Marginal Production Technologies for Life Cycle Inventories

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In the article 'Marginal Production Technologies for Life Cycle Inventories' by Bo Weidema et al. [1] it is argued in favor of the use of marginal production technologies as a general principle for prospective LCA studies. Examples from the European electricity production and pulp and paper industry are used as case studies to back up the statement that this is a more valid approach in such situations than the traditional use of average data across an industry. In the article reference is made to the aluminum industry argument that hydroelectricity is the dominant power source for primary aluminum production and questioning the validity of this for new production facilities. Further, there is also a reference to the use of this marginal principle for electricity production applied to a Danish LCA study of packaging systems for beer and soft drinks. The use of the marginal production technology principle in this particular study leads to the original result of aluminum being produced in Denmark using electricity generated by coal, although no aluminum producer would even consider locating an aluminum smelter in Denmark under current framework conditions.


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