Researchers at Queen's University suggest that policy makers examine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions implications for energy infrastructure as fossil fuel sources must be rapidly replaced by windmills, solar panels and other sources of renewable energy.
Their recommendations could be used to help policy makers restructure renewable energy production in a way that will optimize greenhouse gas emission reductions.
They propose using dynamic life-cycle analyses for determining carbon-neutral growth rates that will not dramatically increase the level of GHG emissions as the energy industry expands.
This means, for example, weighing the benefits of dramatically increasing wind power against the increase in GHG emissions when the materials used to build the windmill are mined and when it is manufactured - not just after it's been erected.
It also means decreasing production in some of the most polluted areas of the world, including China.
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