Up to 80% of worldwide energy consumption and carbon emissions are associated with urban activities, markedly contributing to climate change. Since the environmental impacts of urban energy consumption have wide implications for local energy planning, the main aims or this research are: to assess the Global Warming Potential of energy final uses in a typical small urban area performing the Life Cycle Assessment and to compare this value with the one estimated using the Baseline Emission Inventory. This assessment methodology was applied to the urban area of Treviso, a municipality of 83,000 inhabitants in Northern Italy. The resulting Global Warming Potential is 718,413 t CO2 eq. This value suggests that the Baseline Emission Inventory, which is still the most widely used methodology in sustainable energy action planning, is likely to lead to a significant underestimation of the Global Warming Potential. Overall, differences ranging from 13% to 50% were found, depending on the urban energy sector. These findings indicate that the Life Cycle approach would provide a more realistic estimation of the Global Warming Potential due to the urban energy final uses and should therefore be preferred to the Baseline Emission Inventory to define and implement sustainable urban energy policies.

The life cycle impact of energy final uses in small urban systems: Implications for emission accounting and EU sustainable local energy planning

pioletti, maurizio
;
Brigolin, Daniele;Pastres, Roberto
2018-01-01

Abstract

Up to 80% of worldwide energy consumption and carbon emissions are associated with urban activities, markedly contributing to climate change. Since the environmental impacts of urban energy consumption have wide implications for local energy planning, the main aims or this research are: to assess the Global Warming Potential of energy final uses in a typical small urban area performing the Life Cycle Assessment and to compare this value with the one estimated using the Baseline Emission Inventory. This assessment methodology was applied to the urban area of Treviso, a municipality of 83,000 inhabitants in Northern Italy. The resulting Global Warming Potential is 718,413 t CO2 eq. This value suggests that the Baseline Emission Inventory, which is still the most widely used methodology in sustainable energy action planning, is likely to lead to a significant underestimation of the Global Warming Potential. Overall, differences ranging from 13% to 50% were found, depending on the urban energy sector. These findings indicate that the Life Cycle approach would provide a more realistic estimation of the Global Warming Potential due to the urban energy final uses and should therefore be preferred to the Baseline Emission Inventory to define and implement sustainable urban energy policies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3704589
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