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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emission intensity of public conventional thermal power electricity and heat production / Emission intensity of public conventional thermal power electricity and heat production (ENER 008) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Emission intensity of public conventional thermal power electricity and heat production (ENER 008) - Assessment published Jan 2011

This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
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Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Air pollution Air pollution

Tags:
co2 | carbon dioxide | energy | so2 | nox | emissions | nitrogen dioxide | sulphur dioxide
DPSIR: Impact
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 008
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2007
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is the use and production of energy having a decreasing impact on the environment?

Key messages

The emissions and emissions intensity of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from public conventional thermal power plants has decreased substantially since 1990, particularly in the case of SO2 and NOx. This is primarily due to a decline in the use of coal, and replacement of old, inefficient coal plant as well as the use of abatement techniques. However, since 2000 a rise in the coal-fired electricity production has slowed the decline in emissions intensity. Rising overall electricity consumption has also acted to partly offset the environmental benefits from improvements in emissions intensity.

CO2, SO2 and NOx emissions and electricity and heat production, EEA-32

Note: CO2, SO2 and NOx emissions and electricity and heat production in the EEA-32, during the period 1990-2007

Data source:
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Emissions intensity of nitrogen oxides from public conventional thermal power production

Note: Emissions intensity is calculated as the amount of pollutant produced (in tonnes) from public electricity and heat production divided by the output of electricity and heat (in toe) from these plants.

Data source:
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Emissions intensity of carbon dioxide from public conventional thermal power production

Note: Emissions intensity is calculated as the amount of pollutant produced (in tonnes) from public electricity and heat production divided by the output of electricity and heat (in toe) from these plants.

Data source:
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Emissions intensity of sulphur dioxide from public conventional thermal power production

Note: Emissions intensity is calculated as the amount of pollutant produced (in tonnes) from public electricity and heat production divided by the output of electricity and heat (in toe) from these plants.

Data source:
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Emissions intensity of public conventional thermal power production, EEA-32

Note: The emissions intensity of conventional public thermal power production is the level of Carbon dioxide (CO2), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) or Nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions per unit of power (electricity and heat) produced by public thermal power stations. The emission intensities are calculated as the ratio of CO2, SO2 and NOX emissions from public power production to the output of electricity and heat from public conventional thermal power production. Public thermal power stations generate electricity and/or heat for sale to third parties, as their primary activity. They may be privately or publicly owned. No data are available for Luxembourg and so data for this country is not included in the chart.

Data source:
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Key assessment

Across the EEA-32, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have decreased during the period 1990-2007, particularly in the case of SO2and NOx, despite a 30 % rise in electricity and heat produced by public conventional thermal power plants (see Figure 1). This has been due to EEA-32 emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) per unit of electricity and heat produced by public conventional thermal power plants (i.e. the emissions intensity) decreasing substantially during the period 1990-2007 (see Figure 1). The majority of this reduction was achieved during the 1990s and the rate of improvement slows down from 2000 onwards. The reductions in SO2 and NOx emissions intensity have been particularly significant, influenced by emission abatement techniques such as flue gas desulphurisation and low-NOX burners, and the greater use of low-sulphur fuels. Emission reductions have also been helped by some switch in electricity production from coal and oil to natural gas, prompted by the liberalisation of energy markets and improvements in the efficiency of electricity production.

The intensity of CO2 emissions from public conventional thermal power plants in the EEA-32 decreased by about 22% from 1990 to 2007 due to improvements in the majority of Member States (see Figures 1 and 3). This reduction has generally occurred as a result of the closure of old and inefficient coal-fired plants and their replacement with either newer, more efficient coal-fired plants or new gas-fired plants. Romania, Iceland, and Sweden achieved greater than 50 % reductions in the intensity of CO2 emissions. Switzerland, France and Greece have the highest carbon intensity, however, France produces very little public conventional thermal power.

During the period 1990-2007, the emissions intensity of NOx from public conventional thermal plants in the EEA-32 decreased by 53% (see Figures 2 and 4). This was due to the increased use of end-of-pipe abatement techniques such selective catalytic reduction, low-NOx burners and the use of less polluting fuels in public conventional thermal power production in many Member States. NOx intensities fell in the majority of Member States (except Poland, Estonia, Greece and Bulgaria), with the largest decreases of over 90 % occurring in Italy and the Slovakia. The countries with the highest NOx intensity are France, which although it produces relatively small amounts of public conventional thermal power uses mainly coal, and Malta, which derives all of its for public conventional thermal power from oil.

The emissions intensity of SO2 from public conventional thermal power plants decreased by 71 % from 1990 to 2007, a significantly larger reduction than occurred for either CO2 or NOx emissions intensities from public conventional thermal power plants (see Figures 1 and 5). Only Bulgaria and Poland exhibited increases in SO2 emissions intensity from 1990 to 2007. 10 member states showed reductions of over 90% in emissions intensity. In particular Hungary and Italy decreased their emissions intensity the most. Hungary significantly increased its use of natural gas and decreased its use of oil. In Denmark the SO2 emissions reductions occurred through a fifteen-fold increase in the use of natural gas.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anca-Diana Barbu

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Document Actions
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100