Sustainable electricity transition? The direct and indirect environmental impacts along the global supply chain of renewable and non-renewable sources of electricity. A greenhouse gas and material footprint analysis of the European Union’s electricity con

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Author: Sven Elia Lusti; [2021]

Keywords: Business and Economics;

Abstract: This thesis studies the direct and indirect environmental impacts of the European Union’s final consumption of electricity between 1995 and 2019. Using Exiobase 3, an environmentally extended multiregional input-output database, the greenhouse gas and material footprints for an aggregated 23 environmental stressors have been derived, indicating that renewable sources of electricity on average have lower greenhouse gas and similar material intensities as non-renewable electricity sources. By applying a production layer decomposition it has become evident that renewable sources exert higher greenhouse gas pressures in upstream activities, whereas both renewables and non-renewables show similar patterns of material usage throughout the whole global supply chain. Finally, an applied policy intervention model showed that depending on the policies for a transition to a more renewable electricity mix, the overall environmental impacts vary, but generally the environmental pressures are reduced.

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