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Life cycle assessment of wind power for electricity generation in Pakistan

Khalid, Sajida.
Pakistan is a developing country and energy crisis has always emerged as the key hindrance in economic development. Besides the increasing demand and supply gap, it is alarming fact that the current energy mix is mainly dependent on fossil fuels which results in environmental and energy security issues. As part of efforts for transition towards clean and renewable technologies for electricity generation, the assessments carried out by Pakistan Meteorological Department and Ministry of Energy in collaboration with National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA revealed the huge potential of utilizing wind energy and solar power for the generation of electricity. The Alternative Energy Development Board under its Renewable Energy Policy, 2006 invites independent power producers for investing in the technologies employing renewable energy resources. There has been miscellaneous views of the practitioners and policy makers towards utilizing wind power. Wind power projects appears as a clean source of energy however life cycle assessment enables the resources to be studied in a wider perspective incorporating impacts arising from all stages involved in a project life cycle. This study involves assessment of wind power project for electricity generation in Pakistan with a life cycle perspective using GaBi Education 6.0 as life cycle assessment tool. The impact assessment has been performed by adopting CML problem-oriented approach and 10 environmental indicators have been assessed that incorporated life cycle stages from raw material extraction to operation phase, hence it is a cradle-to-gate study. It has been found that the manufacturing and transportation phase mainly contributes towards environmental impact while the share of construction and operation phase is negligible.