photo: Martin P
Even those of us who follow renewable energy sometimes can get perplexed trying to figure out how statements about the carbon emission reduction potential of a given project are calculated. There's always the ambiguity about what constitutes an "average" house, about how much power will actually be produced from a project as opposed to its rated capacity, for example. What doesn't make it any easier is when a standard figure for emission avoidance for a technology gets revised, as in this case...
With the proverbial stroke of a pen British wind turbines now reduce half as many emissions as they did previously. The British Wind Energy Association was forced by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority to revise the figure after complaints:
New Emissions Reduction = 430 g CO2/kWh
The old figure was 860 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour, but after reconsidering the current UK electricity mix, the ASA recommended that the BWEA now use a figure of 430 grams/kWh.
This means that while it is true, as a BWEA spokesman has said, that "fossil fuel burning power stations belch out CO2 emissions and wind farms don't," claims about how many wind turbines will be needed to avoid a given amount of emissions will have to be doubled.
Another BWEA source admitted that the ruling is "not ideal for us. It's the result of pressure by the anti-wind farm lobby."
More from both the pro-wind and anti-wind sides of this: The Telegraph
UK's Crown Estate Gets Into Offshore Wind Power: Fronts Half of Pre-Construction Development Costs
Rule Britannia: UK is Now World's #1 Offshore Wind Power Producer
Vattenfall to Build 300MW, £780M Offshore Wind Farm in Kent, UK