Wind carbon credits from four Chinese plant help Scottish utility

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Four new wind farms in China will help a major UK energy company meet its commitments to cut emissions under the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Scottish and Southern Energy, through subsidiary SSE Energy Supply, has finalised the first of four deals with major energy company China Guodian Corporation that will see it buying some two million Carbon Emissions Reduction Certificates (CERs) over five years, starting at the beginning of 2008. It is the first time SSE has bought CERs directly from a project. The certificates are generated by power projects registered under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Signatory countries to the protocol may meet their emission reduction targets by buying CERs from approved CDM projects in the developing world. Each of the four Chinese projects is around 50 MW in size. Construction of the first -- known as GD Xingcheng Haibin -- is under way. All are to be completed by the end of 2008. SSE's chief executive, Ian Marchant, says the company deliberately chose CERs from a "mature" generation technology in which it already has operating experience. SSE operates over 160 MW of wind farms in the UK, with over 1 GW under development. "The large majority of our investment in reducing carbon emissions will continue to be in the UK, but CERs are an effective means of supplementing it," says Marchant. The agreements were brokered by Tradition Financial Services in London and Easy Carbon in Beijing. They now need to be approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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