Carbon Footprint

Square Footprint

Smoke Stack 400
Clouds 400

13 kg CO2e / MWh

14.1 ft2 /
MWh

Carbon Footprint

Square Footprint

Smoke Stack 800
Clouds 800

13 kg CO2e / MWh

14.1 ft2 / MWh

If all of your home's annual electricity (10.715 MWh) was powered by wind, you would use:

15.7

Gallons of Gasoline Equivalent

139.3

kg CO2e
If all of your home's annual electricity (10.715 MWh) was powered by wind, you would use:

15.7

Gallons of Gasoline Equivalent

139.3

kg CO2e

The Carbon Footprint of wind power is 13 kg CO2e per Megawatt Hour (MWh). The greenhouse gas emissions of wind power are 37.4 times lower than natural gas.

If all of your home's annual electricity (10.715 MWh) was powered by wind for 100 years, you would use:

1.0

Parking Spaces Equivalent

151

ft2
Parking Spaces 800
If all of your home's annual electricity (10.715 MWh) was powered by wind, you would use:

1.0

Parking Spaces Equivalent

151

ft2

The Square Footprint of wind power is 14.1 ft2 per Megawatt Hour over 100 years. The land use of wind power is 16.4 times lower than natural gas.

Data and Assumptions

Carbon Footprint:

    • Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Natural Gas based on NREL (2021). Median value of 486 g CO2e / kWh is based on a harmonized value from 58 studies with 93 unique values.
    • Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Wind Power is based on NREL (2021). Median value of 13 g CO2e / kWh is based on a harmonized value from 69 studies with 186 unique values. This value is combined from Onshore (12 g CO2e / kWh) and Offshore Wind (12 g CO2e / kWh) values reported.

Land Use:

  • Square Footprint of Wind Power is based on Trainor et al. (2016). Value of 1.31 km2 / TWh (1.31 m2 / MWh) is reported in the study. Land use is 14.1 ft2 / MWh, based on this estimate. As wind energy is a renewable resource, this value does not change over time, and includes all the land required to supply energy on the same parcel of land indefinitely.
  • Square Footprint of Natural Gas based on Trainor et al. (2016). Study reports a land occupation of 0.19 km2 / TWh / yr (0.19 m2 / MWh/ yr) for Shale Gas and 0.24 km2 / TWh / yr (0.24 m2 / MWh/ yr) for Tight Gas. US Energy Information Administration (EIA, 2021A) reports that 88.8% of US natural gas is extracted via hydraulic fracturing to produce either shale gas or tight gas. Consumer Ecology uses the average of these two values for the Square Footprint of Natural Gas, which is 0.215 m2 / MWh/ yr. The annual value is multiplied by 100 to obtain the 100 year land use of continued extraction of natural gas. The 100-year Square Footprint is 231 ft2 / MWh (215 m2 / MWh).
  • Square Footprint of a Parking Space is 144 ft2, based on the average dimensions stated by Franklin Street (2019).
 
General Assumption:
  • Average 2020 US Household annual electricity of 10,715 kWh is based on EIA (2021B).

References

EIA: US Energy Information Administration. (2021A). Natural Gas Explained. See Link to Source

EIA: US Energy Information Administration. (2021B). How Much Electricity Does an American Home Use?. See Link to Source

Franklin Street. (May 23, 2019). How Large is a Parking Space? See Link to Source

NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2021). Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization. See Link to Source

Trainor, A. M., McDonald, R. I., & Fargione, J. (2016). Energy sprawl is the largest driver of land use change in United States. PloS one, 11(9), e0162269.