With the approval of two new Chinese wind power projects, the UK has provided a way for companies from non-Kyoto countries to participate in the global carbon market through the Clean Development Mechanism, UK climate change minister Ian Pearson has announced.

Mr Pearson told the Carbon Expo Asia that the UK would approve non-UK entities’ participation in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, after an increasing number of companies based abroad had expressed interest in joining the CDM but could not participate through their own countries.

The decision means that non-UK companies will be able to participate in the UK carbon market, and creates a way for local trading schemes to be linked via the CDM.

Mr Pearson also approved the first two projects under the new arrangements, which will reduce emissions in China by an average 109,922 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year between 2006 and 2012.

The first two projects involving investors from non-Kyoto countries to be approved by the UK are the Datang Jilin Shuangliao wind farm project and the Changling wind power project.

The Datang Jilin Shuangliao project will build and operate a 49.3MW wind farm connected to the power grin in Shuangliao city, in the west of the Jinlin Province. The project will supply electricity to the Jilin Northwest Power Grid, which is integral to the North East China Power Grid.

The project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China, help stimulate the Chinese wind power industry by demonstrating the viability of larger, grid-connected wind farms, create local employment and reduce other pollutants resulting from power generation.

The project is estimated to generate 10.5GWh each year, displacing conventional generation and avoiding the use of 37,000 tonnes of standard coal each year, and will reduce emissions by an average of 92,400 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year.

The Changling project will install and operate a wind farm in Changling County in Jinlin Province, Northeast China. The total installed capacity will be 9.35MW. With an average annual production of 20.3GWh, the project will be able to deliver an average reduction in emissions of around 17,522 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year between 2006 and 2012.

The project will contribute to the reduction of local air pollutants as the wind farm, displace primarily coal-generated power, and create local employment during both the construction and operation phases. There may also be tourism benefits as well as fostering local experience and expertise in developing and operating commercial-scale wind power.