Emissions (CO2, SO2, NOx) intensity of public conventional thermal power electricity and heat production

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-132-en
Also known as: ENER 008
expired Created 20 Mar 2009 Published 05 Jul 2010 Last modified 19 Apr 2016, 04:57 PM
Topics: ,
This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
The 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, in recent years 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.

Key messages

The 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, in recent years 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.

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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 CO2, SO2 or NOx emissions per unit of power (electricity and heat) produced by public thermal power stations

Data source:

EEA, Eurostat

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

Note: N/A

Data source:

EEA, Eurostat

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Emission 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:

EEA, Eurostat.

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Emission 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, Eurostat.

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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:

EEA, Eurostat.

Downloads and more info

Across the 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) decreased substantially during the period 1990-2006, with the majority of the reduction achieved during the 1990s and improvements slowing 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 carbon dioxide emissions from public conventional thermal power plants in the EEA-32 decreased by about 22% from 1990 to 2006 due to improvements in all Member States. 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, Sweden and Slovakia achieved the largest percentage reduction in the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions in the EEA32. With the exception of France which produces very little public conventional thermal power, Greece and Malta have the highest carbon intensity of all Member States.
During the period 1990-2006, the emissions intensity of nitrogen oxides from public conventional thermal plants in the EEA-32 decreased by 72%. 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 all Member States (except Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria), with the largest decreases 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, this is mostly from coal, and Malta, which derives all of its for public conventional thermal power from oil.
The emissions intensity of sulphur dioxide from public conventional thermal power plants decreased by 74% from 1990 to 2006, a significantly larger reduction than occurred for either CO2 or NOX emissions intensities from public conventional thermal power plants. In particular, Hungary, Slovenia, Latvia, Denmark and Germany showed large reductions in emissions intensity. Hungary significantly increased its use of natural gas and decreased its use of oil while in Latvia there was a substantial decrease in the use of coal, lignite and oil. In Denmark the SO2 emissions reductions occurred through a fifteen-fold increase in the use of natural gas. In Germany the reductions have been due mainly to the closure of old, inefficient lignite-based power plants following reunification, but also due to the extensive use of flue gas desulphurisation technologies.

Indicator specification and metadata

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
energy
DPSIR: N/A
Typology: N/A
Indicator codes
  • ENER 008
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Ricardo FERNANDEZ BAYON

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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