in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a new approach to assessing greenhouse-gas emissions from energy sources such as coal, wind and solar that should help stakeholders decide which energy projects to build.

NREL analysts looked at more than 2,000 studies across several energy technologies, applied quality controls and greatly narrowed the range of estimates for greenhouse-gas emissions.

The study found that greenhouse-gas emissions from wind power and solar photovoltaics are about 5% of those from coal and that nuclear energy emissions are on par with those from renewable energy.

Renewables such as solar and wind produce far fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than coal, oil or natural gas while in operation. But the meta-analysis looked even deeper, at emissions estimates starting with the manufacture of solar panels, wind turbines, coal plants or natural-gas lines, all the way to the emissions estimates for decommissioning the sites.

Increasingly, lenders, utility executives and lawmakers are scrambling to get the most precise information on greenhouse-gas emissions from various sources of energy, and they are frequently frustrated by the huge range of those estimates.

State and local lawmakers, weighing the merits of a new coal-fired plant versus a wind farm, for example, are eager to know not just the relative financial costs, but also the impacts on the environment.

Project developers, investors, manufacturers and utilities all can use NREL’s estimates as building blocks to making their own estimates of specific projects or to guide policy, NREL explains.



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Senate Passes Tax Extenders Bill With Wind PTC Extension

The legislation, which passed in the U.S. House earlier this month, will renew the critical production tax credit through the end of 2014 - giving developers only about two weeks left to start construction.


Transmission Study Shows Nebraska Could Handle A Lot More Wind Power

A new report released by the Nebraska Power Review Board finds that the state already has enough infrastructure to accommodate at least 2 GW of additional wind generation.


Can Wind Energy And Birds Coexist? Environmental Group Says Yes

The Environmental Defense Fund, a supporter of responsible wind energy development, points out ways to help mitigate impacts of turbines on birds and bats.


Another Study Finds Wind Turbines Do Not Affect Nearby Property Values

Research conducted by the University of Guelph focused on regions in Ontario, and the conclusion echoes that of previous studies.


Too Little, Too Late? U.S. House Approves Wind PTC Extension

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a tax extenders package that would renew the wind production tax credit (PTC) and about 50 other expired tax breaks through 2014. The wind industry argues the short-term fix is virtually no fix at all.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015