GLOBAL CARBON DIOXIDE REDUCTIONS
It has been calculated that, in 2000, about 15 million tonnes of CO2 production was avoided across 28 European countries through wind energy generation…
On the assumption that the average value for CO2 saved by switching to wind power is 600 tonnes per GWh**, under this scenario there will be the following savings:
- the CO2 emissions related to the manufacture, installation and servicing over the average 20 year lifecycle of a wind turbine are ‘paid back’ after the first 3 to 6 months of operation*.
- annual reductions rising from 50.8 million tonnes CO2 in 2003 to 1,832 million tonnes CO2 in 2020;
- by 2010, a cumulative reduction of 1,065 million tonnes CO2;
- by 2020, a cumulative reduction of 10,771 million tonnes CO2;
- by 2040, a cumulative reduction of 88,857 million tonnes CO2.
* Source: WEC statistics cited in “Wind Energy – The Facts”, Vol.4, 1998, EWEA/European Commission.
** On the assumption that coal and gas will still account for the majority of electricity generation in 20 years’ time – with a continued trend for gas to take over from coal – it makes sense to use a figure of 600 tonnes per GWh as an average value for the CO2 reduction to be obtained from wind generation.