Activities and Prospects

1. Introduction
2. Recent and Current Research Activities
3. Recent and Current Projects
4. National Plans
5. National Activities
6. Market Developments
7. Benefits to the Environment
8. Employment Prospects for Europe
9.Benefits for European Industry
10. REFERENCES



7   Benefits to the Environment

The benefits to the environment from using wind power are mainly by reducing atmospheric pollution. As well as a significant reduction in CO2, other pollutants are also reduced; SO2, NOx, CO, Methane and Particulates.

The amount of CO2 emitted by various types of power generation during all stages of a power generation plantís life cycle are listed below. The values given are subject to some local country by country variation, but wind power reduces emissions by orders of magnitude compared with conventional thermal power generation.

CO2 Emissions (Tonnes per GWh) [41], [42] & [43]

Technology

Fuel Extraction

Construction

Operation

Total

Coal-fired [1]

1

1

962

964

AFBC

1

1

961

963

IGCC

1

1

748

751

Oil-fired

-

-

726

726

Gas-fired

-

-

484

484

OTEC

N/A

4

300

304

Geothermal

<1

1

56

57

Small hydro

N/A

10

N/A

10

Nuclear [2]

~2

1

5

8

Wind

N/A

7

N/A

7

Photovoltaics

N/A

5

N/A

5

Large hydro

N/A

4

N/A

4

Solar thermal

N/A

3

N/A

3

Wood [3]

-1509

3

1346

-160

1 Conventional plant 2 Boiling water reactor 3 Sustainable harvest

The actual saving in emissions depends to a large extent on the mix of types of power generation for an individual country or region and the type of plant replaced. It is apparent that any calculations on emissions savings must look realistically at the type of power generation likely to be replaced, and not just assume that the most polluting will be shut down.

As an example of this, it is interesting to note that the German energy mix including nuclear power is 0.6kg/kWh, whereas the mix excluding nuclear power is 0.89kg/kWh

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Updated September 2008