↓ Skip to main content

PNAS

Article Metrics

Integrated life-cycle assessment of electricity-supply scenarios confirms global environmental benefit of low-carbon technologies

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, October 2014
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
30 news outlets
blogs
12 blogs
twitter
107 tweeters
facebook
9 Facebook pages
googleplus
3 Google+ users

Readers on

mendeley
316 Mendeley
Title
Integrated life-cycle assessment of electricity-supply scenarios confirms global environmental benefit of low-carbon technologies
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, October 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1312753111
Pubmed ID
Authors

Edgar G. Hertwich, Thomas Gibon, Evert A. Bouman, Anders Arvesen, Sangwon Suh, Garvin A. Heath, Joseph D. Bergesen, Andrea Ramirez, Mabel I. Vega, Lei Shi

Abstract

Decarbonization of electricity generation can support climate-change mitigation and presents an opportunity to address pollution resulting from fossil-fuel combustion. Generally, renewable technologies require higher initial investments in infrastructure than fossil-based power systems. To assess the tradeoffs of increased up-front emissions and reduced operational emissions, we present, to our knowledge, the first global, integrated life-cycle assessment (LCA) of long-term, wide-scale implementation of electricity generation from renewable sources (i.e., photovoltaic and solar thermal, wind, and hydropower) and of carbon dioxide capture and storage for fossil power generation. We compare emissions causing particulate matter exposure, freshwater ecotoxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and climate change for the climate-change-mitigation (BLUE Map) and business-as-usual (Baseline) scenarios of the International Energy Agency up to 2050. We use a vintage stock model to conduct an LCA of newly installed capacity year-by-year for each region, thus accounting for changes in the energy mix used to manufacture future power plants. Under the Baseline scenario, emissions of air and water pollutants more than double whereas the low-carbon technologies introduced in the BLUE Map scenario allow a doubling of electricity supply while stabilizing or even reducing pollution. Material requirements per unit generation for low-carbon technologies can be higher than for conventional fossil generation: 11-40 times more copper for photovoltaic systems and 6-14 times more iron for wind power plants. However, only two years of current global copper and one year of iron production will suffice to build a low-carbon energy system capable of supplying the world's electricity needs in 2050.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 107 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 316 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 12 4%
Norway 7 2%
Germany 6 2%
United Kingdom 6 2%
France 4 1%
Switzerland 3 <1%
Australia 2 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Spain 2 <1%
Other 8 3%
Unknown 264 84%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 95 30%
Researcher 83 26%
Student > Master 45 14%
Student > Bachelor 22 7%
Other 14 4%
Other 57 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 132 42%
Engineering 52 16%
Unspecified 28 9%
Energy 22 7%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 17 5%
Other 65 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 395. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 September 2017.
All research outputs
#13,838
of 8,373,007 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#408
of 46,714 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#351
of 198,068 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#18
of 915 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,373,007 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 46,714 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 198,068 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 915 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.