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Sustainability assessment of low carbon technologies–case study of the building sector in China

Huang, Beijia, Yang, Haizhen, Mauerhofer, Volker, Guo, Ru
Journal of cleaner production 2012 v.32 pp. 244-250
air conditioning, carbon, case studies, cooking, energy conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, heat pumps, industry, lighting, refrigerators, China
In order to meet the goals of GHG reduction and sustainability in industry development, strategies are needed that are reducing GHG emissions without compromising other economic, environmental and social priorities. In this paper, existing low carbon and sustainability requirements and evaluation methods are comparatively analyzed based on an in-depth literature review. Based on this analysis, multi-attributive assessment is selected as the methodological basis of our envisaged assessment framework; modified indicators and classified values are designed accordingly. The building sector in China is analyzed as a case study. Eleven main building energy saving technologies are assessed. The results show that under the sustainability criterion, the priority order of the assessed technologies is as follows: geothermal heat pump; solar thermal; solar PV; air conditioning energy saving; central heating system energy saving; building enclosure; lighting energy conservation; electric water heater energy saving, washing machine energy saving, refrigerator energy saving (these three have equal priority), and cooking appliance energy saving. The GHG and sustainability properties of technologies are discussed by comparing the indicator scores of the two aspects. The designed evaluation method can be used in regional cases if data resources are available; and for other sectors after indicator modification.