U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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Wind Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization

Wind Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization

Date: 6/30/2013

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Harmonization Project study that gives decision makers and investors more exact estimates of greenhouse gas emissions for renewable and conventional generation, clarifying inconsistent and conflicting estimates in the published literature, and reducing uncertainty. A frequently asked question is, "Do the concrete trucks required to build a wind farm result in greater carbon emissions than other generation technology options?" The Wind LCA Harmonization fact sheet concludes that wind LCA carbon emissions are similar to other renewables and nuclear energy and substantially lower than any fossil-fuel-based generation technology. The report considers each technology independently and not how different technologies interact when dispatched as part of the power system; however, other studies have demonstrated that the inclusion of wind significantly reduces the carbon emissions in the power sector.

This information was last updated on July 01, 2013