Greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change. The generation of electricity today accounts for 41% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. According to a study by the World Energy Council, global energy demand is set to increase by 70 to 100 percent by 2050, i.e. it is practically going to double. Carbon dioxide emissions are therefore playing an increasingly important role in the energy debate. All of the emissions from the production, assembly, and operation through to the dismantling and disposal of a power generation technology need to be added together in order to come up with an equitable carbon dioxide emissions balance. The renewable power generation technologies also differ significantly.
The following graph shows the greenhouse gas emissions for power generation using different energy sources. (Click on the magnifying glass to enlarge)
Source: German Federal Environment Agency 2002