Life cycle inventory of power producing technologies and power grids at regional grid level in India
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019

Indian electricity production mix, technology level, and local production conditions vary across the states and union territories. This variability is obscured in existing national-level life cycle inventories of Indian power producing technologies and power systems, which potentially leads to inaccurate results from LCA studies that include Indian activities. This study aims to create a consistent regionalized inventory model of Indian power system parameters and to evaluate how that influences life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) calculations.

Data collection covers state-specific key parameters of domestic power production and distribution, and inter-exchanges among the regional grids and with other countries in 2012–2013. However, such regionalization work faces some data availability challenges. Power plant parameter data (e.g., efficiency, fuel quality, exact technology used) are mostly unavailable on plant level for India; if at all, relevant data are available on a state level. Moreover, local emission data are also mostly unavailable except emissions of CO2. Quantities of other important emissions (NOx, SOx, CH4, CO, PM) are, therefore, calculated based on emission factors from literature.

Results and discussion
Variation in electricity production volumes among the states and regional grids are found notably high. Six states contribute 55% of the national power supply, whereas ten states contribute only 2.1% to the total. Moreover, the five regional electricity grids—Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, and North-eastern grids—show high variation in production mixes. These differences have a considerable impact on LCIA results. For instance, the contribution to the global warming potential per 1 kWh of electricity supplied to the grid is nearly twice as high in the Eastern grid as in the North-eastern grid. Furthermore, transformation and transmission losses are found to be high in the Indian electricity grids with an average of 17% technical losses along the transmission chain from high voltage to the low voltage.

Hence, we conclude that the inventory data produced in this study on Indian electricity production and distribution at grid level, taking local variations in technology mix and key parameters into account, enables higher accuracy in life cycle assessment studies compared to using average national-level data.

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Power generation technology


Life cycle inventories

Power systems

Indian electricity


Muhammed Noor Hossain

Student vid Chalmers

Johan Tivander

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Environmental Systems Analysis

Karin Treyer

Paul Scherrer Institut

Tereza Lévová


Lucia Valsasina


Anne-Marie Tillman

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Environmental Systems Analysis

International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

0948-3349 (ISSN) 1614-7502 (eISSN)

Vol. 24 5 824-837


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