Paper on P2 sustainability indicators published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology

Sustainability Assessment of a Novel Micro Solar Thermal – Biomass Heat and Power Plant in Morocco 

- Abstract -

Newfangled renewable energy technologies systems in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region can be developed through microgeneration systems aiming to supply local energy demands in a sustainable way.  In this study, we carried out a sustainability assessment combining two reputable methodologies which have been applied to a novelty facility which comprises a hybrid solar/biomass micro-cogeneration ORC system, located in Morocco. The first methodology we applied conducts a Multiregional Input-Output (MRIO) analysis, where economic issues such as the production of goods and services generated in all project's phases, as well as the added value and employment created have been estimated. Then, environmental impacts have been assessed through a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). In terms of socioeconomic analysis, the total production of goods and services show a value of 1.18 €2015/kWh. The added value and employment creation were of 0.56 €2015/kWh and 0.05 Full-Time Employees (FTE)/MWh respectively. The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) results in 0.218 €2015/kWh and the multiplier effect amounts to 2.26. The largest increase in sectorial output is produced in the Moroccan electricity sector and the largest job creation takes place in the agriculture sector from the biomass supply. Regarding environmental results, Life Cycle Analysis shows a Climate Change Potential of 11.8gCO2eq/kWhel, from which more than 70% comes from the boiler operation and specifically from the emissions regarding biomass transportation. These results would help us to promote micro solar-biomass systems in Morocco when you consider not only their higher costs compared to fossil technologies but also when you take into account their socioeconomic and environmental benefits.

The full paper may be found in: