Press release: Project partners compensate all emissions
Energy transition project WindNODE is GHG-neutral
Berlin. In the scope of “WindNODE - Showcasing smart energy systems from northeastern Germany”, 70 project partners are developing solutions for a world in which 100 percent of the energy demand can be accounted for using renewable sources. At present, emissions are undoubtedly caused by the project work. Today, WindNODE adopted a new approach and determined the CO2 footprint of its project activities. And that is not all. Thanks to the voluntary contribution of several project partners, the incurred emissions are completely compensated.
Researching in the interest of climate protection and emitting CO2 at the same time is unfortunately an inevitable contradiction for current research projects. Just like in the past, experts carry out their research in heated offices and laboratories, use transportation for their business trips and generate CO2 emissions as a result of their project activities. The persons responsible for the joint project “WindNODE - Showcasing smart energy systems from northeastern Germany” therefore want to know exactly how large a CO2 footprint would be mustered up during the course of such project. (or more precisely: the emissions of all climate-damaging gases, expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2-e)). Together with Siemens and TU Berlin’s Department of Energy Systems, they developed a procedure for the environmental accounting of the research project called Life Cycle Assessment or LCA.
To make this possible, most of the project partners participated in data collection and registered personnel working years, business trips, usage of materials and more. As for each such consideration, several assumptions and simplifications needed to be made. The order of magnitude of the relevant emissions could nevertheless be reliably determined. WindNODE generated about 1,106 tonnes of CO2-e.
The determination of the CO2-e footprint could, of course, only be the first step: WindNODE should become CO2-e-neutral if the incurred emissions are actively compensated. For that purpose, atmosfair was brought on board as a partner. According to consumer association Stiftung Warentest, it is the best compensation supplier that compensates unavoidable CO2-e emissions by means of climate protection measures.
Markus Graebig, WindNODE Project Director: ‘As far as we are aware, hardly any research projects self-scrutinised in regard to their own carbon footprint. Here, our work can provide a methodical blueprint. We recommend planning projects be as emission-free as possible from the start and then making CO2 accounting a regular part of R&D projects or even climate conferences in the future. This also means that compensation efforts for unavoidable emissions becomes an integral part of the project budget.’
The following WindNODE partners voluntarily paid the costs for the compensation and from their own, unsubsidised resources: