Considerations in linking energy scenario modeling and Life Cycle Analysis

The U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) has been exploring approaches for estimating U.S. anthropogenic air pollutant emissions through the mid-21st century. As a result, we have developed the Emission Scenario Projection methodology, or ESP. In this document, we provide an overview of ESP development and capabilities, then highlight possible future directions. Next, we switch gears to describe a typical life cycle analysis (LCA) and discuss briefly some limitations of standard LCA approaches. Finally, linkage of ESP and LCA is proposed as a way to address the limitations. Three possible linkages are listed: (i) driving the underlying assumptions in the LCA with scenarios developed via EPS; (ii) gaining insights into the spatial allocation of LCA results using the future-year inventory projections developed with ESP, and (iii) integrating LC factors directly into the ESP energy system representation to capture LC impacts of various scenarios. This document and the related presentation are intended to stimulate discussion between the emission projection and LCA communities.