Life Cycle Assessment of Offshore Wind Electricity Generation in Scandinavia
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In this study a Multi Regional Input Output model has been developed for the base year 2000, and thereafter extended and hybridized to enable a study of offshore wind power generation in Scandinavia. Foremost the per-unit environmental impact of offshore wind power generation was calculated to an average of 16.5 grams of CO2-eq. per kWh. The MRIO model offers a broad system boundary, covering a complete set of background flows and enables in this way a thorough study of the inter-regional value chains and the corresponding emissions embodied in trade. Scenarios from 2000 to 2030 for future offshore wind power were developed on the basis of GDP projections and projections for future energy demand. One baseline scenario, assuming no further offshore wind power installation, was developed, together with a Medium and a High scenario of future offshore wind power installation. The installed wind power was assumed to replace non-renewable energy sources, primarily domestically and secondly in power importing countries. The Medium and High scenario resulted in a cumulative reduction of 220 Mtons CO2-equivalents and 308 Mtons by 2030, respectively. The Norwegian offshore wind power was by a large exported, while Denmark and Sweden experienced a substantial wind power implementation into their economies, resulting in considerable increase in the percentage share of renewable energy in their electricity mix. This shows that offshore wind power could have a vital role in reaching the European Union s target of a 20% share of renewable energy by 2020, under the assumption that a substantial capacity of wind power is installed. The results from this study provide important guidance and a broad overview of the effect a large wind power implementation will have on the Scandinavian economy.