Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wind makes emissions reductions

From the AWEA blog:

Washington, D.C. — Today, EPA released data showing that power plant carbon dioxide emissions declined 10% between 2010-2012. During this period, U.S. wind energy production increased 48%. The U.S. wind energy fleet is currently reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 100 million tons per year, or just under 5% of total electric sector emissions in 2012. Interestingly, preliminary Energy Information Administration  (EIA) data for 2013 shows that some of the previous emissions reductions from switching from coal to gas, which contributed to the reduction cited by EPA today, have actually subsided. It finds electric sector CO2 emissions were up about 2% for the first seven months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

While some of the emissions reductions noted by the EPA appear to be fleeting, the EIA data shows that wind energy is a key contributor in reducing emissions for the long-lasting.
As outlined in the table below, the increase so far in 2013 has been driven by coal electricity generation increasing somewhat and gas generation decreasing by a larger amount, attributable to natural gas prices rebounding from the extreme lows set in 2012. Importantly, the 2013 emissions increase is much less than it would have been had total fossil fuel generation not declined thanks to increased wind energy use.

No comments: