Sustainability concepts of energy generation technologies

A. Evans, V. Strezov, T. J. Evans

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The sustainability of electricity generation from all known energy sources, biomass dedicated energy crops, biomass waste residues, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, hydropower, coal, gas, and nuclear are compared and discussed in this chapter. The assessment was conducted using sustainability indicators across the life cycle of each technology. The sustainability indicators selected for this assessment were electricity price, efficiency of energy generation, greenhouse gas emissions, availability and limitations of each technology, land and water use requirements, and social impacts. Overall, electricity generation from biomass waste residues ranks more favorably than gas, coal, and nuclear generation. However, biomass dedicated energy crops have poor performance in land and water use requirements as well as low social acceptance, making it the least sustainable electricity generation technology studied. By selecting suitable dedicated energy crops and cultivating them in marginal or degraded soils unsuitable for agricultural production, both land and water requirements could be substantially reduced. This would significantly improve the overall sustainability of biomass dedicated energy crops to above that of coal, gas, and nuclear power generation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of sustainable technologies
    EditorsMartin A. Abraham
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128047927
    ISBN (Print)9780128046777
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Life cycle assessment
    • Sustainability

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