Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling). Wind energy is one of clean energy forms during the operation phase of the project, but it includes some environmental pollution during other stages of its life cycle such as manufacturing and dismantling of the wind turbines.
The aim of this study is to analyze and evaluate the LCA and real impact of the first wind farm to be installed in Libya considering the whole life cycle. This wind farm is located in Dernah, east coast of Libya. The analysis revealed that the energy payback period is 0.475 year (5.7 months), and the pay back ratio is 42.1, which confirms very well with other results in the literature. The electricity generated by one wind turbine 1.65 MW (model M. Torres (TWT 1.65/82)) land based in this wind farm is expected to emit approximately 10.42, 0.02713, 0.03823, 0.0001474, 0.0001065, 0.0003469 and 0.0112237 g m per kWh CO2, SO2, NOx, N2O, CH4, NMVOC and CO respectively. The results obtained in this study confirm that wind energy produces the lowest CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity (∼10 g m/kWh) compared to fossil fuel and other renewable energy sources. By recycling the wind turbine material the specific emissions of CO2 is 4.65 g m/kWh of energy generated. The amount of fuel savings is 85,700 m3/year or 79,013,800 kgfuel/year, which is equivalent to $2,804,900/year (more than fifty six million dollars over the life time of the wind farm) if the local subsidized price of HFO was considered. The savings could reach a value as high as $63,404,570/year ($ 1.3 × 109 over the entire life time of the wind farm) if the international prices of HFO were considered.