Life-cycle assessment and economic analysis of renewable energy technologies
thesisposted 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.