Abstract Numerous research studies have focused on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of solar energy systems, and more concretely, within the last decade, on the environmental performance of parabolic trough solar power plants. Due to ever-increasing global energy demands, the optimization of energy solutions to reduce adverse environmental impacts has been attracting research efforts. The study presented herein reports on the environmental perspective of parabolic through concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, focusing on greenhouse gas emissions. Existing studies on the environmental impacts of parabolic trough CSP plants show significant differences regarding the scope and frontiers of the LCA, database employed, raw materials, lifetime of the CSP plant, and temporal assumptions. The convergences and divergences appearing in the most relevant papers are recompiled, disaggregated by system and LCA phase, identifying the parameters with higher impacts and calculating the influence on environmental issues. The scientific literature review carried out demonstrated a knowledge gap on inventory data for parabolic trough CSP plants. This study provides a framework for the establishment of energy policies and standards, along with data for the environmental optimization of parabolic trough CSP plants.

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