Carbon footprints for the supply of electricity to a heat pump: Solar energy vs. electric grid

de Souza Grilo, Maria Mayara; de Souza, Raoni Pinheiro Gonzaga; Carvalho, Monica; Fortes, Anderson Felipe Chaves; Silva, Júlio Augusto Mendes
March 2018
Journal of Renewable & Sustainable Energy;Mar2018, Vol. 10 Issue 2, pN.PAG
Academic Journal
The carbon footprint is one of the most commonly employed environmental indicators used to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with a process or a product. The energy sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector. This has raised concerns about the consequences of the high consumption of non-renewable resources and increased the search for renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic solar energy, enable diversification of the global energy system. In this study, a comparative environmental analysis was performed for a heat pump utilized for dehumidification and heating purposes. The carbon footprints associated with two different scenarios for the supply of electricity to a heat pump were calculated. The first scenario used electricity from the national electric grid (Brazilian electricity mix), and the second scenario used electricity from a photovoltaic solar energy system connected to the grid. Photovoltaic solar energy presented a considerable environmental advantage in comparison to the direct use of electricity from the grid, with a reduction of approximately −207.88 kg CO2-eq/year. The use of cleaner energy sources, such as photovoltaic solar energy, significantly contributes to a reduction of the carbon footprint, and herein a significant potential for the mitigation of climate change was demonstrated.


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