Limits...
The changing nature of life cycle assessment.

McManus MC, Taylor CM - Biomass Bioenergy (2015)

Bottom Line: Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being.The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored.Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.

ABSTRACT

LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of the formative feedbacks among policy drivers and LCA. From Ref. [16].
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fig10: Illustration of the formative feedbacks among policy drivers and LCA. From Ref. [16].

Mentions: Given the range of policy factors, and influences on stakeholder decisions [84], the future of LCA, or some similar tool or suite of tools, seems set to expand, and it is a transitional and exciting time for the approach [21], [85]. Fig. 10 illustrates the mediated feedbacks among methods and policy that are likely to inform development. Land use and carbon paybacks are used in this paper as an example of the issues described. But there are others, including the use of cLCA to explore impacts of changing energy mixes on carbon outputs due to changes in the grid [86], and the difficulties in associated modelling (e.g. offsetting simple marginal, dynamic marginal, or average grid mix). These offer similar challenges.


The changing nature of life cycle assessment.

McManus MC, Taylor CM - Biomass Bioenergy (2015)

Illustration of the formative feedbacks among policy drivers and LCA. From Ref. [16].
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4643755&req=5

fig10: Illustration of the formative feedbacks among policy drivers and LCA. From Ref. [16].
Mentions: Given the range of policy factors, and influences on stakeholder decisions [84], the future of LCA, or some similar tool or suite of tools, seems set to expand, and it is a transitional and exciting time for the approach [21], [85]. Fig. 10 illustrates the mediated feedbacks among methods and policy that are likely to inform development. Land use and carbon paybacks are used in this paper as an example of the issues described. But there are others, including the use of cLCA to explore impacts of changing energy mixes on carbon outputs due to changes in the grid [86], and the difficulties in associated modelling (e.g. offsetting simple marginal, dynamic marginal, or average grid mix). These offer similar challenges.

Bottom Line: Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being.The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored.Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.

ABSTRACT

LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus