Keywords: life cycle assessment, electricity systems, energy chains, environmental assessment, greenhouse gas emissions, energy policy
Environmental inventories for future electricity supply systems for Switzerland
The Swiss Association of Producers and Distributors of Electricity (VSE) identified a number of possible supply mix options to meet the future electricity demand in Switzerland. In this context, PSI, in co-operation with ETHZ, analysed environmental inventories for the selected electricity supply systems. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was used to establish the inventories, covering the complete energy chains associated with fossil, nuclear and renewable systems. The assessment was performed on three levels: (1) individually for each system considered; (2) comparison of systems; (3) comparison of supply mix options. In absolute value, the emissions of the major pollutants considered are, in most cases, significantly reduced in comparison with the currently operating systems. Due to the considerable advancements in fossil power plant technologies, the relative importance of other activities increases in the fossil energy systems. Selected results for systems and supply options are given in the present paper.