Title: Background analysis of energy data to be considered for the European Reference Life Cycle Database (ELCD)
Authors: GARRAIN DanielDE LA RUA CristinaLECHÒN Yolanda
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC87127
ISBN: 978-92-79-35071-9
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 26431
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC87127
DOI: 10.2788/5377
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The European Reference Life-Cycle Database (ELCD) has been developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) and provides core Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data from front-running EU-level business associations and, where not available, other sources. Within the ELCD, several energy-related data are provided, being energy a major input for almost all the environmental analyses of products or processes. The present document summarises an analysis of the quality of energy data for European markets that are available in 3rd party life cycle databases and from authoritative sources that are, or could be, used in the context of the ELCD. This work has been developed by a joint project with the cooperation of the EC JRC and the Energy Systems Analysis (ASE) Unit of CIEMAT (Public Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology) (Madrid, Spain). The work consisted of an analysis and a comparison of energy datasets from different databases, considering the ELCD database as the basis for this analysis. The current ELCD energy datasets have been to large extent originated from the GaBi database (http://www.gabi-software.com). Therefore, in order to analyse background information of the ELCD datasets, GaBi datasets from the last updated version (at the time when the study was initiated, i.e. 2009) have been analysed. The other databases that have been analysed are the following:  Ecoinvent database(http://www.ecoinvent.ch/)  E3 database (http://www.e3database.com/)  GEMIS database (http://www.gemis.de/en/index.htm) The main criteria for the database selection were based on the availability of EU-related data, the inclusion of wide datasets on energy products and services (specially focusing on those matching the chosen energy patterns), and the broad approval by the scientific community. Up to 24 energy datasets were selected for the analysis with the criteria of selecting a sufficiently representative sample of energy sources in the European context. The evaluation has been based on the quality indicators developed within the ILCD handbook (EC-JRC-IES 2010a, 2010b, 2011): Technological representativeness, Geographical representativeness, Time-related representativeness, Completeness, Precision / Uncertainty, and Methodological appropriateness and consistency. They have been redefined in order to identify key aspects that are involved in both quality and methodological aspects of energy related LCI datasets. This practice facilitates their use in the analysis of energy systems. The quality of each dataset has been estimated for each indicator and then, compared among the different databases. Even though the final results are discussed based on “qualitative” results for each indicator, the individual indicator component and the total DQR have been calculated as a tool for further dataset improvements. Results have shown that, in general terms the ELCD dataset analysed showed a very good performance in many of the criteria and especially in those criteria related to technology representativeness, methodology and Completeness. Several aspects where improvements are considered necessary are highlighted through the analysis. Sources of data and information coming from Authoritative sources not considered, business associations or other sources are identified and proposed to be used.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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