FENA2023 - Life cycle assessment of energy systems


New from the academic year 2020/2021

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Written examination 40/100 3 hours D
Assignment 60/100 A

Course content

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a widely used methodology to assess the environmental impact of various goods and services, including energy systems. The methodology has a framework that enables consistent comparisons of various system solutions and alternative technologies with respect to environmental properties. Such an assessment can take into account many different environmental impact categories, such as global warming, acidification and toxicity, etc. Such a broad perspective is important in order to avoid that measures to reduce global warming cause other significant environmental problems. An LCA requires system boundaries to be properly set out and designed to meet this type of challenge.
The course gives an introduction to LCA on bachelor level, with emphasis on the use of the methodology for assessing energy systems.
The first part of the course consists of the mathematical foundation, modelling of production systems and methods for evaluating environmental impacts. In the second part, applications of LCA on various energy systems are presented. This includes assessments of bioenergy, with emphasis on how system boundaries for biological material greatly affect the results. Furthermore, examples will be carried out related to solar and wind energy and hydropower, and various transmission systems (electric, district heating).

Learning outcome

The course will give the student knowledge about:
• Life cycle assessments (LCA) for the assessment of various systems, technologies and products based on their environmental properties.
• Use of this methodology on various energy systems and technologies.
The course will give the student insight into:
• How to carry out robust environmental assessments
The course will enable the student to:
• Conduct a simplified LCA as independent work, as well as more complex assessments under supervision.
General competence:
The course will give the student an understanding of:
• How to evaluate the environmental properties of different energy and production systems

Learning methods and activities

The course is taught using different learning methods. The first part will mainly be conducted as lectures and discussions with the students. Students are required to contribute actively. Practical examples are performed using LCA computing tools and software. Independent project work is an important part of the learning, and guidance will be offered throughout the semeste

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved exercises

Further on evaluation

Compulsory assignments: 3 mandatory hands-in and all of them must be approved. Re-sit of written exam in August. If the Project is not approved, a New Project must be done Next time the course is run. Both parts must be approved.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Renewable Energy (BIFOREN)

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

Language of instruction: -

Location: Ålesund

Subject area(s)
  • Energy and Process Engineering
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering



Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Spring ORD Written examination 40/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 60/100 A
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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