Environmental and economic analysis of renewable energy producing systems with a focus on wooden towers as components of wind-solar systems -The Dali PowerTower case study
Abstract: This paper aims at assessing the economic features and the environmental impact of a wooden tower used in wind-solar renewable energy generating systems. The life cycle assessment method and return on investment method were used in order to achieve the objectives of the study. Two types of towers were used in the analysis: an impregnated wooden tower and an untreated one. Besides wood, the tower is composed of steel parts. The life cycle assessment results show that the impregnated wooden tower has a lower potential environmental impact due to increased durability compared with the untreated one. Another important result is that steel manufacturing process and usage of German electricity grid mix represent the hot spots of both analysed systems. The results are sensitive regarding assumed transportation distances. The economic assessment highlights the fact that a positive return on investment could be obtained in cases when the wind-solar system covers at least 62% of household’s energy need. The return on investment results are also sensitive at input variables’ values and a specific case calculation is recommended.
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