Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of an Australian Wind Farm

Haywood, Chad (2020) Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of an Australian Wind Farm. [USQ Project]

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Today, the shift towards more sustainable and environment-friendly sources of energy has become more prevalent in many societies. In Australia, the development of wind farms is seen to be on the rise. However, resources must be utilised in the most efficient way possible to ensure the least amount of environmental, economic, and ethical impacts accompany the development of the wind farm. This dissertation sought to understand the total energy required in wind farm development and the environmental impacts resulting from this process. The results reveal that 75.8 percent of the total embodied energy can be attributed to the manufacturing of the turbine, followed by 12.4 percent for site construction, 7.9 percent for the transportation, 3.9 percent for operation and maintenance, and lastly zero percent for the decommissioning of the wind farm due to the environmental credits from recycling, which offsets the energy used during the decommissioning phase. Some of the factors that significantly impact the total embodied energy include the weight and materials used in the turbine production and the mode and distance of transportation. EROI ranged from 19.92 (Moorabool North Wind Farm) to 38.16 (Cherry Tree Wind Farm) and has an average of 28.37. Meanwhile, the EPBT of Australian wind farms can vary from 0.89 years (10.63 months) to 1.60 years (119.20 months), with an average of 1.19 years (14.26 months). The results of this study will be useful to wind farm developers, operators, investors, inhabitants of the surrounding area of the wind farm and the general public, policy makers and future researchers.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2021 23:07
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:04

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