Wind farms in the United Kingdom are playing a significant role in the reduction and limitation of carbon emissions from other sources of power generation, preventing the creation of almost 36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2014, according to new research from the University of Edinburgh.
According to a new study published in the journal Energy Policy by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, power generated from wind farms has prevented the creation of almost 36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as coal and gas over a six-year period analyzed in the study from 2008 to 2014.
That amount of greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road.
The study analyzed figures from the UK’s National Grid on how much power was generated by various sources, and improved on previous studies into the role of wind energy by using real, rather than estimated energy output figures, while also taking into account the inefficiency of individual conventional generators.
“Until now, the impact of clean energy from wind farms was unclear,” said Dr Camilla Thomson, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, who led the study. “Our findings show that wind plays an effective role in curbing emissions that would otherwise be generated from conventional sources, and it has a key role to play in helping to meet Britain’s need for power in future.”
The study concludes that government estimates for the carbon savings produced by wind energy have underestimated the benefits wind farms are having, with 3.4 million more tonnes of greenhouse gas saved than previously thought — that works out to be the equivalent of taking an extra 220,000 cars off the road.
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