In this paper, a new method is presented for estimating the environmental efficiency of 15 thermo power plants (TPPs) and their evolution over the years. In particular, the plant environmental efficiency, defined as a function of consumptions, costs and emissions (SO2, NOx, ash, and CO2) are considered, taking into account the fuel adopted. The approach is based on a two-step procedure. Firstly, a “Multi Criteria Decision Making” (MCDM) technique is applied to rank the TPPs as a function of the environmental efficiency. In particular the “Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution” (TOPSIS) is used to order the plants according the six different criteria. Secondary, the TOPSIS ranking analysis is applied with reference to a fuel pollution indicator proposed in the literature, which makes it possible to consider its “environmental quality”. The integration of the pollution indicator with the TOPSIS ranking makes it possible to obtain a graphical output that shows the comparison of the environmental performances between the different plants analysed in an easy and intuitive manner. In addition, concerning the data available for a number of years, it is also possible to study the TPPs environmental efficiency evolution over time.
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