Life cycle assessment, the key to a sustainable energy storage

FuturENERGY July-September 2021

El análisis de ciclo de vida, clave para un almacenamiento energético sostenible

To ensure that energy storage systems, especially batteries, will not only meet the EU’s environmental standards for the coming years, but also contribute to achieving climate neutrality in Europe by 2050, it is necessary to integrate tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) into design and production processes.

LCA is a methodology that allows the iterative identification, evaluation and quantification of the environmental impacts of a product or process throughout its life cycle. In other words, from the procurement of raw materials for its manufacture, to its end of life, including the product’s transport, manufacture and distribution.

The analysis of each of the stages can identify, on the one hand, the resources used in the product’s manufacturing process, such as water, energy, renewable and non-renewable resources; and on the other hand, the environmental impacts generated in each. This helps obtain an exhaustive knowledge of the environmental performance of the product or process analysed. The Carbon Footprint (CF) or Water Footprint (WF) are some of the results that can be obtained from a Life Cycle Assessment.