Electricity modelling for attributionnal LCA: location-based or market-based approach?

Linked Sessions:

Poster Number:  42 

Main Presenter:    Anne Grau 


Most of nowadays products and organizations are using electricity, therefore the importance of electricity modelling when conducting an environmental LCA of such products and organization. There exist two main approaches for electricity modelling in LCA: a location-based approach, based on territorial electricity mixes (either at the national or at the regional level, as implemented in most LCA databases) and a market-based approach, taking into account electricity market instruments such as guarantees of origin. The presentation will first present and explain the key concepts inherent to electricity contractual approaches to facilitate the understanding for non-experts in these subjects. Then, the main pros and cons of both approaches will be presented, as seen by several stakeholders and the corresponding methodological issues raised by these pros and cons will be highlighted, like the causal relationship between real impacts and contractual rules, incentives to act on key levers of
energy transition (efficiency, frugality), overestimation of the effectiveness of mitigation efforts due to impact transfers between consumers, the need for fundamental arbitrations on the validity period of EAC attributes, the expected temporal and spatial concordance between consumed physical electricity and contractual claims, the consideration of an additionality criterion… The presentation will conclude with methodological and implementation recommendations, to help practitioners choose between the two approaches, depending on the goal and scope of their study, and to model their product or organization electricity consumption in a way that best meet the basic methodological principles of LCA: consistency, absence of double-counting, and accuracy of representation.

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