From: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Published October 3, 2017 10:27 AM

NREL, Johns Hopkins SAIS Develop Method to Quantify Life Cycle Land Use of Electricity from Natural Gas

The research team’s expertise in life cycle assessments of energy technology production and use proved important in developing a methodology for land use requirements for natural gas production in the Barnett Shale region. The “cradle to grave” assessment pinpoints environmental issues and enables fair comparisons of energy technologies.

“NREL has already studied land use for renewable technologies,” said Garvin Heath, a senior scientist in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center at NREL and a co-author of the paper. “It’s harder to do for a non-renewable resource because there are more steps in the supply chain and you have to understand the fuel throughput each step of the way. It’s much more complicated.”

Sarah Jordaan, assistant professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at Johns Hopkins SAIS and lead author of the paper, was a natural fit for the team, having published several papers on the topic. “General statements comparing the land use of energy technologies have not been verified with enough data or rigorous methods,” she said. “Defensible comparisons really require substantial datasets that enable comprehensive statistical analyses. Our research is a step towards that.”

Continue reading at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Image source: Dennis Schroeder/NREL

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