Title: Using Life Cycle Analysis to Inform Energy Policy
Publication Number: N/A
Publication Date: 12/2013
Publication Type: Presentation
Contact: Timothy J. Skone
Program/Technology: Climate Change
Environmental & Water
Author: Tim Skone, Joe Marriott, James Littlefield
Synopsis: NETL uses LCA to understand the environmental burdens of energy systems and to inform policy makers. LCA is well suited for energy analysis, but its answers can change depending on what questions are being asked. NETL approaches all LCAs using a consistent method, which ensures comparability among LCAs. The granularity and flexibility of NETL's models makes it possible to identify key contributors to the environmental burdens of a system, as well as the ability to understand how results can change with changes to a given input parameter. In addition to understanding the attributes of a given energy technology, NETL can also perform consequential modeling that allows an understanding of how a given energy technology can affect the performance of other energy technologies. The effect of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) on conventional crude oil extraction is one example of such consequential analysis. The results of consequential analyses have more uncertainty than those for analyses that focus on the attributes of isolated systems, but the conclusions of consequential analyses provide more context for policy makers.
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