Life cycle assessment of biomass-to-energy systems in Ireland modelled with biomass supply chain optimisation based on greenhouse gas emission reduction

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Title: Life cycle assessment of biomass-to-energy systems in Ireland modelled with biomass supply chain optimisation based on greenhouse gas emission reduction
Authors: Murphy, Fionnuala
Sosa, Amanda
McDonnell, Kevin
Devlin, Ger
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7749
Date: 15-Aug-2016
Abstract: The energy sector is the major contributor to GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) in Ireland. Under EU Renewable energy targets, Ireland must achieve contributions of 40%, 12% and 10% from renewables to electricity, heat and transport respectively by 2020, in addition to a 20% reduction in GHG emissions. Life cycle assessment methodology was used to carry out a comprehensive, holistic evaluation of biomass-to-energy systems in 2020 based on indigenous biomass supply chains optimised to reduce production and transportation GHG emissions. Impact categories assessed include; global warming, acidification, eutrophication potentials, and energy demand. Two biomass energy conversion technologies are considered; co-firing with peat, and biomass CHP (combined heat and power) systems. Biomass is allocated to each plant according to a supply optimisation model which ensures minimal GHG emissions. The study shows that while CHP systems produce lower environmental impacts than co-firing systems in isolation, determining overall environmental impacts requires analysis of the reference energy systems which are displaced. In addition, if the aims of these systems are to increase renewable energy penetration in line with the renewable electricity and renewable heat targets, the optimal scenario may not be the one which achieves the greatest environmental impact reductions.
Funding Details: Science Foundation Ireland
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2016 Elsevier
Keywords: LCA (Life cycle assessment)BioenergyOptimisationGreenhouse gas emissionsAcidification potentialEnergy requirements
DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2016.04.125
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Biosystems and Food Engineering Research Collection
Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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