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Thesis (Doctoral)

University of Iceland > Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið > Doktorsritgerðir - Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/22759

Title: 
  • A Sustainability Assessment Framework for Geothermal Energy Developments
Degree: 
  • Doctoral
Abstract: 
  • With increasing global energy consumption, geothermal energy usage for electricity generation will increase significantly in the future. Since sustainable development calls for the use of sustainable energy systems and since geothermal developments may result in both positive and negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, the world’s geothermal resources will need to be managed appropriately. Sustainability assessment tools are useful for informing decision-makers about the progress of policies towards sustainable development. This research provides a review of the linkages between geothermal energy developments for electricity generation and sustainable development, as well as a review of currently available sustainability assessment frameworks. A stakeholder-evaluated customized assesment framework of ten sustainability goals, 21 core and 18 optional indicators is produced, reflecting the priorities of stakeholder groups in Iceland, New Zealand, Kenya and the United Nations University Geothermal Training Program (UNU-GTP). The importance of the need to include a diversity of stakeholders when developing assessment tools is evidenced in the diversity of opinions between groups. Environmental management was a common concern among the Icelandic, New Zealand and Kenyan participants, whereas water usage was considered the most important environment-related issue for the UNU-GTP fellows. The Kenyan, New Zealand and the UNU-GTP groups rated economic management and profitability, along with research and innovation, highly, whereas the Icelandic group placed highest emphasis on resource renewability and also rated knowledge dissemination highly. The indicator choices of each group are also presented and discussed. The indicators were found to adequately cover the sustainability goals chosen by the stakeholders.

Sponsor: 
  • GEORG - Geothermal Research Group, Iceland
Accepted: 
  • Sep 8, 2015
URI: 
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/22759


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