard estimation of existing hydro powerplants in Europe. The third contribution is the comparative environmental impact assessment of three different renewable-power plants, namely solar PV, biomass and pumped storage hydropower plants in the United States. The fourth contribution is the design and development of a new life-cycle inventory for solar PV, wind and hydro powerplants in Switzerland to evaluate life-cycle emissions and identify the best plant option. The fifth contribution is the development of an advanced power-routing framework for a solar PV-driven islanded microgrid. The final contribution of this research is the accomplishment of a Net-Present-Cost (NPC)-based optimization analysis and an LCA-based environmental-impact assessment of an off-grid microgrid framework. Overall, this work provides a clear identification of technologies which are environmentally-superior and cost-effective; thus allowing prioritisation of appropriate electricity production.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Environmental impacts of solar-photovoltaic and solar-thermal systems with life-cycle assessment -- 4. A strategic impact assessment of hydropower plants in alpine and non-alpine areas of Europe -- 5. Life-cycle impact assessment of renewable electricity generation systems in the United States -- 6. Life-cycle impact assessment of renewable electricity generation systems; a practical approach towards Switzerland -- 7. Advanced poer routing framework for optimal economic operation and control of solar photovoltaic-based islanded microgrid -- 8. Techno-economic operation and environmental life-cycle assessment of a solar PV-driven islanded microgrid -- 9. Conclusions and future work.


Bibliography: pages 268-302 Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Engineering

Department, Centre or School

Department of Engineering

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Candace Lang


Copyright M. A. Parvez Mahmud 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xxxiii, 302 pages, maps)

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