Life cycle assessment of a wind farm in Turkey

Ozsahin B., Elginoz N., Babuna F. F.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.29, no.47, pp.71000-71013, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 47
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-022-20783-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.71000-71013
  • Keywords: Environmental impact, Life cycle assessment, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Wind farm, Climate change, ENVIRONMENTAL-IMPACT, ENERGY, POWER, ELECTRICITY, TURBINE, PLANT, LCA, GENERATION, SYSTEMS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study is to investigate the environmental impacts of a full-scale wind farm using life cycle assessment methodology. The facility in question is an onshore wind farm located in Turkey with a total installed capacity of 47.5 MW consisting of 2.5 MW Nordex wind turbines. Hub height and rotor diameter of the wind turbines are 100 m. The system boundary is defined as material extraction, part production, construction, operation and maintenance and decommissioning phases of the wind farm. The functional unit is 1-kWh electricity produced. Environmental impacts are mainly generated by manufacturing and installation operations. Steel sheet usage in tower manufacturing is the main contributor to abiotic depletion of fossil resources, acidification, eutrophication, global warming and marine aquatic ecotoxicity potentials. Apart from ozone layer depletion, end-of-life phase decreases the environmental impacts due to metal recycling. Metal recycling ratio scenario results show that when the recycling ratio decreases from 90 to 20%; increases of 110%, 102%, 92% and 87% are observed in acidification, terrestrial ecotoxicity, marine aquatic ecotoxicity and global warming potentials, respectively. In the baseline, the main parts which are manufactured in Germany are transported by sea to Turkey. Transportation scenario involves shifting the manufacturing of main parts to Turkey then transporting these parts by trucks to the farm. This conversion causes increases of 31%, 35% and 27% in abiotic depletion of fossil resources, freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity and global warming potentials, respectively, while causing decreases of 11% and 4% in acidification and eutrophication potentials generated by transportation activities, respectively.