South Africa needs to pursue projects that use wind for renewable- energy generation, as this green source of energy mitigates the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) while restoring and improving the ecosystem, says carbon advisory firm Promethium Carbon director Harmke Immink.
The benefits that flow from the erection of wind farms, such as the promotion of clean air, will protect communities against the effects of climate change. “In addition to the improvement in the environment, local communities will also benefit from the economic development taking place around the wind projects,” she says.
Projects that use wind to generate renewable energy are essential, as government continues to seek ways of combating the effects of climate change. “Such projects increase carbon credits and, to date, carbon markets have enabled a total reduction of 101-million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2),” says Immink.
A carbon credit is a tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one ton of CO2. Carbon credits and carbon markets represent national and international attempts to mitigate the increase in concentrations of GHGs.
One carbon credit equals one ton of CO2 or, in some markets, CO2 equivalent gases. Carbon trading is an application of an emissions trading approach.
The goal is to drive industrial and commercial processes towards lowering emissions or implementing less carbon-intensive approaches than those-used when there is no cost to emitting CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere.
Since GHG mitigation projects generate credits, this approach can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes between trading partners worldwide.
Immink says renewable-energy projects can manage to sell carbon credits to new developing markets, as the boundaries between the traditional compliance of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and voluntary verified carbon standard (VCS) markets are “increasingly blurred and smaller niche markets are being created”.
For most emission-reduction projects, there is a two-year window period to register a project to be eligible for carbon credits. The CDM scheme requires registration within two years of deciding to proceed with the renewable-energy project, while registration under the VCS scheme is required within two years of the project becoming operational, says Immink.