Life cycle analysis of 4.5MW and 250W wind turbines

  • Tremeac B
  • Meunier F
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Abstract

Electric generation by wind turbine is growing very strongly. However, the environmental impact of wind energy is still a matter of controversy. This paper uses Life Cycle Assessment, comparing two systems: a 4.5MW and a 250W wind turbines, to evaluate their environmental impact. All stages of life cycle (manufacturing, transports, installation, maintenance, disassembly and disposal) have been analysed and sensitivity tests have been performed. According to the indexes (PEPBT (primary energy pay back time), CO2 emissions, etc.), the results show that wind energy is an excellent environmental solution provided first, the turbines are high efficiency ones and implemented on sites where the wind resource is good, second, components transportation should not spend too much energy and, third, recycling during decommissioning should be performed correctly. This study proves that wind energy should become one of the best ways to mitigate climate change and to provide electricity in rural zones not connected to the grid.

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Authors

  • Brice Tremeac

  • Francis Meunier

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