The Carbon Footprint of Wind Energy
“What is the carbon footprint of wind energy?”
As we discussed earlier in the carbon footprint of solar energy, even the greenest of technologies have an environmental impact. Wind energy is no exception to this rule. During manufacturing, rare-earth minerals have to be scavenged up and forged to produce the technology, creating CO2 emissions in the process. Although these problems are caused by the creation of wind turbines, research has shown that their operate produces only a 90th of greenhouse gases of coal plants and a 40th of natural gas plants (Dolan et. al 2012), making their energy payback period as quick as six months in some areas! (Haapala and Prempreeda 2014). As a result, when discussing The Carbon Footprint of Wind Energy, one must realize that most of it is simply concentrated in the manufacturing phase.
Dolan, S. L., & Heath, G. A. (2012). Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Utility-Scale Wind Power. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 16(s1), S136–S154. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00464.x
Karl R. Haapala; Preedanood Prempreeda. Comparative life cycle assessment of 2.0 MW wind turbines. International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing, 2014 DOI: 10.1504/IJSM.2014.062496