ODENSE LETBANE - A Life Cycle Assessment of Odense’s Light Rail Project

colourbox.com / Thomas Mørkeberg

Lars Bo Jensen

Independent Student Activity - Energy Technology - 2018

The Odense Light Rail (Odense Letbante) is expected to be completed at the end of 2020 and run for at least thirty years, servicing an estimated 11 million passengers per year. Odense Municipality, alongside the ministry of southern Denmark and Region Syddanmark have funded the project with the intent of strengthening the urban development in the municipality. This project aims to answer the question of whether this motivation is competitive with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

This paper attempts to gauge the environmental impact of the project, by conducting a consequential Life Cycle Assessment. The LCA has been conducted in accordance with the ILCD standards, using the ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ and Cumulative Energy Demand impact methodologies. The results have been compared with the alternative of investing into the local bus services.

The paper concludes that the Odense Letbane project significantly reduces the impact, per person kilometre, compared to the conventional bus services. All in all, the Light Rail has been estimated to emit less than a tenth of the bus scenario, at 0.007 kg CO2 kg equivalents. This holds true, even in the scenario analysis where different markets for Danish electricity, number of passengers, external transport effects and electricity consumptions were considered.

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