Life cycle assessment of the transmission network in Great Britain
Analysis of lower carbon power systems has tended to focus on the operational carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power stations. However, to achieve the large cuts required it is necessary to understand the whole-life contribution of all sectors of the electricity industry. Here, a preliminary assessment of the life cycle carbon emissions of the transmission network in Great Britain is presented. Using a 40-year period and assuming a static generation mix it shows that the carbon equivalent emissions (or global warming potential) of the transmission network are around 11Â gCO2-eq/kWh of electricity transmitted and that almost 19 times more energy is transmitted by the network than is used in its construction and operation. Operational emissions account for 96% of this with transmission losses alone totalling 85% and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions featuring significantly. However, the CO2 embodied within the raw materials of the network infrastructure itself represents a modest 3%. Transmission investment decisions informed by whole-life cycle carbon assessments of network design could balance higher financial and carbon 'capital' costs of larger conductors with lower transmission losses and CO2 emissions over the network lifetime. This will, however, necessitate new regulatory approaches to properly incentivise transmission companies.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Weisser, Daniel, 2007. "A guide to life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric supply technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1543-1559.
- Meier, Paul J. & Wilson, Paul P. H. & Kulcinski, Gerald L. & Denholm, Paul L., 2005. "US electric industry response to carbon constraint: a life-cycle assessment of supply side alternatives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1099-1108, June.
- Fthenakis, Vasilis M. & Kim, Hyung Chul, 2007. "Greenhouse-gas emissions from solar electric- and nuclear power: A life-cycle study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2549-2557, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:7:p:3622-3631. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.