• Fluvius looking forward: Investigating the lifecycle of renewable energy technologies

      Andersen, Stephen; Samii, Behzad (2020)
      Renewable energy is only as sustainable as the technology that harvests it, and decisions around sustainable technology infrastructure need to be made with this in consideration. For example, a wind turbine's blade can be made of a reinforced carbon composite that cannot be recycled; an electric vehicle (EV) battery contains lithium - a finite, highly demanded resource with a heavy environmental cost in mining and manufacture; insulation used in medium to high voltage transmission often uses sulphur hexafluoride, which has a greenhouse gas equivalency 23 500 times greater than carbon dioxide; and many advanced electronics required rare earth elements (REEs), which have an uncertain, dynamic global supply chain. This teaching case and note is designed to be taught in Operations Management or Technology Management courses. The goal is to generate discussions focusing on the challenges that stakeholders encounter in adapting to the dynamic renewable energy landscape, and enable effective, nuanced decisions that go beyond purchasing and electrical output.