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Uctug, Gorkem (2017)
Publisher: Anadolu University
Types: Article
Subjects: TA1-2040, Technology (General), Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General), T1-995
The life cycle environmental impacts of electricity generation in Turkey were compared to those of Denmark, France, and Poland. The reason for selecting these particular countries for benchmarking was the fact that electricity generation in these countries is dominated mostly by a single source, that is wind, nuclear, and coal, respectively. OpenLCA software and European Life Cycle Database database were used, CML2001 method was employed. The life cycle analysis approach was from cradle to grave. The environmental impact criteria which were studied were acidification, global warming potential, depletion of abiotic resources – elements, depletion of abiotic resources - fossil fuels, eutrophication, freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity, human toxicity, marine aquatic ecotoxicity, ozone layer depletion, photochemical oxidation, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. In addition to comparing the four countries in terms of these individual impacts, the overall environmental impact scores for all countries were calculated, once with equal weights for all impacts and once with weights which were determined by acquiring the stakeholder opinions via an online questionnaire. In both cases, Poland turned out to have the highest environmental impact due to the high share coal in the electricity mix, and Turkey came second after Poland. Equal-weight-analysis returned Denmark as the country with the cleanest electricity generation infrastructure whereas stakeholder-weight-analysis results showed that it was France who had the lowest environmental impact. This result was attributed to the high weight of global warming potential and France’s nuclear-energy-based electricity generation system has a very low global warming potential when compared to other three countries. It was concluded that the prospective addition of nuclear energy, solar energy, and clean coal technologies into Turkey’s electricity mix shall reduce the overall environmental impact of electricity generation in Turkey significantly.
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