Lifecycle emissions of renewable electricity

As part of its CO2 reduction programme, Dutch rail-grid operators ProRail have developed the ‘CO2 performance ladder’. To gain more insight into the lifecycle CO2 emissions of renewable energy production and in the current debate on ‘green electricity’, ProRail asked CE Delft to examine several issues.

This short report considers three issues:

  1. What are the lifecycle emissions per kWh of solar PV, wind, hydroelectric and biomass-based power generation, and where do these arise?
  2. How does the Guarantee of Origin market work? Why are GoO certificates often acquired from a different producer than the power supplier?
  3. Should ProRail include all forms of green electricity in its CO2 performance ladder? What conditions should be stipulated, and why?


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