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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Energy-related emissions of acidifying substances / Energy-related emissions of acidifying substances (ENER 006) - Assessment published Jan 2011

Energy-related emissions of acidifying substances (ENER 006) - Assessment published Jan 2011

This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated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

Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Air pollution Air pollution

Tags:
energy | pollutants | emissions
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 006
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2007
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Are energy-related emissions of acidifying substances decreasing?

Key messages

Energy-related emissions account for 67% of all emissions of acidifying substances (SO2, NOx, and NH3) emissions from the EEA-32 in 2007. These emissions fell by 3.9% between 2006 and 2007 (and by 5.0% in the EU-27). Since 1990, these emissions declined by 58% in the EU and 54% in EEA member countries. Most of the total reduction in acidifying substances since 1990 was accounted for by lower SOx emissions from the energy-producing sector and lower NOx emissions in the transport sector. Despite significant progress and the EU-27 on track to meet overall targets, further reductions are needed to improve remaining local and transboundary air pollution issues, and for ensuring that individual countries meet emissions ceiling targets under the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NECD) and the UNECE Gothenburg Protocol.

Changes (%) in emissions of acidifying pollutants by source category, 1990-2007, EEA-27 (weighted by acid equivalency factors)

Note: The figure shows the emissions of acidifying pollutants (sulphur dioxide SO2, nitrogen oxides NOx and ammonia NH3) each weighted by an acid equivalency factor prior to aggregation to represent their respective acidification potentials. The acid equivalency factors are given by: w(SO2) = 2/64 acid eq/g = 31.25 acid eq/kg, w(NOx) = 1/46 acid eq/g = 21.74 acid eq/kg and w(NH3) = 1/17 acid eq/g = 58.82 acid eq/kg.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Sectoral shares of acidifying pollutants (SO2, NOx, NH3; energy and non-energy components) of total emissions, EEA-32. Values within the segments indicate the level of emissions (kt) emitted from each sector.

Note: The emissions of acidifying pollutants (sulphur dioxide SO2, nitrogen oxides NOx and ammonia NH3) are each weighted by an acid equivalency factor prior to aggregation to represent their respective acidification potentials. The acid equivalency factors are given by: w(SO2) = 2/64 acid eq/g = 31.25 acid eq/kg, w(NOx) = 1/46 acid eq/g = 21.74 acid eq/kg and w(NH3) = 1/17 acid eq/g = 58.82 acid eq/kg.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Overall change in emissions of acidifying substances by country, 1990-2007

Note: The graph shows the change in emissions of acidifying pollutants (sulphur dioxide SO2, nitrogen oxides NOx and ammonia NH3) each weighted by an acid equivalency factor prior to aggregation to represent their respective acidification potentials. The acid equivalency factors are given by: w(SO2) = 2/64 acid eq/g = 31.25 acid eq/kg, w(NOx) = 1/46 acid eq/g = 21.74 acid eq/kg and w(NH3) = 1/17 acid eq/g = 58.82 acid eq/kg.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

In the EEA32, total emissions of acidifying substances have decreased by 50% between 1990 and 2007 (and by 53% in the EU). All sources except waste have decreased significantly (see Figure 1). Energy-related emissions are the predominant sources in 2007, accounting for 67 % of all emissions, underlining the large contribution that energy production and use make to both local and transboundary air pollution. However, agriculture is also an important source of acidifying pollutants (predominantly by emitting significant levels of NH3 emissions), producing over a quarter of the aggregated acidifying emissions in 2007. Emission reductions from agriculture since 1990 have been much lower than from energy-related sources (see Figure 1). 

Energy industries (such as public heat and electricity production) represent over a quarter of all emissions in 2007, and emissions have decreased by nearly 60% since 1990 (see Figures 1 and 2). Much of this reduction is accounted for by lower SOx emissions. This reflects increasing rates of implementation of abatement technologies, a switch from coal to natural gas, an increase use of low sulphur fuels, and improved energy efficiency.

Energy-related emissions have decreased by over 50% since 1990 (see Figure 1). Combustion modification and flue-gas treatment have been used to reduce NOx emissions. One of the most common forms of combustion modification is to use low NOx burners, which typically can reduce NOx emissions by up to 40 %. Flue gas treatment such as selective catalytic reduction can also be used to remove NOx from the flue gases. Emissions of acidifying pollutants from the transport sector are the largest source of energy-combustion emissions and reductions in this sector are largely due to the introduction of catalytic converters on new cars since the early 1990s. However, emission controls on vehicles, and in particular certain catalyst technologies in road vehicles, can increase the rate of N2O generation and thus of greenhouse gases.

Emissions of acidifying substances decreased significantly in most EEA member countries since 1990, with the highest overall reductions in Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia (see Figure 3). However, emissions of acidifying substances increased in several countries with large increases in Iceland (97%) and Turkey (43%).  In Iceland the large increase was primarily a result of an increase in fugitive emissions, whereas in Turkey substantial increases were seen in emissions from energy industries and non-road transport.

Many of the reductions reported here are a result of actions implemented as a result of various European policies and measures, including the IPPC Directive, the Large Combustion Plant Directive, vehicle EURO standards, National Emissions Ceilings Directive  The EU-27 as a whole is on track to meet its target to reduce emissions from acidifying pollutants based on an aggregation of its NEC Directive ceilings for the three individual acidifying pollutants. However, a number of individual Member States anticipate missing their emission ceilings for one or more of the individual acidifying pollutants[1].

 

[1] CSI 001 - Emissions of acidifying substances (version 2) - Assessment published Dec 2008, http://themes.eea.europa.eu/IMS/ISpecs/ISpecification20081014122413/IAssessment1226069684950/view_content

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2009 2.9.1 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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