Greenhouse Gas Emissions Savings from Wind Power

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Estimates of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings that arise from wind power replacing other types of generation are used to support wind farm developments and calculate carbon payback time. Currently these savings are approximated as the average emissions of electricity generation in the UK. However, this assumes that wind power replaces all different forms of generation equally, which is not the case. Instead, it mostly replaces electricity from coal and gas-fired stations; suggesting that actual emissions reductions are higher than current estimates. Conversely, any savings may be limited as a consequence of efficiency penalties at the power stations responding to the availability of wind power.

This poster presents an analysis of detailed operational data for the National Grid in 2012, identifying the half-hourly marginal changes in GHG emissions attributable to corresponding changes in wind output. The resulting emissions savings demonstrate that wind power is replacing coal and gas, but that efficiency penalties at these power stations reduce the emissions savings to a value close to the UK average grid emissions. This work is a significant step towards a robust and reliable figure for the historical offset of wind power generation and confirms that existing carbon payback estimates are valid.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2013
EventGlobal Energy Systems Conference - Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201328 Jun 2013


ConferenceGlobal Energy Systems Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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