In the short term, energy-related CO2 emissions are influenced by the weather, fuel prices and disruptions in electricity generation. In the long term, CO2 emissions are influenced by public policy, reduced costs and improved efficiencies of new technology, demand-side efficiency gains and economic trends, according to the report.
A major factor in recent reductions in the carbon intensity of electric generation in the U.S. is the reduced generation of electricity using coal while increasingly using natural gas. Natural gas emits less CO2 for the same amount of electricity generated, and non-carbon generation (including renewables), which do not emit the gas.
Between 2005 and 2018, EIA has calculated that cumulative U.S. C02 emissions reductions attributable specifically to shifts from coal to natural gas and to non-carbon generation totaled 4,621 million metric tons (MMmt). Of this total, 2,823 MMmt resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of natural gas; 1,799 MMmt resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of non-carbon generation sources.
Between 2005 and 2017, total U.S. electricity generation increased by almost 4 pct while related C02 emissions fell by 27 pct. During the same period, fossil fuel electricity generation declined by roughly 9 pct, and non-carbon electricity generation increased by 35 pct.
Download the U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2018 Report HERE. (Source: US Energy Information Administration, 14 Nov., 2019) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov
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