Keywords: energy conversion technologies, multicriteria assessment, eco-efficiency, exergy analysis, optimisation, environmental accounting, energy efficiency, pollutant emission control, environmental impact, environmental technology, environmental management, composite utility function
Utility functions for the multi criteria assessment of energy conversion systems
In recent times, decisions concerning energy systems were mainly based on economic analyses, paying minor attention to the Laws of Thermodynamics. The uncertainties related to the growth of energy prices and the attention to pollutant emission control has given new emphasis to the considerations of the links among energy, economy and natural environment. It requires the reconsideration of energy efficient and low emission technologies but also the definition of new instruments of analysis. After an overview of the methods available in the literature dealing with multi-dimensional analysis of energy systems, the authors propose an approach based on the use of a composite utility function. Some examples of utilisation of the proposed function are given in the paper.