A new approach for measuring the environmental sustainability of renewable energy production systems: focused on the modelling of green gas production pathways

Frank Pierie, Jan Bekkering, René M.J. Benders, Wim van Gemert, Henri C. Moll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A transparent and comparable understanding of the energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and environmental impacts of renewable resources are required in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system. Therefore, a new approach is proposed for measuring the environmental sustainability of anaerobic digestion green gas production pathways. The approach is based on the industrial metabolism concept, and is expanded with three known methods. First, the Material Flow Analysis method is used to simulate the decentralized energy system. Second, the Material and Energy Flow Analysis method is used to determine the direct energy and material requirements. Finally, Life Cycle Analysis is used to calculate the indirect material and energy requirements, including the embodied energy of the components and required maintenance. Complexity will be handled through a modular approach, which allows for the simplification of the green gas production pathway while also allowing for easy modification in order to determine the environmental impacts for specific conditions and scenarios. Temporal dynamics will be introduced in the approach through the use of hourly intervals and yearly scenarios. The environmental sustainability of green gas production is expressed in (Process) Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Carbon Footprint, and EcoPoints. The proposed approach within this article can be used for generating and identifying sustainable solutions. By demanding a clear and structured Material and Energy Flow Analysis of the production pathway and clear expression for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability the analysis or model can become more transparent and therefore easier to interpret and compare. Hence, a clear ruler and measuring technique can aid in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
JournalApplied Energy
Volume162
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • biogas
  • green gas
  • bio-methane
  • life cycle analysis
  • environmental impact

Cite this

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title = "A new approach for measuring the environmental sustainability of renewable energy production systems: focused on the modelling of green gas production pathways",
abstract = "A transparent and comparable understanding of the energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and environmental impacts of renewable resources are required in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system. Therefore, a new approach is proposed for measuring the environmental sustainability of anaerobic digestion green gas production pathways. The approach is based on the industrial metabolism concept, and is expanded with three known methods. First, the Material Flow Analysis method is used to simulate the decentralized energy system. Second, the Material and Energy Flow Analysis method is used to determine the direct energy and material requirements. Finally, Life Cycle Analysis is used to calculate the indirect material and energy requirements, including the embodied energy of the components and required maintenance. Complexity will be handled through a modular approach, which allows for the simplification of the green gas production pathway while also allowing for easy modification in order to determine the environmental impacts for specific conditions and scenarios. Temporal dynamics will be introduced in the approach through the use of hourly intervals and yearly scenarios. The environmental sustainability of green gas production is expressed in (Process) Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Carbon Footprint, and EcoPoints. The proposed approach within this article can be used for generating and identifying sustainable solutions. By demanding a clear and structured Material and Energy Flow Analysis of the production pathway and clear expression for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability the analysis or model can become more transparent and therefore easier to interpret and compare. Hence, a clear ruler and measuring technique can aid in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system.",
keywords = "biogas, groen gas, biomethaan, levenscyclusanalyse, milieubelasting, biogas, green gas, bio-methane, life cycle analysis, environmental impact",
author = "Frank Pierie and Jan Bekkering and Benders, {Ren{\'e} M.J.} and {van Gemert}, Wim and Moll, {Henri C.}",
year = "2016",
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volume = "162",
pages = "131--138",
journal = "Applied Energy",
issn = "0306-2619",
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A new approach for measuring the environmental sustainability of renewable energy production systems : focused on the modelling of green gas production pathways. / Pierie, Frank; Bekkering, Jan; Benders, René M.J.; van Gemert, Wim; Moll, Henri C.

In: Applied Energy, Vol. 162, 15.01.2016, p. 131-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A new approach for measuring the environmental sustainability of renewable energy production systems

T2 - focused on the modelling of green gas production pathways

AU - Pierie, Frank

AU - Bekkering, Jan

AU - Benders, René M.J.

AU - van Gemert, Wim

AU - Moll, Henri C.

PY - 2016/1/15

Y1 - 2016/1/15

N2 - A transparent and comparable understanding of the energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and environmental impacts of renewable resources are required in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system. Therefore, a new approach is proposed for measuring the environmental sustainability of anaerobic digestion green gas production pathways. The approach is based on the industrial metabolism concept, and is expanded with three known methods. First, the Material Flow Analysis method is used to simulate the decentralized energy system. Second, the Material and Energy Flow Analysis method is used to determine the direct energy and material requirements. Finally, Life Cycle Analysis is used to calculate the indirect material and energy requirements, including the embodied energy of the components and required maintenance. Complexity will be handled through a modular approach, which allows for the simplification of the green gas production pathway while also allowing for easy modification in order to determine the environmental impacts for specific conditions and scenarios. Temporal dynamics will be introduced in the approach through the use of hourly intervals and yearly scenarios. The environmental sustainability of green gas production is expressed in (Process) Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Carbon Footprint, and EcoPoints. The proposed approach within this article can be used for generating and identifying sustainable solutions. By demanding a clear and structured Material and Energy Flow Analysis of the production pathway and clear expression for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability the analysis or model can become more transparent and therefore easier to interpret and compare. Hence, a clear ruler and measuring technique can aid in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system.

AB - A transparent and comparable understanding of the energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and environmental impacts of renewable resources are required in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system. Therefore, a new approach is proposed for measuring the environmental sustainability of anaerobic digestion green gas production pathways. The approach is based on the industrial metabolism concept, and is expanded with three known methods. First, the Material Flow Analysis method is used to simulate the decentralized energy system. Second, the Material and Energy Flow Analysis method is used to determine the direct energy and material requirements. Finally, Life Cycle Analysis is used to calculate the indirect material and energy requirements, including the embodied energy of the components and required maintenance. Complexity will be handled through a modular approach, which allows for the simplification of the green gas production pathway while also allowing for easy modification in order to determine the environmental impacts for specific conditions and scenarios. Temporal dynamics will be introduced in the approach through the use of hourly intervals and yearly scenarios. The environmental sustainability of green gas production is expressed in (Process) Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Carbon Footprint, and EcoPoints. The proposed approach within this article can be used for generating and identifying sustainable solutions. By demanding a clear and structured Material and Energy Flow Analysis of the production pathway and clear expression for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability the analysis or model can become more transparent and therefore easier to interpret and compare. Hence, a clear ruler and measuring technique can aid in the decision making and planning process towards a more sustainable energy system.

KW - biogas

KW - groen gas

KW - biomethaan

KW - levenscyclusanalyse

KW - milieubelasting

KW - biogas

KW - green gas

KW - bio-methane

KW - life cycle analysis

KW - environmental impact

M3 - Article

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SP - 131

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JO - Applied Energy

JF - Applied Energy

SN - 0306-2619

ER -