In this paper we propose to adopt a new multi-criteria methodology, termed as the Four Sector Diagram of Benefits (FSDOB), to evaluate potential benefits generated by new energy options. This method allows us to account for a multiplicity of economic, social and environmental indicators, but especially for a particular form of benefits, termed as Ordinal Benefits. These Benefits can never be reduced to a monetary value, nonetheless they can be estimated in Emergy terms, albeit such estimations only represent simple "ciphers" of their real values. On the basis of the FSDOB Method we evaluate all the various forms of benefits provided by the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell buses. The case-study shows that our benefit-oriented approach tends to favor the adoption of environment-friendly technologies, as a consequence of the huge amount of social and environmental benefits they provide. The same solutions would result as non profitable from a traditional financial point of view. In such a perspective, they would never be realized, by loosing, in actual fact, the opportunity of taking advantage of all the associated benefits. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Economics and Econometrics