8: One Megawatt of Wind Energy = 2,600 Fewer Tons of Carbon Dioxide
So, with all the noise about clean energy, what kind of improvement are we really talking about with wind? Consider that every year 1MW of wind energy can offset approximately 2,600 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) [source: NREL], and the interest comes into focus. The simple math is less fossil fuel consumption equals less CO2. And measuring carbon reduction has become a key benchmark for monitoring the progress of alternative energy adoption.
In Massachusetts, for example, the average resident produced 4.5 tons of CO2 as a result of using electricity in 2004. Just 1MW of wind energy could power up to 400 homes without emitting any CO2. And besides reducing CO2 levels, wind power is dramatically easier on water supplies, with the same 1MW of wind energy saving about 1,293 million gallons of water [source: NREL].