Lifecycle Assessments and Sustainability Analyses
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory performs lifecycle and technoeconomic analyses to promote sustainable energy development. Conducting full life-cycle assessments for biomass products, including electricity, biodiesel, and ethanol, is important for determining environmental benefits. NREL analysts use a life-cycle inventory modeling package and supporting databases to conduct life-cycle assessments. These tools can be applied on a global, regional, local, or project basis.
Integrated system analyses, technoeconomic analyses, life-cycle assessments (LCAs), and other analysis tools are essential to our research and development efforts. They provide an understanding of the economic, technical, and even global impacts of renewable technologies. These analyses also provide direction, focus, and support to the development and commercialization of various biomass conversion technologies. The economic feasibility and environmental benefits of biomass technologies revealed by these analyses are useful for the government, regulators, and the private sector.
A number of resources and tools are available to assist in lifecycle assessment activities at NREL and many analysis publications are available for download. Please see Exploring Resources to find out more information about bioenergy resources and lifecycle assessments that have been performed internationally by NREL analysts.