EIA: Power sector sees decline in carbon intensity
Efficiency of the electric power industry continues to improve, and is now second only to the industrial in terms of a sharp decline in carbon intensity. According to federal data, of the five major energy-consuming sectors in the United States, the industrial sector produced the least CO2 per unit of primary energy consumed in 2016, followed by the electric power sector.
Carbon intensities reflect the consumption-weighted average of the carbon intensities of the primary fuels consumed in each sector. For the industrial sector, the average was 44 kg CO2/MMBtu compared with the electric sector’s 48 kg CO2/MMBtu.
“Primary fuels” include coal, natural gas, distillate heating fuel, diesel, gasoline, and propane. Among those, coal is the most intensive (about 100 kg CO2/MMBtu) and gas (53 kg CO2/MMBtu) is least.
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