Analysing the effect of geographic location on the environmental performance of a high concentration photovoltaic power plant

San Miguel Alfaro, Guillermo and Corona Bellostas, Blanca and Escudero, L. and Quéméré, G. and Luque, I. (2016). Analysing the effect of geographic location on the environmental performance of a high concentration photovoltaic power plant. In: "14th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology - CEST 2015", 3-5 September 2015, Rhodes, Greece. ISBN 978-1-5108-1427-1. pp. 2177-2182.

Description

Title: Analysing the effect of geographic location on the environmental performance of a high concentration photovoltaic power plant
Author/s:
  • San Miguel Alfaro, Guillermo
  • Corona Bellostas, Blanca
  • Escudero, L.
  • Quéméré, G.
  • Luque, I.
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Title: 14th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology - CEST 2015
Event Dates: 3-5 September 2015
Event Location: Rhodes, Greece
Title of Book: 14th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology - CEST 2015
Date: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5108-1427-1
Volume: 3
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: LCA, Cumulative Energy Demand, Energy Paybck time, HCPV, photovoltaic
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Química Industrial y del Medio Ambiente
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) technology uses multi-junction solar cells made of different layers of semiconducting materials (GaInP2/GaAs/Ge) to produce electricity from solar radiation in a sustainable and efficient manner. The environmental performance of this technology has been investigated using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology (ISO14040) using a complete inventory of a commercial 1.008 MWp HCPV plant. The analysis has been conducted in six geographic locations with potential for this technology (Morocco, Peru, South Africa, United States, Mexico and Brazil) but showing differences in terms of availability of solar resource, nature of the national electricity mix, technology capacity to produce plant components, location and availability of natural resources for the manufacturing of these components, and average transportation distance of components and resources. The origin of power consumed on-site (either from the grid or self-consumption) has given rise to two analytical scenarios.The ReCiPe Midpoint World (H) method was used for the characterization and normalization of environmental impacts in climate change, human toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, marine ecotoxicity and terrestrial acidification. The Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Energy Payback Time (EPBT) were used to evaluate the energy performance of the system. The results showed significant differences depending on the electricity consumption scenario considered for the plant (self or grid). This is due to the fact that electricity from the grid has a much higher impact than that obtained from the HCPV plant. This effect was more marked in countries where their electricity mix is highly depending on fossil fuels (such as South Africa) and less notable in countries with a higher contribution of renewable energies (like Brazil). The HCPV plant located in Peru exhibited the best environmental and energy performance, both in the grid and the self-consumption scenarios. This was followed by South Africa when considering environmental impacts and Brazil when considering the CED indicator. Morocco showed the worst environmental performance, with impacts nearly doubling those calculated in Peru. The results suggest that the most important parameter in the environmental performance of the HCPV plant is the amount of electricity produced (related to solar resource), followed by the share of renewable energies in the national electricity mix. This latter item plays a significant role only when assuming that the grid consumption scenario. The effect of other items, like manufacturing location and transportation of plant components, is not significant.

More information

Item ID: 41900
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/41900/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:41900
Official URL: http://cest.gnest.org/
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 19 Jul 2016 09:23
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 09:23
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