武田秀太郎

武田秀太郎

エネルギー開発政策学者・武田秀太郎 の個人ウェブサイトです。(元京都大学・特任助教 → 現・国連職員)See the English Website here.

(Paper) Are Renewables as Friendly to Humans as to the Environment?: A Social Life Cycle Assessment of Renewable Electricity

ABSTRACT

The adoption of renewable energy technologies in developing nations is recognized to have positive environmental impacts; however, what are their effects on the electricity supply chain workers? This article provides a quantitative analysis on this question through a relatively new framework called social life cycle assessment, taking Malaysia as a case example. Impact assessments by the authors show that electricity from renewables has greater adverse impacts on supply chain workers than the conventional electricity mix: Electricity production with biomass requires 127% longer labor hours per unit-electricity under the risk of human rights violations, while the solar photovoltaic requires 95% longer labor hours per unit-electricity. However, our assessment also indicates that renewables have less impacts per dollar-spent. In fact, the impact of solar photovoltaic would be 60% less than the conventional mix when it attains grid parity. The answer of “are renewables as friendly to humans as to the environment?” is “not-yet, but eventually.

JOURNAL

Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1370

KEYWORDS