• Environmental impacts of the Greek electricity generation sector

      Theodosiou, Giorgos; Koroneos, Christopher; Stylos, Nikolaos (Elsevier, 2014-03)
      Anthropogenic activities, such as the use of fossil energy sources for electricity generation, are the main contributors to the pollution of the environment. The main energy source used in the Greek electricity generation sector is lignite as there are large reserves in the country. Petroleum is also used at a great extent mainly in the islands in the autonomous power generation systems, while the use of natural gas is also increasing. Although lignite is a “cheap” energy source, the environmental impacts associated with its use are high, something that applies also for petroleum and in a lower extent with natural gas. The total net production of electricity from thermal power plants in Greece accounts for almost 90% of the total electricity production, while only 10% derives from hydroelectric energy and other renewable energy sources (RES). A typical example of the significance of the environmental impacts associated with the electricity generation sector is the fact that almost 74% of the total CO2 emissions in the country derive from this sector. The work presented in this paper is focused in investigating the environmental impacts associated with the atmospheric emissions and other wastes that are produced during the life cycle of the energy sources (fossil and RES) used for electricity generation in Greece. The environmental evaluation of the different energy sources is performed through the life cycle analysis methodology and the Eco-indicator 99 method and the results are used for comparison purposes.