MSc Thesis: Life Cycle Assessment of the Geothermal Power Plant in the Patuha Geothermal Field, Indonesia


REYKJAVIK, March 9 - MSc in Sustainable Energy candidate, Gloria Gladis Sondakh, successfully defended her master's thesis where she investigates a Life Cycle Assessment of the Geothermal Power Plant in the Patuha Geothermal Field in Indonesia. Gladis's work was supervised by Dr. Einar Jón Ásbjörnsson from Reykjavik University; Dr. Marta Rós Karlsdóttir, Director at Orkustofnun; and Dr. David Christian Finger from Reykjavik University and Energie Institut JKU Linz. Examination was conducted by Þröstur Helgason, Resource Manager at Mannvit.


Gladis begins by emphasizing the fact that every country is aiming to increase the usage of clean energy, which releases very minimal quantities of green house gases (GHG). She goes on to say that in comparison to other energy sources, geothermal energy is seen as a cleaner and more environmentally friendly source. On a global scale, geothermal power plants emit an average of 122 g CO2/kWh. PT Geo Dipa Energi (GeoDipa), which owns a 55 MW geothermal power plant in Indonesia, has implemented a number of strategies to achieve environmentally friendly production. 

Gladis centers her research on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) program, which is needed to assess the environmental impacts of a specific power plant. The primary objective of Gladis's LCA research is to assess the potential negative impacts on the environment of the geothermal drilling, construction, and operation of the Patuha geothermal power plant. The LCA method for her research relies on the general framework outlined in ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044 for environmental management, which includes goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation. 

Gladis concludes with with the results of her research, showing that climate change had the most important contribution to environmental impact among the environmental impacts assessed. The drilling, construction, and operation stages emit 43,3 g CO2 eq/kWh, with the operation stage being the most significant contributor, accounting for 41,94 g CO2 eq/kWh due to CO2 emissions from the cooling tower. Gladis also highlights another major contributor to climate change, which is the use of materials, such as steel for machinery and foundations, as well as the use of concrete. Her research ultimately discovered that the CO2 emissions at the Patuha geothermal power plant are lower than the global average for geothermal power generation.

Congratulations Gladis on an excellent thesis defense!


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