Plunging Emissions Mostly Not Spurred By Natural Gas Nor Renewables, U.S. Government Finds

Oct 29, 2018, | Jeff McMahon, Chicago | Forbes

Carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity generation fell last year to their lowest level since 1987, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported today, and the strongest driver is neither the shift from coal to natural gas nor the growth of renewables.

More than half of the decline in emissions has occurred because of a single factor: a decline in industrial demand for electricity, the EIA reported.

“U.S. electricity demand has decreased in 6 of the past 10 years, as industrial demand has declined and residential and commercial demand has remained relatively flat,” writes Perry Lindstrom, a senior energy and environmental analyst.

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The area in pink represents that growth in emissions that would have occurred if industrial demand for electricity had not declined in the U.S.



In today’s report, EIA determined that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector totaled 1,744 million metric tons in 2017, 28 percent lower than in 1987.