Technical Study Report on Solar Thermal Technology LCIA Methods and LCC Models

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) Analysis are powerful tools to determine the impact of a product not only by its use but also its whole life cycle from cradle to grave. In order to establish reliability and comparability of Life Cycle Assessment, a comprehensive set of rules has been defined within international standards regarding LCA.

This technical study report on solar thermal technology Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) models, aims at contributing to the demonstration of the advantages of solar thermal systems, taking the life cycle into account. This means assessing both environmental and economic benefits of the systems over their operation period. These methods allow to exemplify the diverse benefits of this technology during the life cycle of a system, in spite of its high upfront investments costs.

In order to establish reliability and comparability of life cycle assessment a comprehensive set of rules has been defined within international standards regarding life cycle assessment and life cycle costing. In Chapter Life cycle assessment (LCA) – Fundamentals and definitions of this report the fundamentals and definitions of these rules of life cycle assessment are given.

The life cycle of a product may have impact in different areas. In order to distinguish and quantify them, impact categories have been defined which are described in chapter Available impact categories.

Chapter Available Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods gives an overview on available life cycle impact assessment methods. It is described how these methods make use of the previously described impact categories and how they differ in purpose and complexity.

Author: UNEP/ESTIF

Date of publication: 2015

Pages: 72

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