Assessing the sustainability of renewable energy technologies

Joseph M. Wright, Zhenqing Zheng, Reggie Caudill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this research is to assess the sustainability of various renewable energy technologies, ranging from small solar panels to utility-scale wind farms. While potential environmental impacts associated with these technologies are broad, the focus here is greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and freshwater withdrawal. GHG impacts are global in nature; however, for freshwater consumption the environmental carrying capacity is spatially dependent varying widely by location. In this study, eco-efficiency is measured by use of the Sustainability Target Method (STM) to relate economic value to environmental impact and determine an absolute measure for sustainability. The research presented here provides a generic methodology for determining freshwater carrying capacity with an application to New Jersey. Dynamic system simulation is used as a complement to the lifecycle assessment methodology to create a robust technique for analyzing sustainability and eco-efficiency at the system and process level, focusing on energy use and GHG, as well as water consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2012
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 2012
Event2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2012 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: May 16 2012May 18 2012

Publication series

NameIEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology
ISSN (Print)2157-524X
ISSN (Electronic)2157-5258

Other

Other2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, ISSST 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA
Period5/16/125/18/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • carrying capacity
  • eco-efficiency
  • renewable energy technologies
  • sustainability
  • sustainability target method

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