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Prospects of green growth in the electricity sector in Baltic States: Pinch analysis based on ecological footprint

Baležentis, Tomas, Štreimikienė, Dalia, Melnikienė, Rasa, Zeng, Shouzhen
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.142 pp. 37-48
biomass, carbon footprint, electricity generation, environmental impact, fossil fuels, models, water footprint, wind power, Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
In this paper, we model the effects of electricity generation on multiple environmental pressures. Given the environmental considerations, we assume a decrease in the carbon footprint and adjust the energy-mix by increasing the use of renewables. We combined a footprint approach and pinch analysis to devise the optimal energy-mixes and quantify the resulting environmental impacts. The analysis focuses on the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), which not only need to ensure sustainability of their electricity generation but also reduce the use of imported fossil fuels. The results indicate that biomass might be an appealing option for reduction of the carbon footprint in Estonia’s and Latvia’s electricity generation, whereas wind energy might be preferred in Lithuania. However, the analysis of land and water footprints suggests that further considerations are needed to treat biomass as a sustainable means for electricity generation.