MO.3.B || Prospective Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Energy Technologies

Koj, Jan Christian; Harzendorf, Freia; Zapp, Petra

Power-to-Gas (PtG) is seen as an important instrument for decarbonizing the industry, energy and transport sector. However, technological development, LCAs and LCCs are still needed to unfold its potential and to identify sustainable pathways. A review of LCAs on this topic revealed that methodological aspects of LCA in general and of future-oriented LCA in particular were left out or addressed inconsistently for PtG applications. Especially descriptions of the way prospective efficiencies, material consumption and scaling up assumptions were obtained are mostly missing in these former LCAs. A review of literature beyond the PtG topic revealed prospective LCA publications on other technologies or with general methodological advice. This study presents a case study of combined prospective LCA and LCC applied on different PtG technologies. Within this study two technologies for Power-to-H2 and Power-to-CH4 pathways are considered and compared. For conducting this analysis, a methodological framework is set up. This is done by considering related LCA guidelines, previously mentioned methodological advice on prospective LCA as well as projection methods. To get first results forward projection approaches like different learning curve concepts (economic, technological and environmental) and economies of scale are applied on the considered PtG technologies. Based on these results current and prospective economic and environmental impacts are calculated and compared. Assessing present conditions revealed better results for the more mature technologies. Preliminary assessments of future conditions indicate higher learning rates for the less advanced technologies and their increasing environmental and economic competitiveness. This work enables further investigations on the future environmental and economic performance of PtG technologies. By prospectively combining LCA and LCC it can be additionally used as a starting point for prospective LCSAs of energy technologies.