Debunking another popular turbophobe myth
A popular myth put about by turbophobes is that the construction of a windfarm creates more emissions than it will save in its generating lifetime.
It is trure that the manufacture, construction activity and soil disturbance associated with a wind farm results in emissions of carbon dioxide. However, the generation of electricity by a wind farm does not emit carbon dioxide. This means that wind farms provide a source of green energy which otherwise would have to be produced using fossil fuels, causing carbon emissions. Over time this reduces the nation-wide output of carbon dioxide and these reductions will balance, or ‘pay back’, the original emissions involved in developing a wind farm.
Carbon payback was an issue which generated much discussion when Viking Energy published their initial application. Since thena lot of work has been done to ensure the figures Viking produce are clear, robust and reflect the realities of the proposed site.
The carbon payback time of the wind farm is now less than one year in all outlined scenarios.
This is largely because Viking have modified the standard calculations to recognize the actual site conditions rather than theoretical assumptions. The site is already a net emitter of carbon dioxide gas.
On site surveys have estimated that the majority of the peat that would be disturbed by the wind farm infrastructure – 67.7% – is already deteriorating and releasing stored carbon. Viking will seek to stabilize and restore the peatland habitat across the site to address the ongoing erosion.
The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute undertook and independent review of the basis of the carbon paybacks on behalf of Viking Energy with the aim of improving both the robustness of these calculations, and to inform further assessments based upon them.