As developed nations try to reduce their emissions, wind power can help achieve as much as 65 percent of the cuts pledged by 2020, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. Yet, the further adoption of wind power in the U.S. is beset by far-ranging and inconsistent cost/benefit estimations.
The Global Wind Energy Council said that Annex I pledges by 2020, including those from the U.S., the EU, Norway, Japan and Russia, comprise as much as 20 percent of all emissions cuts needed by 2020, reports REVE.
Wind power development of 2,600 TWh of electricity, as estimated by the GWEC, would offset about 1.5 billion tons of CO2, or as much as 65 percent of the Annex I pledges represented above.
“The wind energy sector stands ready to contribute a total of 10 billion tons of CO2 reductions by 2020. Industrialized countries can and must review their pledges for reduction targets and raise them very substantially,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General, in a press release.
Yet the cost of implementing wind power stands as an obstacle.
For example, in Rhode Island, wind opponents and proponents are still grappling over the estimated energy bill impacts from a recently announced offshore wind deal between National Grid and Deepwater Wind. Deepwater says the power purchase agreement will add $7 a month to the typical homeowner, but National Grid estimates the cost at closer to $16.20, reports the Providence Journal.
Previously, National Grid had twice rejected the deal, citing the high cost.
The reason for the cost differential is that National Grid included the cost of adding an undersea transmission line, while Deepwater did not.
Deepwater counters that National Grid’s estimate does not account for possible higher electricity costs in the future based on a potential rise in fossil fuel costs.
Both firms agree that the cost of the offshore wind-generated electricity will go down when Deepwater completes its second, much larger, wind farm.