Introduction to LIfe Cicle Analysis - LCA

An energy system consists of different parts (technologies) that have to be built, operated and in the end disposed. A sound environmental planning must be based on relevant information about the energy system during it’s whole lifetime.

Life Cicle Analysis is a holistic approach accounting for all environmental impacts occurring from the system’s “cradle” to the “grave”, together with all other related activities throughout the lifetime of the system.

Fundamental questions that LCA can answer are:

  • Which stage during the lifetime of a technology (system component) contributes the most to the environmental damage?
  • What are the environmental damages? Is only CO2 emission important?
  • To what extent are environmental impacts reasonable/acceptable?

This page provides information about the relevance and the application of LCA in the context of local energy systems planning.

Published August 3, 2012

Contact: Gerd Kjølle, SINTEF Energy Research