Energy-related emissions of particulate matter (ENER 007) - Assessment published Jan 2011
Energy (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- ENER 007
Key policy question: Are energy-related emissions of particulate matter decreasing?
Energy-related emissions account for 78% of all emissions of particulate matter emissions (SO2, NOx, and PM10) emissions from the EEA-32 in 2007. These emissions fell by 3.4% between 2006 and 2007 (and by 4.5% in the EU-27). Since 1990, these emissions declined by 49% in the EU and 45% in EEA member countries. The most important reductions were achieved in the energy supply and industry sectors as a result of using lower sulphur content fuels and fuel switching from coal and oil to natural gas. It is expected that in the future concentrations of PM10 in most of the urban areas in the EEA region remain well above the short-term limit air quality values.
Changes (%) in emissions of primary and secondary PM10 particles by source category, 1990-2007, EEA-32 (weighted by particle formation factors)
Note: The graph shows the emissions of primary PM10 particles (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 μm or less, emitted directly into the atmosphere) and secondary particulate-forming pollutants (the fraction of sulphur dioxide, SO2, nitrogen oxides NOx and ammonia NH3 which, as a result of photo-chemical reactions in the atmosphere, transform into particulate matter with a diameter of 10μm or less). Emissions of the secondary particulate precursor species are weighted by a particle formation factor prior to aggregation: primary PM10 = 1, SO2 = 0.54, NOx = 0.88, and (NH3) = 0.64
- EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data (discontinued) provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
Total particulate emissions (i.e. aggregated primary and secondary PM10) have fallen by 43% in the EEA-32 and by 46% in the EU-27 between 1990 and 2007, with reductions occurring from all sources (see Figure 1). Energy-related sources of emissions all reduced by more than a fifth. Overall, energy-related emissions decreased by 49% in the EU-27 and 45% in all EEA member countries. Energy-related emissions represented 78% of all particulate emissions in 2007 (see Figure 2).
Energy–related emissions have decreased by 45% from 1990 to 2007 (see Figure 1). This reduction in emissions has mainly been achieved through a combination of using lower sulphur content fuels, fuel switching from coal and oil to natural gas, the deployment of emission abatement technologies in the energy supply and industry sectors, and an increased market penetration of road vehicles equipped with catalytic converters.
In 2007 transport is the largest source of emissions accounting for nearly 30 % of all EU-27 emissions (see Figure 2). Road transport alone produces a fifth of all emissions. Particle road transport emissions have fallen by 38 % for the EU-27 between 1990 and 2007 (see Figure 1). Emissions of primary PM10 and secondary PM10 precursors are expected to further decrease significantly between 2007 and 2010 (despite an increasing popularity in many countries of diesel vehicles, which have higher particulate emissions than petrol vehicles), as improved vehicle engine technologies continue to be adopted and stationary fuel combustion emissions are controlled through abatement measures (including particulate filters) or use of low sulphur fuels such as natural gas.Particulate matter emissions have decreased significantly in most EEA member countries, with the top-3 reductions in Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia (see Figure 3). However, in a few countries emissions increased during the period with increases of over 50 % in Iceland due to substantial increase in fugitive emissions.
Despite the reductions in emissions already achieved, it is expected that in the near future concentrations of PM10 in most of the urban areas in the EEA region remain well above the short-term limit air quality values. Substantial further reductions in all sectors are therefore needed to reach the air quality limit values set in the Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. Additional measures to reduce the sulphur content of diesel and petrol fuels have been decided upon (Directive 2003/17/EC), which include the availability of the sulphur-free (<10 ppm sulphur or ‘zero sulphur’) fuel, and complete transition to sulphur-free fuel by 2009. Emissions of SO2 and NOx from shipping in European waters are expected to increase with an associated increase in primary and secondary PM10 precursors
 CSI 004 - Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas (version 2) - Assessment published Dec 2008 http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/exceedance-of-air-quality-limit-1/exceedance-of-air-quality-limit
EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data (discontinued)
provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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