Federica Cucchiella

Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering

PhD
27.47

Publications

  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo
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    ABSTRACT: Great quantities of waste are conferred in landfill and this causes serious damages to the ecosystems. Nowadays waste to energy (WTE) is considered an effective disposal system for unsorted materials. Heat and electricity produced by waste is able to develop the circular economy and can help to reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuels. This paper aims to define the financial feasibility of investments in WTE plants of different sizes (from 50kt to 750kt). The indicator used for calculating the profitability is financial net present value (FNPV). Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis on critical variables (selling price of electricity, heat selling price, degree of saturation, investment cost, cost of elimination of ash and slag waste, risk free, lower heating value) is conducted and the role of subsidies is investigated. These results can support the choices of local and national policy-makers.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D'Adamo · Paolo Rosa · Sergio Terzi
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    ABSTRACT: End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), together with Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipments (WEEEs), are re-known as an important source of secondary raw materials. Since many years, their recovery allowed the restoring of great amounts of metals for new cars’ production. However, the management of electronic systems embedded into ELVs is yet rarely considered by the scientific literature. The purpose of the paper is trying to fill in this gap through the proposition of an innovative economic model able to identify the presence of profitability within the recovery process of automotive Waste Printed Circuit Boards (WPCBs). Net Present Value (NPV) and Discounted Payback Time (DPBT) will be used to demonstrate the validity of investments in this type of plants. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis on a set of critical variables (plant saturation level, gold (Au) content, Au market price, Au final purity level, WPCBs purchasing cost and opportunity cost) will be conducted for the evaluation of the impact of significant variations on results. Finally, the matching of predicted European ELVs volumes (during the period 2015-2030) and NPVs coming from the economic model will quantify the potential advantages coming from the implementation of this new kind of circular economy.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Cleaner Production
  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo · Paolo Rosa
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    ABSTRACT: Photovoltaic (PV) systems are becoming a relevant electricity source, characterised by a growing trend in the last years. This paper analyses the economic feasibility of investments in industrial PV systems of different sizes (200 kW, 400 kW, 1 MW, and 5 MW), in the absence of subsidies, and in a mature market (Italy). The selected indicators for this kind of assessment are net present value (NPV) and discounted payback time (DPBT). Furthermore, the environmental advantage in comparison to fossil sources of energy is evaluated through the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions (ERcd). Finally, a sensitivity analysis on critical variables (percentage of self-consumed energy, average annual insolation rate, annual electricity purchase price, annual electricity sale price, unitary investment cost and opportunity cost) is conducted. Results highlight the strategic role of self-consumption in a market characterised by an absence of public policy incentives and the presence of interesting economic opportunities for industrial applications.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Energies
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D'Adamo · Paolo Rosa · Sergio Terzi
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    ABSTRACT: End-of-life vehicles, together with waste from electric and electronic equipment, are known as an important source of secondary raw materials. For many years, their recovery has allowed the restoring of great amounts of metals for new cars production. This article provides a comprehensive mini-review on the end-of-life vehicles recycling topic between 2000 and 2014, with a particular focus on automotive electronics recycling. In fact, in the last years, experts focused their attention on a better exploitation of automotive shredder residue fraction, but not sufficiently on eventual electronic scraps embedded in it. Hence, studies assessing the value embedded in these scraps are rarely available in literature, causing an important gap in both recycling policies and research. The fact that, at present, the management of electronic control units (the most valuable component among automotive electronic equipment) is, as yet, off the radar in both end-of-life vehicles and waste from electric and electronic equipment Directives demonstrates the theory. Of course, their recycling would not contribute in a relevant way to reach the weighted-based recycling and recovery targets characterising current regulations, but would be very important under a critical raw materials recovery view. Results coming from the literature analysis confirm these assumptions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Waste Management & Research
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D 'adamo · Paolo Rosa
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    ABSTRACT: The photovoltaic (PV) industry has a relevant role in terms of energy systems sustainability. The economic and environmental benefits related to its application brought the PV sector to an overall installed power of about 138 GW in 2013 (þ 24% compared to 2012). The recent update of the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive classifies End-of-Life (EoL) PV panels as an electrical/electronic waste. Hence, it became mandatory to define alternative strategies to landfill [1]. The scientific literature presents different interesting technological solutions, together with related environmental benefits coming from the PV modules recycling. However, there is a clear fragmentation from an economic point of view [2]. The aim of this paper is to apply a financial methodology, like the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis, for the assessment of PV modules recycling process profitability. This method goes to evaluate two main indexes, as the Net Present Value (NPV) and the Discounted Payback Period (DPBT). The Italian context is selected as a reference case study for the definition of an optimal plant capacity size related to current and expected national market volumes. To this aim, two types (pilot and industrial) of plants are proposed by the authors. The obtained financial results are useful to support future strategic decisions about the PV recycling management. &
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: Development of domestic energy sources is a central pillar of national policies for energy independence. In Italy, renewable-energy plants have attained important profit margins under incentivizing policies. The yields and risks for the various sources of biomass, wind, photovoltaic and hydro vary according to the size of the specific plant. The use of mean variance portfolio (MVP) methodology to define efficient portfolios of such energy sources has been established in previous studies. Such methodology defines and quantifies the benefits associated with diversification. In this paper we apply MVP, using net present value and Sharpe ratio criteria, to identify not only the source selection but also its optimal dimensioning, which will achieve the objectives set by decision-makers. The study considers plant capacities from 10 kW up to 100 MW.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D'Adamo · SC Lenny Koh · Paolo Rosa
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    ABSTRACT: Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipments (WEEEs) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate going from 3% up to 5% per year. The recycling of Electric or electronic waste (E-waste) products could allow the diminishing use of virgin resources in manufacturing and, consequently, it could contribute to in reducing reduce the environmental pollution. Given that EU is trying, since the last two decades, to develop a circular economy based on the exploitation of resources recovered by wastes, a comprehensive framework supporting the decision-making process of multi-WEEE recycling centres will be analysed in this paper. An economic assessment will define the potential revenues coming from the recovery of fourteen e-products (e.g. LCD notebooks, LED notebooks, CRT TVs, LCD TVs, LED TVs, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, LED monitors, cell phones, smart phones, PV panels, HDDs, SSDs and tablets) on the base of current and future disposed volumes in Europe. Moreover, a sensitivity analysis will be used to test the impact of some critical variables (e.g. price of recovered materials, input materials composition, degree of purity obtained by the recycling process, volumes generated, and percentage of collected waste) on specific economic indexes. A discussion of the economic assessment results shows the main challenges in the recycling sector and streamlines some concrete solutions.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo
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    ABSTRACT: The development of photovoltaic (PV) energy has led to rising efficiencies, better reliability, and falling prices. A multicriteria analysis (MCA) of PV systems is proposed in this paper in order to evaluate the sustainability of alternative projects. The investigations are presented using multiple indicators: Energy Payback Time (EPBT), Energy Return on Investment (EROI), Greenhouse Gas per kilowatt-hour (GHG/kWh), Greenhouse Gas Payback Time (GPBT), Greenhouse Gas Return on Investment (GROI), Net Present Value (NPV), Discounted Payback Time (DPBT), and Discounted Aggregate Cost Benefit ( D(B/C) A ). PV energy is a relevant player in global electricity market and can have a key-role in sustainable growth.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · International Journal of Photoenergy
  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo
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    ABSTRACT: Photovoltaic technology has grown globally over the past 4 years at a remarkable rate (from 24 GW worldwide in 2009 to 138 GW in 2013) and is on its way to becoming a strategic electricity source (EPIA 2014a, b). This paper aims to determine whether the objectives of environmental protection and economic profit can coexist in an investment in residential photovoltaic power generation facilities in Italy. Currently, investors are choosing the principle of economic maximisation; in this way, even if a photovoltaic system is designed to reduce carbon emissions, it is not guaranteed that the carbon emissions will be reduced at a minimum level (environmental maximisation). The government support to promote renewable energy is essential for photovoltaic investments. In this article, the effectiveness of supporting renewable electricity policies (such as feed-in-tariff and tax deduction) has been assessed for the multiple combinations of energy output and electrical energy required; 2,304 numerical experiments (related to 2012-2014) demonstrate the effects of policies that could be adopted for supporting renewable electricity generation. Furthermore, is presented a comparison among the profitability of residential photovoltaic facilities in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that are affected by different investment costs and several incentive mechanisms.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
  • Marianna Rotilio · Pierluigi De Berardinis · Federica Cucchiella
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    ABSTRACT: The integration of building systems that exploit renewable energy sources in urban rehabilitation projects has shown interesting technological possibilities of intervention in different areas and with varying degrees of success, defining scenarios of high architectural acceptability even in sensitive contexts. Any recovery project aiming at the integration of systems exploiting renewable energy sources in historical contexts, typically characterized by a pre-modern material culture that forms their main testimonial value, requires an accurate process to verify the integrability, variable case by-case, that needs to be articulated at different scales: from the single building elements to the urban dimension of the village (roads, open spaces, urban spaces…). The attention placed on the historic villages stems from the desire to achieve an ambitious goal, namely the revival and revi-talization of the territory in order to increase the overall level of quality and technological innovation, to avert the risk of depopulation and abandonment of human settlements. Moreover the promotion of the reuse of existing buildings or structures could avoid the construction of new building complexes that would cause, inevitably, a further use of the land. Finally, the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources would allow a significant reduction in consumption levels. The variety of topics presented entails important issues in relation to the integration of these systems, but the effort made is undoubtedly an important “step” along the way towards environmental sustainability and energy self-sufficiency.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Green Energy and Technology
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter provides a deep analysis on the evolution of supply chains in renewable energy industries. Understanding how supply chains evolve during the development of renewable energy industries under the impact of an incentive system is critical to provide a comprehensive understanding of the approaches and policies that can foster sustainable development. However, existing research has not adopted a systematic and quantitative approach to address this issue so far. To fill this gap, the chapter discusses the results of a survey of the Italian photovoltaic, wind and bioenergy supply chains covering the period 2010-2013. Data were collected through structured Interviews with 1,200 firms operating in different stages of these supply chains. For each renewable energy industry, we illustrate the anatomy of the supply chain by discussing data regarding turnover, level of internationalization of the supply chain, profitability of the different business areas, evolution of the turnkey cost of the plant.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Green Energy and Technology
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D 'adamo · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: Biomethane is an interesting source for sustainable energy systems, featuring great flexibility that translates into multiple possible applications (vehicle fuel, combined production of thermal and electrical energy, injection in the gas grid). Compared to biogas, biomethane permits greater efficiency. Its use is not limited to the immediate area of the plant and purification of the raw methane means greater lifespans for the equipment. This paper analyses its use in the transport sector in light of recent statutory changes that introduce incentives. Net present value and discounted payback time are applied for the evaluation of profitability of biomethane plants, and are calculated in function of the feedstocks used, the plant dimensions and the firm configuration (producer and distributor combined; separate firms). Environmental considerations and a high number of natural gas vehicles define its strategic role in the Italian transport sector.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy
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    ABSTRACT: Renewable energies have a key role in defining an energy policy based on security, independence, and sustainability. The Italian market is characterised by the absence of support mechanisms for photovoltaic sources for electricity and by a high level of maturity in the energy market. Consequently, this paper contributes to, and advances, the debate concerning self-consumption that can support the economic sustainability of photovoltaic facilities. We constructed a database to conduct an analysis. A survey was conducted among 750 companies operating in various stages of the industry supply chain. The survey collected data related to industry turnover, profitability levels, profitability margins of the business areas and employee numbers. The economic feasibility of photovoltaic investment is evaluated for systems of varying sizes (3 kW, 20 kW, 200 kW, 400 kW, and 1 MW) located in two areas of the country to account for different levels of insolation (northern and southern regions). The indicators used are net present value (NPV) and discounted payback time (DPBT). A subsequent sensitivity and scenario analysis is conducted according to the share of self-consumption, investment costs, and financial structure to examine 210 case studies.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Energy Conversion and Management
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    Federica Cucchiella · Massimo Gastaldi · Luigi Ranieri
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    ABSTRACT: Absenteeism is an employee's intentional or habitual absence from work. While employers expect workers to miss a certain number of workdays each year, excessive absences can equate to decreased productivity and can have a major effect on company strategies, finances, morale and other factors. The main aim of this paper is to take a broad view of the causes a of workplace absenteeism in the Hera Group, an Italian multiutility leader in environmental, water and energy services, and to describe various facets of its assessment and management. It is intended to provide both an overview on absenteeism data and then progress to exploring solutions and discussions on absenteeism problems, connecting strategic goals with human resource related issues.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D'Adamo · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: In 1995, Porter and van der Linde defined pollution as a manifestation of economic waste. Currently, incorrect information and conflicting theories among scientists hinder the diffusion of sustainable practices in waste management [1]. New industrial market research reports highlight that the value of the global waste incineration market has increased in recent years (+$1.3 billion dollars from 2008 to 2012), and this sector will continue to grow (+$6.8 billion dollars from 2012 to 2022) [2]. The paper focuses on the Italian situation on which urgent actions are required because more than 50% of waste is landfilled [3]. The correct environmental management increases the financial performance because waste investments offer both environmental and economic benefits. The problem to solve is related to both waste management and high levels of recycling, where an unsorted fraction of waste will remain. Based on a thorough review of the topic, a national waste management plan (NWMP) for energy recovery is herein proposed for evaluating all the aspects of sustainability of waste-to-energy (WTE) plants: the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) with respect to landfill, the estimation of financial net present value (FNPV) and the economic net present value (ENPV) and, finally, the estimation of new employment opportunity.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Federica Cucchiella · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: In Italy in the past three years, electricity generation from renewables recorded high growth rates. In 2011, it continued to have an upword trend (+7.8% on 2010), reaching 82,961 GWh. The EU directive on renewable requires to increase renewable energy with a target of 19.6% of total electricity consumption from renewables. In 2011, Italy recorded 23.5%, surpassing by wide margin the proposed target. Moreover the year 2011 represents a turning point since until 2010, the extent of renewable generation was mostly affected by the behavior of the hydro source, while in 2011 the hydro output is stable and the new renewables (solar, wind and biomass) increase. At the same time the effort of management science to assessing efficiency is reaching its goals with the use of Data Envelopment Analysis, a mathematical programming technique able to estimate the comparative efficiency of a set of units which, though distinct production processes and technology, take a given level of inputs to produce a given quantity of outputs. In this paper the efficiency of renewable energy technology (photovoltaic, wind, biomass, hydro) is evaluated with Data Envelopment Analysis at regional level in Italy considering investment and operating costs as inputs and installed power capacity, energy intensity and the CO2 avoided as outputs. For each sources the more and the less efficient region is selected and an accurate analysis of the obtained results is outlined. The policy implications of the obtained results conclude the paper.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014
  • Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: The management and exploitation of renewable energy sources is now recognised as central to sustainable development. Environmental concerns, recurring oil crises and market weaknesses, combined with the availability of power from natural resources and resulting possibilities for job creation and energy independence, have all pushed developed and developing countries towards new energy strategies that include RES. This paper analyses the profitability of potential investments in small, medium and large RE electrical power facilities, applying a Net Present Value (NPV) methodology. The proposed financial analysis permits strategic selection of an energy portfolio from among available sources and plant sizes. The paper then discusses potential constraints, and where possible applies the NPV methodology for estimating the necessary changes in decision-making. It defines the role of government incentive schemes in the financial results and evaluates the impact of variation in critical variables (subsidies, sale price of electricity, investment cost, operating cost and equivalent operating hours) on the estimation of NPV. Finally, the paper analyses the environmental impact of all the energy sources examined, examines the links with the financial results and proposes socio-economic policy considerations based on the entirety of the research results. While the methodology is applied to the Italian case, it could be modified to serve in other nations by adapting the input parameters to reflect the different regulatory and market contexts.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo · Massimo Gastaldi
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    ABSTRACT: Current economic crisis brought to light the structural deficiencies of European economy. This paper aims to improve the performances of a policy on sustainable municipal solid waste management strategies. Specifically, the attention is focused on Italian country that reports a high rate of landfilling. Waste to Energy plant is an attractive technological option in municipal solid waste, but it is a subject of intense debate. Incinerators require effective and efficient controls to avoid emissions of harmful pollutants into the air, land and water, which may influence human health and environment. To address waste management situation, this study uses a multi-objective mathematical programming. A new plan is presented to evaluate and quantify the effects of initiatives for diversion of current waste from landfill. In an attempt to better simulate realistic waste management scenarios, the amount of waste generated is not annually constant and changes are accounted in waste diversion rates. Moreover, due to the geographical characteristics of Italy, the realization of new facilities is replicated with a regional detail. In this paper economic and financial indicators are used to define the profitability of waste facilities. Moreover, a sensitivity analysis is used to test some of the initial assumptions. Once identified the efficient Waste to Energy plant, regional strategies of waste management are proposed to optimize financial and environmental benefits of the sector. The proposed waste management framework provides a concrete scheme for future research in assessing quantitatively the effectiveness of waste management.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Energy Conversion and Management
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo · Massimo Gastaldi · S. C. Lenny Koh

    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2013
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    Federica Cucchiella · Idiano D’Adamo
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    ABSTRACT: Actually, one of the most relevant debates, among both citizens that government, is related to energy and environmental issue. The development of renewable energy usage is due to several factors such as the political strategic decisions and geographical situation. Indeed the high development of renewable energies requires challenges from a supply chain point of view. In this paper, a thorough survey of the extant literature on the topic of supply chain (SC) and renewable energy (RE) has been conducted. English papers published on international peer-reviewed journals from 2003 to 2013 have been considered. Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) resolves the duality between environmental, economic and social aspects. Sustainable manufacturing practices play an essential role in promoting renewable energy development and commercialization; this will require significant changes to the industry's traditional Supply Chain Management and business model. The aim of the paper is investigate literature insights useful to increase the performance and overcome barriers to the RE supply chain development. Like many typical supply chains, also supply chain related to RE includes elements such as: physical, information, and financial flows. The present research is useful to individualize characteristics of a RE supply chain. Moreover, the research is useful improve the performance of RE supply chain in some aspects like: better control supply chain costs to make renewable energy more affordable; manage supply chain to address weakened demand in the near term, and increase flexibility to handle anticipated rapid growth in the next 3-5 years; In so doing the present research has practical implications that make the results interesting for decision maker about optimal design of a system operating from one renewable energy sources. Moreover, the results are interesting for researchers since are individualized many sectors where it is necessary to proceed with additional research investigations.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Energy Conversion and Management

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