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Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from geothermal electricity production
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A life cycle analysis (LCA) is presented for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil energy use associated with geothermal electricity production with a special focus on operational GHG emissions from hydrothermal flash and dry steam plants. The analysis includes results for both the plant and fuel cycle components of the total life cycle. The impact of recent changes to California's GHG reporting protocol for GHG emissions are discussed by comparing emission rate metrics derived from post and pre revision data sets. These metrics are running capacity weighted average GHG emission rates (g/kWh) and emission rate cumulative distribution functions. To complete our life cycle analysis, plant cycle results were extracted from our previous work and added to fuel cycle results. The resulting life cycle fossil energy and greenhouse gas emissions values are compared among a range of fossil, nuclear, and renewable power technologies, including geothermal.
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