New review of geothermal power plants from life cycle sustainability assessment and circular economy perspectives
30 November 2022
Jingyi Li, Raphael Tarpani, Laurence Stamford, and Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, published their review of the geothermal power plants from life cycle sustainability assessment and circular economy perspective in the Journal of Sustainable Production and Consumption.
As a renewable resource, the development of geothermal energy is far behind compared to solar, wind or hydro. However, geothermal power should play a role in tackling the climate change and achieving sustainable development goals. This paper explored geothermal power plants in terms of underground and aboveground technologies and analysed the three pillars in sustainability (environmental, economic, and social aspects) through the implementation of life cycle thinking tools. Additionally, this paper has adapted circular economy (CE) framework into geothermal power generation technologies for the first time. Eight applicable "R strategies" have been aligned with potential geothermal utilisations to enlarge the sustainable benefits while deploying geothermal power plants. As a conclusion, eleven recommendations for future research have proposed to boost the development of geothermal power generation technologies from sustainability and CE perspectives.
More economic and social analysis is needed to boost the sustainability, circularity and deployment of geothermal power plants.