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ThesisUniversity of Akureyri>Viðskipta- og raunvísindasvið>Meistaraprófsritgerðir>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/9332


An assessment of the environmental impact of cargo transport by road and sea in Iceland

June 2011

The environmental impact of cargo transport is qualified and quantified in the Westfjords and Nothern regions of Iceland. A simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework is applied to 5 transport scenarios: 1 land-based scenario reflecting the existing offer in Iceland and 4 maritime alternatives (2 sailing routes, 2 types of ships). Using a statistical energy consumption model and up-to-date emission factor databases, the results show that the best maritime alternative is the one calling at the harbours of Reykjavík, Ísafjördur and Akureyri, using a Roll On-Roll Off (Ro-Ro) ship. Compared to land-based transport, the Ro-Ro alternative has a lower impact in most categories except those related to NOx and SOx emissions. With monetisation methods used for the internalisation of external costs, we show that a modal shift from land to sea comes as an overall benefit to the Icelandic society. A Net Present Value (NPV) analysis is suggested to improve the economic calculations, as well as a context-based calculation of the value of time. Further possible improvements are advised in the emission inventory and characterisation phases. A final recommendation is issued for future transport policy in Iceland.

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