Renewables info

How is solar CO² reduction calculated?

If you multiply those renewable, carbon-free kilowatt hours you get:

  1. 10,000kWh X 0.3835 = 3,835 kg of CO².
  2. 900,000,000 kWh x 0.3835 = 34,515,000 kg of CO² over 30 years. (27 Jan 2020).
  3. 10,000kWh X 0.3835 = 3,835 kg of CO².

How much CO² is produced per solar panel?

Accounting for the amount of CO² produced during solar panel manufacturing, solar panels generate, in effect, around 50g of CO² per kilowatt hour during their initial years of operation.

This is about 20 times less than the carbon output of coal-powered electricity sources.

In our calculations, we convert kWh to kg of carbon released based on Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors from Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The conversion factor is 0.23314 kg CO² saved for each kWh produced from a carbon free source. The factor is based on the carbon emissions generated by the current UK power stations per kWh generated. 

This factor includes other green house gasses such as methane and nitrous oxide which are converted to their carbon dioxide equivalents so the value is really kg CO² eq. per kWh.

CO2(eq) emissions due to electricity generation

This data is from 2016 and supplied by The European Environment Agency.

The CO² emission intensity (kg CO²/kWh) is calculated as the ratio of CO² emissions from public electricity production (as a share of CO² emissions from public electricity and heat production related to electricity production), and gross electricity production.

    United Kingdom 0.281

To compensate 1 tonne of CO², 31 to 46 trees are needed. In Europe, there are 300 to 500 trees per hectare. For calculating the figures on the Encon website, we assume a rate of 24 kg CO²/tree and an average of 500 trees per hectare. 

This means that 1 hectare of forest:

500 trees x 24 kg CO²/tree = 12,000 kg of CO² offsets,
i.e. 12 tonnes CO²/hectare.

On a site that would have 33.12kW of solar panels complete with battery storage unit and supplemented with a 5kW wind turbine.

The energy provided by the solar panels will directly reduce the amount of energy provided by your energy company and as the energy produced by the solar array, is generated without the need for fossil fuels this reduces the overall site carbon footprint. CO² saving of;

Approx kWh generated/year = 30,277kWh/y

30,277 x 0.3835 = 11,611.23 kg of CO2
Equivalent of planting 484 trees.