Maximizing Our Impact: A Call for The Standardization Of Techno-Economic Analyses For Sustainable Energy Systems Design Research
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The literature is rich with interesting process design concepts, innovative ideas, and diverse approaches to designing energy systems within a sustainability mindset. However, there is no standard way of performing “eco-techno-economic” analyses in such a way that the results of different studies can be directly compared against each other in a meaningful way without significant effort. This makes it difficult to decide which process concepts are the best choices for further research, development, and investment. Therefore, I propose the development of a standardized methodology for eco-techno-economic analyses that would include a standard collection of metrics and associated computation methodologies; standard sizes, geographic locations, and applications of energy systems; standard “status-quo” baselines for comparison purposes; standard supply chains with which to conduct life cycle analyses; and open-access to computer models and data. These standards would be developed over time by an international committee of process systems engineering researchers and practitioners, interface with existing standards such as CAPE-OPEN and life cycle analysis standards, and ultimately lead to a new and continually maintained international standard. All future research studies which adhere to such standards would then be significantly more impactful since they could be directly and immediately validated, compared, adopted, reused, augmented, and understood in the larger research context.
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