Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Assessment of Willow Biomass Electricity: A Comparison with Other Renewable and Non-Renewable Sources

CSS Publication Number: 
CSS04-05R
Abstract: 

EDITOR's NOTE: This report is temporarily unavailable and will be posted again once a correction on a metric pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle is made.  - October 25, 2010. 

 

Previous investigations conducted by the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) for the U. S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) have compiled data and analysis on the willow biomass electricity generation system. These investigations have included life cycle energy and environmental impacts of the willow cropping system, and the life cycle profile of electricity generation from willow. These studies compared the willow systems with electricity generation from the national grid and Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) technology. A more comprehensive analysis of the willow biomass system requires the assessment of additional performance metrics and other environmental, economic, and social factors. In addition biomass technology must be understood in the context of other conventional and alternative technologies. Ultimately, we must consider the question “How can we best leverage our current activities to create more sustainable energy systems for future generations?”

 

 

Howard Geller summarized the implications of current energy trends as: high costs, air pollution, global warming, security risks, resource depletion, and inequity. For purposes of this investigation, six electricity sustainability themes have been identified:

 

1) Maximize return on the investment of fossil resources

2) Minimize emissions of global warming gasses

3) Minimize emissions that degrade air and water quality

4) Minimize land area resource requirements

5) Minimize generating costs while maintaining system economic function

6) Minimize unintended social costs of electricity generation

 

Research Areas: 
Keyword: 
Renewable Energy Sources
Publication Type: 
Report
Date Published: 
March 25, 2004
Full Citation: 
Spitzley, David V. and Gregory A. Keoleian. 2004. Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Assessment of Willow Biomass Electricity: A Comparison with Other Renewable and Non-Renewable Sources. University of Michigan: Ann Arbor: 1-71.
Admin Content
Publication Status: 
Published