Frequently Asked Questions: Tamil Nadu Renewable Energy Project

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the TCW wind turbines actually reduce or avoid CO2 emissions?

They do both. Most countries use gas turbines to manage fluctuations in electricity demand. A gas turbine can be switched on and off more easily than a coal fired power station. If the national grid or energy system has more renewable energy supplying into it then there will be less need for gas. Therefore the wind turbines help to reduce CO2.The world needs 50% more energy by 2030 according to the International Energy Agency. The more renewable energy we supply the less the need to exploit fossil fuel resource to supply into this need. India in particular is rapidly expanding and the more renewable energy they have the less they will need to rely on fossil fuels. So by supporting the development of more renewable energy we are also avoiding CO2.

Tamil Nadu Renewable Energy project – Was an Additionality Test performed?

Yes. At The Converging World we are committed in ensuring the Additionality and high quality of our projects. We work closely with an organisation called Carbon Resource Management who provides all the required expertise to advise the technical aspects of our projects.

Was the Tamil Nadu project Additional under the terms laid out by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)?

Yes.

Is The Converging World's Tamil Nadu project certified through the CDM?

The Tamil Nadu project is currently going through the CDM certification process with the hope of being CDM registered during 2010.

Is the Tamil Nadu project certified Gold Standard?

The Gold Standard certification is currently endorsed by 42 NGOs worldwide. The GS certification requires strict additionality, monitoring and verification of the project. A UNFCCC-accredited organisation ensures that the project meets the above criteria. Gold standard projects aim to ensure that the project achieves secondary environmental, social and economic benefits and that negative impacts are minimised. The Tamil Nadu project has applied for Gold standard certification with the hope of being registered in 2010.

What is the technical specification and life expectancy of the TCW turbines?

Each turbine is rated at 1.5MW and has a life expectancy of 20 years. The manufacturer of the turbines is Suzlon. There is potential for a longer life but 20 years is a prudent number. The turbine manufacturing and operating companies provide a turnkey package that includes maintenance, insurance and an operational guarantee.

When did the project start?

The first turbines started operating in 2008.

How much renewable energy does the Tamil Nadu project generate? How many tonnes of CO2 does this avert?

The consultancy Carbon Resource Management has helped with calculating the performance of the project. This required determining the Emissions Baseline of the project (i.e. the amount of GHG emissions that would have occurred in the absence of the project. Relative to this the quantification of the overall GHG emissions reductions resulting from the project (Benefit Quantification) is then obtained. For the Tamil Nadu project, each turbine is forecast to generate 4,000 MWh of electricity per annum. In India this averts the production of 3,500 tonnes of CO2 per annum. We are using a factor of 0.875 tonnes of CO2 equivalent saved per MWh of non-renewable Indian electricity.

Have you considered the Carbon Emissions that result from the manufacture, operation and decommissioning of the wind turbines?

A good estimate for the embodied energy of each wind turbine used in the Tamil Nadu project during its lifecycle is around 5 grams of CO2 per KWh generated. The evidence that support this estimation is obtained from independent studies and from the manufacturers of the wind turbines. Sources: Vestas, The Institute of Applied Ecology (Germany), Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (2006)

Who monitors the project and measures its performance?

A company has been set up in India called The Converging World Renewable Energy India to monitor the project. It’s performance will then be measured by the Carbon Resource Management consultancy.

Why is The Converging World building turbines in India?

This is for a variety of reasons; In India, the energy in power stations is generated using a different fuel mix from the UK. Power stations in India emit roughly twice as much CO2 as the ones in the UK. For this reason, substituting coal generated energy for renewable energy in India saves 2 units of CO2 for every 1 unit we would have saved in the UK. Climate change is a global issue, so by installing the wind turbines in India we are achieving a greater effect on the mitigation of climate change. For our carbon credits to be certified by the CDM, we needed our project to take place in the developing world, fitting in with the UN and EU’s carbon trading programs focused on Contraction and Convergence. To carryout our generation of carbon credits, we needed to associate our energy generation project with a well established development agency. We were introduced to SCAD (Social Change And Development) by Cletus Babu who inspired us to undertake the first stage of our project in Tamil Nadu. We hope eventually to spread the work of The Converging World all over the world by establishing links between the developed and the developing countries.

How is the money raised for the turbines in Tamil Nadu?

Money is raised for the turbines through our capital raising campaign and donations