Title: New method to assess the long-term role of wind energy generation in reduction of CO2 emissions – Case study of the European Union
Citation: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION vol. 207 p. 1099-1111
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC111593
ISSN: 0959-6526 (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC111593
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.09.249
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Most existing works using a displacement estimation method to estimate the CO2 emissions abated by wind energy are based on the current operating principles of the power system. They consider a fixed displacement emission factor since wind energy is assumed to replace high-carbon generation. This method may be unsuitable in the long run when the energy mix of most countries becomes more decarbonised. Consequently, wind energy would replace those technologies becoming increasingly predominant in the future, i.e. lower polluting fossil fuels such as natural gas and even other less competitive low-carbon technologies. In order to consider this effect, this paper proposes a new method that estimates a range of potential CO2 emissions abated by wind energy based on two dynamic displacement emission factors, which are periodically updated according to the evolution of the future energy mix. Such factors represent an upper and a lower limit of CO2 emissions avoided. The method is validated in the case study of the European Union over the period 2015e2050. The results show that the annual displacement emission factor by wind energy may vary from about 422 to 741 t CO2/GWh in 2015 to around 222e515 t CO2/GWh in 2050. The total CO2 abatement ranges from about 6600 to 13100Mt CO2 in the period 2015-2050.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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