The growing population of the world has led to an inevitable increase in energy demand, and this, in addition to the depletion of non-renewable energy sources, can lead to many environmental problems. Given the importance of environmental impacts and the development of renewable energy, the use of wind can be a very reliable source for generating electricity.
Materials and Methods
The present study investigates the environmental effects of electricity generation during the life cycle of wind farms (Kahak and Aqkand) during the construction to operation of these power plants and the cumulative exergy demand index. In the present study, a functional unit of one kilowatt of electricity was selected and the data were analyzed in SIMAPRO software by IMPACT2002 + method in the form of 15 Midpoint indicators and four final indicators.
Results and Discussion
The results showed that the stage of raw materials and production has the highest impact on the creation of intermediate indicators, which is due to the extraction, manufacture and production of parts such as steel casting from non-renewable energy and activities such as high temperature welding. Also, the total environmental index of Aqkand and Kahak wind power plants for 1 kWh of generated electricity was 5.84 and 4.45 (μPt), respectively, of which 3.02 and 2.31 (μPt) belong to the category, respectively Damage to human health. Also, the study of cumulative exergy demand index showed that non-renewable-fossil resources had the largest share in exergy demand (0.15 MJ) to produce one kilowatt of electricity generated from power plants.
In the present study, the results showed that the stage of raw materials and production in two power plants was about 70% effective in creating various respiratory effects, 60% in creating human health potential, 25% in creating acidification groups and global warming. Also, the installation phase of 17% in Aqkand power plant and 16% in Kahak power plant was effective in creating climate change and between 14% and 26% in creating other environmental groups.