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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 Aug 2011

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

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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:
1990-2008
 
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 1990-2008

Data source:

EUROSTAT 2010. Energy data - Output of heat and electricity from public thermal power stations from Eurostat,  http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/

Downloads and more info

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

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

Data source:

EEA. National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism. Available at: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=475

     
EEA. EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data. Available at:
http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=468

EUROSTAT. Energy data - Output of heat and electricity from public thermal power stations from Eurostat, http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/.

 

Downloads and more info

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:

EEA. EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data. Available at: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=468


EUROSTAT. Energy data - Output of heat and electricity from public thermal power stations from Eurostat http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/.


Downloads and more info

Emissions intensity of carbon dioxide from public conventional thermal power production

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

Data source:

EEA. National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism. Available at: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=475
EUROSTAT. Energy data - Output of heat and electricity from public thermal power stations from Eurostat http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/.


Downloads and more info

Emissions intensity of sulphur dioxide from public conventional thermal power production

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

Data source:

EEA. EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data. Available at: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/PivotApp/pivot.aspx?pivotid=468


EUROSTAT. Energy data - Output of heat and electricity from public thermal power stations from Eurostat, http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Across the EEA-32, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have decreased during the period 1990-2008, particularly in the case of SO2 and NOx, despite a 33.8 % 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 1990-2008 (see Figure 1). The majority of this reduction was achieved during the 1990s and between 2007 and 2008 due to the recent recession but the rate of improvement slows down from 2000 till 2007. 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.

Improvements in CO2 intensity from electricity and heat production are not just due to the closure of inefficient plants and lower use of coal. The use of biomass and other renewable sources (wind and hydroelectric power) has also increased significantly in 2008[1]. Biomass input to public electricity and heat plants have increased from about 180 thousand TJ in 1990 to 1.1 million in 2008[2]. The share of biomass in all fuels used in CRF 1A1a went up from 1.1% to 6.5% between 1990 and 2008.

The intensity of CO2 emissions from public conventional thermal power plants in the EEA-32 decreased by about 28% from 1990 to 2008 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 Luxembourg achieved greater than 60 % reductions in the intensity of CO2 emissions. Bulgaria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic have the highest carbon intensity.

During the period 1990-2008, the emissions intensity of NOx from public conventional thermal plants in the EEA-32 decreased by 56% (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 Latvia, 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 Bulgaria, which uses mainly coal within public conventional thermal power, and Greece, which derives all of its public conventional thermal power from oil.

The emissions intensity of SO2 from public conventional thermal power plants decreased by 78 % from 1990 to 2008, a significantly larger reduction than occurred for either CO2 or NOx emissions intensities from public conventional thermal power plants (see Figures 1 and 5). All member states show a reduction in SO2 emissions with 13 member states showing reductions of over 90% in emissions intensity. In particular Hungary and Latvia 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.

[1] For more information see ENER02

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

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EEA Contact Info

Anca-Diana Barbu

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 2.8.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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