Life cycle impact assessment of home energy management systems (HEMS) using dynamic emissions factors for electricity in Finland
Louis, Jean-Nicolas; Pongrácz , Eva (2017-09-19)
Jean-Nicolas Louis, Eva Pongrácz, Life cycle impact assessment of home energy management systems (HEMS) using dynamic emissions factors for electricity in Finland, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 67, November 2017, Pages 109-116, ISSN 0195-9255, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2017.08.009.
© 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Decarbonising the European economy is a long-term goal in which the residential sector will play a significant role. Smart buildings for energy management are one means of decarbonisation, by reducing energy consumption and related emissions. This study investigated the environmental impacts of smart house automation using life cycle impact assessment. The ReCiPe method was selected for use, in combination with dynamic emissions factors for electricity in Finland. The results indicated that a high level of technology deployment may be counter-effective, due to high electricity consumption by the sensor network, automation system and computing devices. The results also indicated that number of inhabitants per household directly affected the environmental impacts of home automation. A single-person household saw its environmental impacts increase by 15%, while those of a five-person household increased by 3% in the worst-case scenario. The manufacturing phase contributed the major share of environmental impacts, exceeding the use phase in multiple categories. These findings indicate that finding the sweet spot in which technology can promote decarbonisation will be crucial to achieving the goal of a low‑carbon economy.
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