Climate change

British carbon swap supports wind farm plan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, 12:00am

A British energy company will support the development of four new wind farms in Liaoning province under a carbon trade agreement reached with a big mainland power producer in Beijing yesterday.

Scottish and Southern Energy would buy 2 million carbon-emission-reduction certificates from China Guodian Corp over five years from next year, Xinhua reported.

'The signing of these agreements signals that co-operation between the two sides in clean [energy] development has reached a new height,' China Guodian general manager Chen Fei said.

The deal comes as Beijing steps up its efforts to improve its environmental credentials, with President Hu Jintao last week committing China to meeting the challenge of climate change.

Each wind farm will have a capacity of 50 megawatts. Generating their combined output using coal-fired stations would produce 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The agreement is subject to approval by the executive board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By the end of last month, 15 projects on the mainland had received approval.

The British government has allocated Scottish and Southern Energy an annual carbon emissions quota of 16.3 million tonnes. Under the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism, power producers can offset a proportion of their emissions by buying carbon credits. It is often cheaper to buy them from developing countries than pay for reductions at home.

The deal comes on the heels of President Hu's comments at the Apec forum in Sydney, at which he told fellow Pacific Rim leaders China would help meet the challenges of climate change and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while developing its economy.

As the central government increases pressure on enterprises to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution, major power producers are seeking to upgrade technology and build up wind, nuclear and hydroelectric power capacity.

China Guodian aims to build up its wind power capacity to 100MW by the end of 2010.

Earning power

The number of mainland projects registered to sell carbon credits under the UN's clean development mechanism is rising

The number available at August 31, according to the Office of the National Co-ordination Committee on Climate Change 107