Cristin-prosjekt-ID: 531222
Sist endret: 24. januar 2017 14:30
Cristin-prosjekt-ID: 531222
Sist endret: 24. januar 2017 14:30
Prosjekt

Towards sustainable renewable energy production: Developing a Life Cycle Impact Assessment framework for biodiversity impacts (SURE)

prosjektleder

Francesca Verones
ved Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

prosjekteier / koordinerende forskningsansvarlig enhet

  • Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Finansiering

  • Norges forskningsråd

    • Prosjektkode: 244109/E20

Kontaktinformasjon

Sted
Francesca Verones

Tidsramme

Aktivt
Start: 1. august 2015 Slutt: 31. juli 2019

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse

Tittel

Towards sustainable renewable energy production: Developing a Life Cycle Impact Assessment framework for biodiversity impacts (SURE)

Populærvitenskapelig sammendrag

Products (for example, a computer or a T-shirt) and processes (e.g. electricity generation) generate a number of environmental impacts during their life cycle. It is the ambition of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to capture and quantify all of these impacts, with respect to damages on human health, ecosystems and abiotic resources. LCA is a tool that is used in practice for comparing the environmental damages of different alternatives (e.g. different products or different scenarios).

However, current LCA methodologies are incomplete, especially regarding impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. It is for instance not possible to quantify impacts on biodiversity from renewable energy sources, such as wind- and hydropower. At the same time, it is known that, for example, reduction in flow magnitudes and the timing of flows (for hydropower), or collision with rotor blades (wind power) do have an impact on the present biodiversity and ecosystem.

It is therefore the aim of our project to develop methodologies that allow quantifying impacts from (1) onshore wind power, and (2) hydropower on biodiversity. Potential pathways of impacts to be considered are collisions and habitat disturbance for wind power, as well as flooding, loss of connectivity, and changes in magnitude and timing for hydropower. We aim to generate approaches both at a global scale and a local, Norwegian scale. In order to test the developed approaches, it is planned to apply them to case studies (in Norway or abroad).

Vitenskapelig sammendrag

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method that is widely used for assessing
the environmental impacts of processes and products throughout their life
cycle. However, if assessing environmental impacts from renewable energy
production, current LCA methodologies focus in most cases on greenhouse
gas emissions, particulate matter emissions and energy accounting. While
it is undisputed that renewable energy technologies perform favourably
in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, this is not necessarily the case for
impacts on biodiversity. Methods for accounting such impacts in LCA are up
to now missing. It is the aim of our project to develop LCA methodologies
for assessing (direct and indirect) impacts on biodiversity from (1) onshore
wind power production, and (2) hydropower. Impacts that will potentially be
covered include collision and habitat disturbance for wind power generation,
as well as flooding, loss of connectivity, and changes in magnitude and
timing of flows for hydropower. The development of such methodologies
is planned to take place both at a local (Norway, plant-specific) and global
level. Spatially explicit species distribution, such as geographical range areas
from IUCN can be applied for different taxonomic groups (such as birds
and bats for wind, etc.) on a global level in combination with species-area
relationships, while even more detailed local data from the databases of
NINA (http://www.nina.no/Kartogdata/Metadatabase.aspx) can be applied on
a local scale. In order to test the developed methods, it is planned to apply
them to Norwegian, site-specific case studies. On an international scale the
developed approaches shall complement existing LCA methodologies, such
as ReCiPe or LC-Impact.

prosjektdeltakere

prosjektleder

Francesca Verones

  • Tilknyttet:
    Prosjektleder
    ved Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Roelof Frans May

  • Tilknyttet:
    Prosjektdeltaker
    ved Norsk institutt for naturforskning
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