Ceres, a US “sustainable strategy” consultancy, has published a report of the air pollutant emissions of the 100 largest power producers in the US.
It is based on their 2010 generation and emissions data.
It covered fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy facilities, owning 2,500 power plants.
The report covers SO2, NOx, mercury and CO2. It also covers opportunities and risks companies may face from potential changes in environmental regulations.
Major findings are that:
Electricity generation from natural gas-fired plants was virtually equal to the generation from coal-fired plants, with each fuel providing 32 percent of total generation in April 2012
Renewable energy production more than doubled from 83 million megawatt hours (MWh) in 2004 to 195 million MWh in 2011
Since 1990, power plant emissions of SO2 and NOx have decreased and CO2 emissions have increased .
In 2010, power plant SO2 and NOx emissions were both 68 percent lower than they were in 1990
In 2010, power plant CO2 emissions were 24 percent higher than they were in 1990 .This increase is primarily due to economic growth resulting in increased energy consumption across all sectors, and much warmer summer conditions resulting in an increase in electricity demand for air conditioning.
In 2010, power plants were responsible for about 64 percent of SO2 emissions, 16 percent of NOx emissions, 68 percent of mercury air emissions (among sources reporting to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory), and 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the U .S .