Hengstler, Jasmin

Electricity generation from wind turbines has been steadily gaining importance in Europe since the turn of the millennium and now accounts for a considerable share of power generation in Europe. The wind turbine technology has developed just as rapidly. For this reason, the German environmental protection agency, Umweltbundesamt, commissioned a LCA study of the electricity generation from wind turbines in Germany. The aim of this study was to evaluate and update the existing body of LCA work around electricity generation from wind turbines, taking into account current technological developments. The study was carried out in accordance with the international standards for LCA, ISO 14040 and 14044, and was subjected to a critical review by an independent review panel. The assessment of the environmental impacts of electricity generation from wind and determination of relevant influencing factors over the life cycle takes into account the latest market-ready, state-of-the-art technologies and optimal wind conditions for the locations considered. Information provided by manufacturers and operators of modern wind turbines was used to prepare the LCA. The following environmental impact categories have been assessed: global warming potential, primary energy demand, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical ozone formation, and energy payback time. The study provides updated life cycle inventory data and insights into the current state of knowledge in the field of LCA for electricity generation from wind turbines. The Umweltbundesamt will publish the study in spring 2021. The author of the study, Sphera, would be pleased to present the results of the study at the LCM conference 2021.