Life cycle assessment of flexible-energy processes
Science, business as well as associations and civil society organisations are currently examining the technological, ecological and societal aspects. The transdisciplinary discourse helps to accommodate the respective points of view and makes a significant contribution to successful implementation of the turn of energy policies.
Due to the growing share of renewable energy sources in the production mix, the challenge that arises is to reconcile the timing of energy generation and consumption. A central approach to this involves making consumption flexible.
As part of the Copernicus SynErgy project, Cluster 6 "Model Region Augsburg", bifa Umweltinstitut produced the life cycle assessment for energy-flexible process concepts on behalf of Naturschutzbund e.V. (NABU). To this end, bifa undertook case studies with renowned companies in the region:
- MAN Energy Solutions:
Induction of steel scrap and alloy constituents for cast iron production
- SHOWA DENKO CARBON:
Graphitisation of fired carbon moulds
- UPM Paper:
Thermo-mechanical production of wood-based products from wood chips
In conjunction with load profile simulations of the Fraunhofer IGCV, in which the respective flexibility measures of the companies involved were calculated, bifa compared the environmental effects of the standard production processes with the flexible energy consumption concepts.
The additional ecological costs of making energy use in the company flexible (e.g. for reheating or extended oxidation effects) were determined by bifa and classified as being very low.
The central finding for the "model region Augsburg" was that the measures considered for achieving flexibility have positive effects on the regional energy supply on a power plant scale and on grid stability. Making energy consumption flexible supports the turn of energy policies and thus contributes to climate protection.
Publication of all project results, as a consolidated presentation of the first development phase, is planned for September 2019 in the form of a reference book.