Chalmers Conferences, LCM 2013

Evert A. Bouman, Martha M. Øberg, Edgar G. Hertwich

Last modified: 2014-09-11


This paper discusses the potential environmental impacts associated with the use of a Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) as a means of stabilizing the electricity output of a wind farm with a capacity of 150 MW. An integrated hybrid life cycle assessment model was employed to model the potential environmental impacts of several compressed air energy storage systems. Results show that the potential environmental impacts associated with compressed air energy storage are strongly correlated with the size and (method of) construction of the underground storage cavity. We conclude that this particular means of energy storage is, from an environmental perspective, only advisable under certain conditions, such as the expectation of a very long (centuries) operational lifetime or the occurrence of a natural storage location eliminating the need for large infrastructural operations.


CAES; LCA; Wind power


Beaudin, M., H. Zareipour, et al. (2010). "Energy storage for mitigating the variability of renewable electricity sources: An updated review." Energy for Sustainable Development 14(4): 302-314.

Biasi, V. d. (2009). "Fundamental Analyses to Optimize Adiabatic CAES Plant Efficiencies." Gas Turbine World: 26-28.

Burnham, A., J. Han, et al. (2012). "Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Shale Gas, Natural Gas, Coal, and Petroleum." Environmental Science & Technology 46(2): 619-627.

Chen, H., T. N. Cong, et al. (2009). "Progress in electrical energy storage system: A critical review." Progress in Natural Science 19(3): 291-312.

Denholm, P. and G. L. Kulcinski (2004). "Life cycle energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions from large scale energy storage systems." Energy Conversion and Management 45(13-14): 2153-2172.

Dones, R., C. Bauer, et al. (2007). Life Cycle Inventories of Energy Systems: Results for Current Systems in Switzerland and other UCTE Countries. Dübendorf, CH, Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories.

Gibon, T., E. Hertwich, et al. (2013). An environmental assessment framework with systematic regional and time scenarios. LCM 2013. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Goedkoop, M., R. Heijungs, et al. (2013). ReCiPe 2008: A life cycle impact assessment method which comprises harmonised category indicators at the midpoint and the endpoint level.

International Energy Agency (2010). "Energy Technology Perspectives 2010: Scenarios & Strategies to 2050." 710.

Jubeh, N. M. and Y. S. H. Najjar (2012). "Green solution for power generation by adoption of adiabatic CAES system." Applied Thermal Engineering 44: 85-89.

Marean, J. B. (2009). Compressed air energy storage engineering and economic study. New York NY, New York State Energy research and development authority.

Nakhamkin, M. (2008). 150-300-400 MW CAES Plants Based on Various Combustion Turbines. Energy Storage & Power Corporation (ESPC).

RWE Power AG (2010). ADELE - Adiabatic compressed-air energy storage for electricity supply.

Succar, S. (2011). Compressed Air Energy Storage, CRC Press.
Tukker, A., A. d. Koning, et al. (2013). "EXIOPOL - Development and illustrative analyses of a detailed global multiregional environmentally-extended supply and use table/input-output table." Economic Systems Research 25(1).

Wood, R., E. Hertwich, et al. (2013). Results of an Economic Assessment using Hybrid-IO Analysis for the Life-Cycle Impacts of Prospective Technologies. LCM 2013. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Full Text: PDF