Environmental Impact Analysis of Residential Energy Solutions in Latvian Single-Family Houses: A Lifecycle Perspective
Smart Cities 2023
Jānis Kramens, Maksims Feofilovs, Edgars Vīgants

This study aims to compare the technological solutions that can contribute to more sustainable energy use in the residential sector. Specifically, the goal of the study is to evaluate the environmental impact of different energy (heat and electricity) supply technologies applicable for an average size single-family building in Latvia, a country known for climatic condition characterized by cold winters with frequent snowfall. The study applies the lifecycle assessment methodology of ISO 14040 and the impact assessment method known as ReCiPe 2016 v1.1, which has not been used before for the scope addressed in the study in the context of single-family building energy supply technologies for climatic conditions in Latvia. Thus, the results of the study will provide new information for more sustainable energy solutions in this area of study. The technologies included in the defined scenarios are conventional boiler, electricity from the grid, Stirling engine, and solar photovoltaics (PV). The results of the lifecycle impact assessment for damage categories revealed that all scenarios have a high impact on human health due to fine particulate matter formation followed by global warming. Regarding the damage to the ecosystem, the terrestrial ecotoxicity category has highest impact, followed by global warming. Sensitivity analyses affirmed the model’s validity and also showed that the impacts of conventional systems were most sensitive to changes in electricity consumption, and therefore, the scenarios with electricity supply from a Stirling engine or PV can be considered a more robust solution under changing electricity demands from an environmental perspective.

environmental impact; energy system; micro-cogeneration; solar PV; Stirling engine; sensitivity analysis

Kramens, J., Feofilovs, M., Vīgants, E. Environmental Impact Analysis of Residential Energy Solutions in Latvian Single-Family Houses: A Lifecycle Perspective. Smart Cities, 2023, Vol. 6, No. 6, pp.3319-3336. ISSN 2624-6511. Available from: doi:10.3390/smartcities6060147

Publication language
English (en)
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