Life cycle assessment of energy generation in Poland

Łukasz Lelek , Joanna Kulczycka , Anna Lewandowska , Joanna Zarębska


PurposeThe paper presents, for the first time, a life cycleassessment (LCA) study of energy generation (i.e. electricityand heat production) in Poland. The aim is to determine andcompare the potential impact of energy generation upon theenvironment in 2007, 2010 and 2012 based on country-specific data bought from specialised government agencies.MethodsLCA evaluations were made using the Impact2002+method, which proposes a feasible implementation of a com-bined midpoint/damage approach. The method was chosenbecause it models risks and potential impacts per emissionfor several thousand chemicals, including greenhouse gas(GHG). The LCA method was used to monitor and assessthe current energy system and introduced changes in energystructure at national level.Results and discussionFrom the environmental perspective,the main problem of the Polish energy sector is that it is main-ly based on fossil energy carriers, i.e. hard and brown coal(over 80 %). As the share of renewables in primary energyhas increased from 6.7 to 10.2 % (mainly biomass), a reduc-tion in SO2,NOxand dust was noted in 2010 in comparison to 2007. Unfortunately, acid and CO2emissions increased sig-nificantly in 2012 as a result of higher consumption of browncoal as a fuel for energy production. The LCA study showsthat the total environmental impact of the production and dis-tribution of 1 TJ of energy increased by about 4 % in2010 (compared to 2007) and by about 11 % in 2012(compared to 2010).ConclusionsSpecific representative data of high quality canbe delivered by agencies focused on energy issues and thenational statistical office. They can help to considerably re-duce the time and costs of life cycle inventory (LCI). Thesedata, including a classification relating to electricity and heatgeneration and distribution in Poland, were converted to LCAresults for the first time. It was noted that allocation betweenheat and power in the CHP system can be recognised as asource of uncertainty, and the results should be interpreted assensitive to change in the allocation criteria.
Author Łukasz Lelek - Instytut Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi i Energią Polskiej Akademii Nauk, MNiSW [80]
Łukasz Lelek,,
, Joanna Kulczycka - AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH)
Joanna Kulczycka,,
, Anna Lewandowska (WT / KTiEPP)
Anna Lewandowska,,
- Department of Industrial Products and Ecology
, Joanna Zarębska - Uniwersytet Zielonogórski (UZ)
Joanna Zarębska,,
Journal seriesInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in EnglishEnergy generation, Environmental impacts, Fossil fuels, LCA, LCI data, Poland
ASJC Classification2300 General Environmental Science
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 35.0, 05-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 40.0, 05-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 13; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.505; WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 3.173 (2) - 2016=3.982 (5)
Citation count*45 (2021-07-27)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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