Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Impact of a Photovoltaic System Installed at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia

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Published Sep 11, 2021
Andres Julian Aristizabal


In recent years, the need to exploit alternative sources of energy has taken on great importance. Concern for sustainable development and the latent threat of climate change has generated a reason to change lifestyles dependent on fossil fuels [1]. In the international context, institutions and associations have established a consensus related to research related to the environment and energy. The use of energy sources from fossil fuels generates a high environmental impact. Multilateral treaty initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Conference, and recently the XXI International Conference on Climate Change; commit industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, within the framework of the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, the signatory countries undertook to promote the supply of energy through renewable energy sources and thus reduce the use of fossil resources, which helps mitigate the environmental impacts of greenhouse gas emissions [2]. Furthermore, electrical energy is required to satisfy many basic human needs: lighting, communication, mobility, and comfort; therefore, it is necessary to ensure social, environmental, and energy sustainability through the change to renewable technologies [3]. The electric power generation sector alone represents 25% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and this is due to the need to meet the energy demand of a growing population [3]. Currently, there are 7,000 million inhabitants on earth, and it is estimated that by 2050 the figure will reach 9,000 million, thus demanding an increase in energy supply, calculated in the order of 30% over current levels, based on estimates of the Energy Information Administration - EIA [4].

This research analyzed the environmental loads of the photovoltaic power generation system installed in the "Alberto Lozano Salmonelli Biosystems Center" of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University using the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) method using the Simapro 7.1 Software. The target renewable energy system was divided into three stages: installation, operation, and final disposal, where two scenarios were included. The results show that the installation phase generates the most significant impact on the system. However, applying methods such as disassembly and use decreases environmental impacts in the final disposal stage.

Figure 1 shows the 5.7 kW PV system installed in the Biosystems Center of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. Figure 2 shows the performance of the system for 2019. Figure 3 presents the results of the life cycle analysis of the system.

How to Cite

Aristizabal, A. J. (2021). Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Impact of a Photovoltaic System Installed at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia. SPAST Abstracts, 1(01). Retrieved from
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Article Details

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SED: Energy Conversion & Storage