U.S. Beat Projections for Power Sector Emission Cuts

May 12, 2021

A new study published by the United States Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled, “Halfway to Zero,” showed that the power sector has unexpectedly reduced emissions throughout the past 15 years.

Projections made in the United States Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2005 Annual Energy Outlook estimated that power industry emissions would increase by 27 percent to just above 3,000 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon emissions in 15 years, ending in 2020.

The power sector has dropped 50 percent below initial projections, reaching zero emissions. The carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector in 2020 were 1,450 MMT, which is over 50 percent lower than the original forecasts and also 40 percent of the 2005 levels.

Public policy, markets, and technology have given way to the swift drop, according to the study. Demand for electricity was 24 percent lower in 2020 than what was predicted by the EIA in 2005. Outperforming expectations, wind- and solar-powered energy delivered 13 times more generation in 2020.

Hydropower, biomass, and geothermal are not in the calculations; however, if they were, the study noted that renewable performance is 79 percent higher than projected. Therefore, the total amount of renewable electricity surpassed expectations by an even larger margin.

Not only is this good news for the environment; it is also good news for the economy. The study showed that power supply-related employment was 29 percent more than 2020 predictions. Since the renewable energy division is so job-intensive, more jobs are required per output than fossil fuels, according to the study.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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