No Matter – How?: Dealing with Matter‐Less Stressors in Lca of Wind Energy Systems

12 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Stefano Cucurachi

Stefano Cucurachi

Leiden University

Coen C. van der Giesen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Reinout Heijungs

Leiden University - Centre of Environmental Science (CML); Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Geert R. de Snoo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

The portfolio of impacts that are quantified in life cycle assessment (LCA) has grown to include rather different stressors than those that were the focus of early LCAs. Some of the newest life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models are still in an early phase of development and have not yet been included in any LCA study. This is the case for sound emissions and noise impacts, which have been only recently modeled. Sound emissions are matter‐less, time dependent, and bound to the physical properties of waves. The way sound emissions and the relative noise impacts are modeled in LCA can show how new or existing matter‐less impacts can be addressed. In this study, we analyze, through the example of sound emissions, the specific features of a matter‐less impact that does not stem from the use of a kilogram of matter, nor is related to the emission of a kilogram of matter. We take as a case study the production of energy by means of wind turbines, contradicting the commonly held assumption that windmills have no emissions during use. We show how to account for sound emissions in the life cycle inventory phase of the life cycle of a wind turbine and then calculate the relative impacts using a noise LCIA model.

Keywords: life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), life cycle inventory (LCI), matter‐less stressors, noise impacts, wind turbine

Suggested Citation

Cucurachi, Stefano and van der Giesen, Coen C. and Heijungs, Reinout and de Snoo, Geert R., No Matter – How?: Dealing with Matter‐Less Stressors in Lca of Wind Energy Systems (February 2017). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 70-81, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3608214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12416

Stefano Cucurachi (Contact Author)

Leiden University

No Address Available, Zuid Holland

Coen C. Van der Giesen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Reinout Heijungs

Leiden University - Centre of Environmental Science (CML) ( email )

2300 RA Leiden
Netherlands
+31 71 5277432 (Phone)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

Netherlands

Geert R. De Snoo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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