Scenarios for a hierarchical assessment of the global sustainability of electric power plants in México

Ma. Claudia Roldán, Manuel Martínez y Rafael Peña
Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, volumen 33, páginas 154-160, Mayo 2014. ISSN: 1364-0321, DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.02.007, Factor de impacto: 5.627, 2014.


Today, there are indicators to assess the sustainable development of a country and the energetic sector in general, but not to assess electric power plants. This work is aimed at evaluating the sustainability of specific technological systems. A multi-criteria method called Analytical Hierarchization Process was applied to analyze sustainability throughout the life cycle of various electric power plants in México (such as hydroelectric, coal, heavy oil thermoelectric, natural gas thermoelectric, geothermal, nuclear, wind energy, photothermal and photovoltaic plants). An analysis throughout the whole life cycle makes it easier to assess and prepare an inventory of all sustainability indicators, resulting in a useful report for decision-making purposes in order to drive sustainable development in the electric sector. Four scenarios were analyzed using information provided by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (Electric Power Federal Commission), the opinion of experts, and scenarios with ecological and technocrat tendencies. The global result, using the measure of central tendency, reflects the benefit of renewable energies: wind energy is the most sustainable energy under the current circumstances of our country.