Energy-related emissions of particulate matter
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.
Are energy-related emissions of particulate matter decreasing?
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
Indicator specification and metadata
Combination of primary PM10 data, and emissions of secondary PM10 precursors (SO2 and NOx and NH3) weighted using aerosol formation factors (according to de Leeuw, 2002) NOx = 0.88, SO2 = 0.54 and NH3 = 0.64. Gaps in reported data have been filled by EEA/ETC-ACC where necessary using simple interpolation techniques.
PM10 definition: "PM10" shall mean particulate matter which passes through a size-selective inlet with a 50 % efficiency cut-off at 10 μm aerodynamic diameter (Air Quality Framework Directive, first Daughter Directive, article 2 (11) - (Council Directive 1999/30/EC of 22 April 1999 relating to limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air, Official Journal L 163 , 29/06/1999 P. 0041 - 0060):
PM10 emission in kt
Policy context and targets
Levels of fine particulate matter and precursor emissions are controlled in the European Union by 3 main types of regulation:
• Air quality standards.
• Emission standards for specific (mobile or stationary) sources.
• National emission ceilings and transboundary air pollution standards for emission precursors.
There are no direct emission limits or targets for primary PM10 within the European Union, although there are limits on emissions of the precursor pollutants NOx, SO2 and NH3. Limit values for the concentration of PM10 are set under EU Directive 99/30/EC relating to ambient air quality assessment and management (European Commission 1999).
Several EU-wide limits and targets exist for the reduction of SO2, NOx and NH3 emissions, including the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive (2001/81/EC) and the Gothenburg Protocol of the UNECE LRTAP Convention (UNECE 1999). These are discussed further in factsheet EN06. As part of the review of the NEC Directive that is currently taking place, the feasibility of introducing national emission ceiling targets for particulate matter is being investigated. A proposal for the revised directive is expected in spring 2008.
There are no specific EU emission targets for primary PM10. However, emissions of the precursors NOx, SOx and NH3 are covered by the NECD and the Gothenburg Protocol to the UNECE LRTAP Convention. Both instruments contain emission ceilings (limits) that countries must meet by 2010. See also indicators CSI 003.
Related policy documents
Directive 2001/81/EC, national emission ceilings
Directive 2001/81/EC, on nation al emissions ceilings (NECD) for certain atmospheric pollutants. Emission reduction targets for the new EU10 Member States have been specified in the Treaty of Accession to the European Union 2003 [The Treaty of Accession 2003 of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. AA2003/ACT/Annex II/en 2072] in order that they can comply with the NECD.
UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution.
Methodology for indicator calculation
Annual country data submissions to UNECE/LRTAP Convention/EMEP. Combination of emission measurements and emission estimates based on volume of activities and emission factors. Recommended methodologies for emission data collection are compiled in the Joint EMEP/CORINAIR Atmospheric Emission Inventory Guidebook 3rd edition EEA Copenhagen (EEA 2009).
Emissions of secondary PM10 are estimated using aerosol ‘formation factors’ obtained from de Leeuw, 2002. Factors are NOx = 0.88, SO2 = 0.54 and NH3 = 0.64. Results are in PM10 equivalents (kilotonnes - kt).
The energy supply sector includes public electricity and heat production, oil refining, production of solid fuels and fugitive emissions from fuels. The transport sector includes emissions from road and off-road sources (e.g. railways and vehicles used for agriculture and forestry). Industry (Energy) relates to emissions from combustion processes used in the manufacturing industry including boilers, gas turbines and stationary engines. ‘Other (energy-related)’ covers energy use principally in the services and household sectors.
Methodology for gap filling
EEA/ETC-ACC gap-filling methodology: To allow trend analysis, where countries have not reported data for one, or several years, data has been interpolated to derive annual emissions. If the reported data is missing either at the beginning or at the end of the time series period, the emission value has been considered to equal the first (or last) reported emission value. It is recognised that the use of gap-filling can potentially lead to artificial trends, but it is considered unavoidable if a comprehensive and comparable set of emissions data for European countries is required for policy analysis purposes. A list of the data used within this sheet which has been gap-filled is available from http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/dataservice/metadetails.asp?id=818
No methodology references available.
Officially reported data following agreed procedures and Emission Inventory Guidebook (EEA 2009) Primary PM10 data reported by countries remains uncertain in terms of quality for many countries. In many cases the available reported data does not include all years.
Data sets uncertainty
The reported primary PM10 data is likely to be very uncertain. Much of the uncertainty in the overall reported PM10 emissions comes from uncertainties associated with emission factors. For many countries there is little country-specific data available from which PM10 emission factors can be determined. Emission factors in the literature can be very variable due to the differences that occur between sector processes both within and between different countries. For many countries a complete time series of PM10 data is not available from 1990, and so significant interpolation and extrapolation has had to be performed to obtain a complete time series of data. Similarly not all countries report emissions from every sector. In contrast, the uncertainties of sulphur dioxide emission estimates in Europe are relatively low, as the sulphur emitted comes from the fuel burnt and therefore can be accurately estimated. However, because of the need for interpolation to account for missing data the complete dataset used here will have higher uncertainty. EMEP has compared modelled (which include emission data as one of the model parameters) and measured concentrations throughout Europe (EMEP 2005). From these studies the uncertainties associated with the modelled annual averages for a specific point in time have been estimated in the order of ±30 %. This is consistent with an inventory uncertainty of ±10 % (with additional uncertainties arising from the other model parameters, modelling methodologies, and the air quality measurement data etc). NOx emission estimates in Europe are thought to have higher uncertainty than pollutants such as SO2, as the NOx emitted comes both from the fuel burnt and the combustion air and so cannot be estimated accurately from fuel nitrogen alone. EMEP has compared modelled and measured concentrations throughout Europe (EMEP 2005). From these studies differences for individual monitoring stations of more than a factor of two have been found. This is consistent with an inventory of national annual emissions having an uncertainty of ±30% or greater (there are also uncertainties in the air quality measurements and especially the modelling). The trend is likely to be much more accurate than for individual absolute annual values; the annual values are not independent of each other. However it is not clear that all countries backdate changes to methodologies so early years may have been estimated on a different basis to later years.
No uncertainty has been specified
EEA aggregated and gap filled air pollutant data (discontinued)
provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
Energy (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- ENER 007
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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