A key benefit of microgeneration is reduced carbon dioxide emissions during operation, compared with conventional energy technologies. This benefit must however be weighed up against their environmental ‘costs’, including the ‘embodied’ carbon dioxide emissions associated with their manufacture.

This chapter describes the life cycle assessment (LCA) of four micro-generators – micro-wind, solar PV, solar hot water and fuel cell micro-CHP. It then focuses on one aspect of environmental performance – the carbon footprint – and compares operational savings with embodied carbon to calculate the carbon payback period for each microgeneration technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDomestic Microgeneration
Subtitle of host publicationRenewable and Distributed Energy Technologies, Policies and Economics
EditorsI. Staffell, D. J. L. Brett, N. P. Brandon, A. D. Hawkes
Place of PublicationAbingdon, U. K.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317448853
ISBN (Print)9780415810418
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Iain Staffell, Daniel J. L. Brett, Nigel P. Brandon and Adam D. Hawkes.


  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • energy analysis
  • embodied energy
  • Embodied Carbon
  • Carbon Payback Time
  • carbon footprints
  • Carbon accounting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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