The International Workshop on Electricity Data for Life Cycle Inventories

Mary Ann Curran, Margaret Mann, Gregory Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus Citations


A three-day workshop was held in October 2001 to discuss life cycle inventory data for electricity production. Electricity was selected as the topic for discussion since it features very prominently in the LCA results for most product life cycles, yet there is no consistency in how these data are calculated and presented. Approximately 40 people attended all or part of the meeting to discuss issues of data modeling and collection. Attendees included recognized experts in the electricity generation and life cycle assessment fields. Five main topics of discussion were identified before the meeting began: (1) modeling the response of the energy supply system to demand (i.e. marginal versus average data); (2) defining the breadth and width of system boundaries to adequately capture environmental flows and data that are needed for impact modeling; (3) allocating environmental burdens across co-products that come from the same process; (4) modeling new and non-traditional technologies in which the data are highly uncertain; and (5) including transmission and distribution in modeling of electricity generation. Breakout groups addressed the first four topic areas in individual discussion groups and reported the results in a plenary session on the last day of the workshop (it was decided during the meeting to include "transmission and distribution" in other discussions). A key success of the workshop was the creation of the larger network of LCA and electricity production experts which will provide a good foundation for continued discussions. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)853-862
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-560-38656


  • Electricity
  • Energy
  • Inventory
  • Life cycle assessment


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