Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Energy Technology and Pathways
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a comprehensive form of analysis at NETL that utilizes the principles of Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost Analysis, and various other methods to evaluate the environmental, economic, and social attributes of energy systems ranging from the extraction of raw materials from the ground to the use of the energy carrier to perform work (commonly referred to as the “life cycle” of a product). Results are used to inform research at NETL and evaluate energy options for the nation.
The mission of NETL’s LCA research is to develop detailed, well-documented, life cycle studies that can be used both independently to guide technology research and comparatively across studies to evaluate alternative energy options. The research area is founded on the principles of quality, transparency, and effective communication of results. A range of products have been developed to meet the mission and principles of the LCA research area. LCA research areas encompass all energy technologies and pathways, including fossil and renewable sources of power and fuels production. Detailed LCA reports and summary comparative analyses are located in the LCA Reports section, a repository of over 300 NETL-developed data sets. These data sets can be accessed through the Life Cycle Inventory Data section, and various models and tools are available under the Models & Tools section.