Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions from Wind Energy: Location, Location, Location?

Duncan Callaway and Meredith Fowlie

Increased deployment of intermittent renewable energy resources - wind energy in particular- has the potential to deliver cost effective GHG emissions in the near term. Accurate quantification of the environmental benefits from these resources has an important role to play in policy design, implementation, and evaluation. This paper develops an empirical approach to estimating marginal operating emissions impacts of new grid connected resource that captures both spatial and temporal variation in (and correlation between) marginal emissions rates and energy resource profiles. Using hourly data from mesoscale climate modeling of wind sites in New England and New York as an example, we demonstrate the methodological approach and explore thepolicy implications of our findings.