Describing Diffusion Scenarios for Low-Carbon Products Using Life Cycle Simulation

  • Kohei Saiki
  • Yusuke Kishita
  • Yasushi Umeda


Various low-carbon products, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, have been diffused to reduce CO2 emissions across the world. When we consider future uncertainties and product lifetimes, the question arises of how such products will reduce regional CO2 emissions over a longer period of time (e.g., 30 years). With the aim to answer this question, we describe scenarios to analyze the relationship among various social changes in the future (e.g., energy policy), the amount of low-carbon products diffused in a region, and the resulting CO2 emissions throughout the life cycle of the products. In this paper, we develop an integrated model for estimating the diffusion of low-carbon products and the CO2 emissions due to product diffusion using life cycle simulation. In a case study, we described several PV diffusion scenarios toward 2045 for the Tokyo area, in which we evaluated PV installation capacity and the CO2 emissions caused by PV diffusion. The results showed that the ownership rate of PV in 2045 would account for 36.8–53.6% of households. In addition, it was revealed that the extension of product lifetime provides the opportunity to reuse secondhand PV, causing less CO2 emissions than other scenarios.


Scenario Product diffusion Photovoltaic Low-carbon product Life cycle simulation 



This work was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-16) of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency and the Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A) (No. 26701015) and Challenging Exploratory Research (No. 15 K12290) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Precision Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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