Energy Sustainability Universal Index (ESUI): A proposed framework applied to the decision-making evaluation in power system generation


R. Silva, A. Silva, T. Lima b, F. Charrua-Santos, G. Osório (

There are numerous methodologies to measure sustainability, but there are few models on Energy Sustainability (ES) that focus on the proper use of energy sources. This manuscript aims to present the ESUI (Energy Sustainability Universal Index) framework for power generation. The method development consisted of four stages: (i) A survey of the State-of-the-Art to choose the dimensions and variables; (ii) The definition of “damage” concept to incorporate subjective values; (iii) Validation of the found variables through the analysis of 34 electric power plants randomly chosen and tested; and (iv) The mathematical model. From the analyzed power plants through the proposed model, as an example, the Itaipu Binacional Hydroelectric Power Plant is 42% sustainable with an emphasis in the Political-Territorial dimension, while Trillo Nuclear Power Plant is not economically sustainable. The main contributions of the proposed ESUI framework are the classification and evaluation of ES in five dimensions (Environmental, Economic, Social-Cultural, Political-Territorial, and Technological) through a simple process, helping in the management of the decision-making process, accounting simultaneously for subjective aspects and incorporating weighting factors according to the user’s expert opinion.