Evaluating Environmental Performance in Low-Carbon Energy Systems

Developing economic well-being and preserving a healthy environment are not opposing forces: maximising the efficiency of a product over its life cycle will minimise its total financial cost as well as the total environmental impact over its life cycle.

The case studies below were developed to substantiate this Life-Cycle-Thinking by delivering high-level messages supporting decision making on sustainable energy systems.

Developed by PE International using the GaBi Software embedded into the Ecodesign Toolbox 3, the case studies provide results for several realistic situations (future and present) applying different scenarios and boundary conditions for energy systems.

The aim is to clarify that system boundaries have a significant impact on framing a problem, so that different boundaries lead to different solutions, even with the same set of circumstances.

You can access the full study through the document attached. It consists of the following 7 case studies:

  1. Environmental impact of the electricity mix
  2. Low-Energy House heating system
  3. Low Energy House vs Passive House
  4. Primary Energy vs Global Warming
  5. Investing 1 million Euros into higher efficiency motors or wind turbines
  6. Building new houses (1 million Euros financing different energy efficiency levels)
  7. Renovating standard houses (1 million Euros financing different energy efficiency levels)
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