Gateway:U.S. OpenLabs/Environmental and Economic Impacts

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Where can I find out about potential economic and environmental impacts related to clean energy development?

Exploring the environmental and economic impacts of different energy choices is an increasingly important aspect of project and program planning in developing countries. With many competing technologies and resources available, it is important to understand how different clean energy portfolios will affect the economic, environmental and social settings in which they are to be applied.

Environmental Impacts

Center for Bioenergy Sustainability at ORNL
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Center for BioEnergy Sustainability (CBES) analyzes the impact of biomass use for energy and bio-based products on environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The center's website provides access to its fact sheets, publications, and other documents relating to its research activities.
Lifecycle Assessment and Sustainability Analysis at NREL
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Energy Analysis group's Technology Systems Analysis activities include analysis of the economic viability of biomass projects that are still in the research phase to assess their potential for success in the market. Life-cycle assessment analysis involves understanding and minimizing the environmental impact of a biomass conversion process. The website describes the group's capabilities and provides a sampling of NREL publications on the topic.

Economic Impacts

Job and Economic Development Impact Models (JEDI)
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Jobs and Economic Development Impact Models (JEDI) are Microsoft Excel-based models that estimates a renewable energy project's costs and economic impacts, including on jobs and wages. A separate model is available for wind, biofuels, solar, natural gas, and coal projects. The models are intended for use in the United States and includes parameters for the U.S. states, but do include a facility for customization for other locations.

Available Tools