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Indicator Specification

Greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: ENER 038
Published 08 Dec 2020 Last modified 26 Oct 2021
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This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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This page was archived on 26 Oct 2021 with reason: Other (New version data-and-maps/indicators/overview-of-the-electricity-production-4 was published)
Greenhouse gas emission intensity is calculated as the ratio of CO 2 equivalent emissions from electricity generation and gross electricity generation.

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
  • No published assessments
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

The EU aims to be climate-neutral (i.e. its economy will emit net-zero greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050. This objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal and in line with the EU's commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement. Decarbonising electricity supply, for instance by substantially accelerating the deployment of renewable energy sources to achieve a share of almost 70% in generation by 2030 and above 80% by 2050, is critical to achieving this objective.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

Greenhouse gas emission intensity is calculated as the ratio of CO2 equivalent emissions from electricity generation and gross electricity generation.

Units

Grammes of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour (g CO2e/kWh)

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

__ ___

Targets

No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

  • Directive 2001/80/EC, large combustion plants
    Directive 2001/80/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants
  • EC, 2018, Directive (EU) 2018/410
    Directive (EU) 2018/410 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2018 amending Directive 2003/87/EC to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments, and Decision (EU) 2015/1814 
  • EC, 2020, SWD(2020) 176 final part 1/2
    COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT Accompanying the document: COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition -  Investing in a climate-neutral future for the benefit of our people

Key policy question

Overview of greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in Europe, aggregated level assessment

Specific policy question

Overview of greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in Europe, disaggregate level assessment

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The GHG intensity of total electricity generation is taken as the ratio of CO2 equivalent emissions from all electricity production (both from main activity producers and auto-producers) to total electricity generation, including electricity from nuclear plants and renewable sources. 

For main activity producers, the CO2e emissions from electricity generation only (i.e. excluding emissions resulting from heat production), were estimated as follows:

a)      Estimating the transformation input for gross heat production by multiplying gross heat production (ESTAT codes GHP_MAPCHP and GHP_MAPH) by 90% (the assumed efficiency for heat production);

b)     Estimating the transformation input for electricity generation by subtracting the estimated transformation input for gross heat production from total transformation input for electricity and heat generation (ESTAT codes TI_EHG_MAPE_E, TI_EHG_MAPCHP_E, and TI_EHG_MAPH_E);

c)      Multiplying the ratio of b) and the transformation input for electricity and heat generation (ESTAT codes TI_EHG_MAPE_E, TI_EHG_MAPCHP_E, and TI_EHG_MAPH_E) to total CO2e emissions from public electricity and heat production (1A1a from the EEA data viewer).

The reported CO2e emissions in class 1A1a do not include CO2e emissions from autoproducers. Emissions from electricity generated by autoproducers were estimated by multiplying the ratio of the energy input for autoproducers and the energy input for main activity producers by the CO2e emissions from main activity producers (as calculated in steps a-c above). The energy input for electricity generation by autoproducers was estimated using the same method as for main activity producers (a and b above) using the ESTAT codes GHP_APH and GHP_APCHP for gross heat production and TI_EHG_APE_E, TI_EHG_APCHP_E, and TI_EHG_APH_E for transformation input for electricity and heat production.

A zero CO2e emission factor was applied to nuclear power and to renewables (including the biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste), as the method does not take into account life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. This applies also to solid biofuels: in accordance with the United Framework Convention on Climate Change Reporting Guidelines, biofuel-related emissions have to be reported as a memorandum item in greenhouse gas emission inventories, with the assumption being that harvesting emissions would be shown as changes in carbon stocks in the land use, land use change and forestry sector, not in the energy sector. This should not be interpreted, however, as an endorsement of default carbon neutrality or the sustainability of biofuels.

The denominator of the GHG intensity of total electricity production is the sum of electricity produced from main activity producers (ESTAT: GEP_MAPE and GEP_MAPCHP) and autoproducers (ESTAT: GEP_APE and GEP_APCHP).

Calculation Formula: (CO2e * ((ei_MAP – dh_MAP/0.9) / ei_MAP)) * ((ei_AP - dh_AP/0.9) / (ei_MAP - dh_MAP / 0.9)) + CO2e * ((ei_MAP – dh_MAP/0.9) / ei_MAP))) / (GEP / 85.98), where:

  • CO2e represents ‘CO2 equivalent emissions - Fuel combustion in public electricity and heat production (A1A1)’, from the EEA greenhouse gas data viewer. The values do not include CO2e emissions from the combustion of biomass; nor do they include upstream emissions (e.g. fugitive emissions due to methane leaks or construction emissions);
  • ‘ei_MAP’ represents ‘energy input of Main Activity Producers’ and includes ‘TI_EHG_MAPE_E’, ‘TI_EHG_MAPCHP_E’ and ‘TI_EHG_MAPH_E’;
  • ‘ei_AP’ represents ‘energy input of Autoproducers’ and includes ‘TI_EHG_APE’, ‘TI_EHG_APCHP_E’ and ‘TI_EHG_APH_E’;
  • ‘dh_MAP’ represents ‘derived heat of Main Activity Producers’ and includes ‘GHP_MAPCHP’ and ‘GHP_MAPH’;
  • ‘dh_AP’ represents ‘derived heat of Autoproducers’ and includes ‘GHP_APCHP’ and ‘CHP _APH’;
  • ‘GEP’ represents ‘Gross electricity production’ and includes ‘GEP_MAPE’, ‘GEP_MAPCHP’, ‘GEP_APE’ and ‘GEP_APECHP’;
  • 0.9 represents the assumed efficiency of heat production. A pro-rata split of CO2 between heat and electricity is assumed;
  • 85.98 represents the conversion factor from kilotonnes oil equivalent to GWh.

Dataset used:                    

CO2e emissions (EEA):

  • derived from the reported total CO2 equivalent emissions from public electricity and heat generation from the EEA greenhouse gas data viewer (code: 1A1a). These CO2e emissions include both electricity and heat production from Public Electricity Generation, Public Combined Heat and Power, and Public Heat Plants.

nrg_bal_c (Eurostat):

Indicators:

    • GEP_APCHP                     Gross electricity generation Autoproducer CHP plants
    • GEP_APE                          Gross electricity generation Autoproducer electricity only
    • GEP_MAPCHP                 Gross electricity generation Main activity CHP plants
    • GEP_MAPE                       Gross electricity generation Main activity electricity only
    • GHP_APCHP                    Gross heat production - Autoproducer CHP
    • GHP_APH                         Gross heat production - Autoproducer heat only
    • GHP_MAPCHP                 Gross heat production - Main activity producer CHP
    • GHP_MAPH                      Gross heat production - Main activity producer heat only
      • TI_EHG_APCHP_E        Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Autoproducer                                                  CHP - Energy use
      • TI_EHG_APE_E              Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Autoproducer electricity only
      • TI_EHG_APH_E             Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Autoproducer heat only
      • TI_EHG_MAPCHP_E    Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Main activity producer CHP - Energy use
      • TI_EHG_MAPE_E          Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Main activity producer electricity only
      • TI_EHG_MAPH_E         Transformation input - Electricity and Heat generation - Main activity producer heat only

Products:         

    • C0000X0350-0370            Solid fossil fuels
    • C0350-0370                       Manufactured gases
    • G3000                                Natural Gas
    • O4000XBIO                       Oil and petroleum products (excluding biofuel portion)
    • P1000                                 Peat and Peat products
    • S2000                                 Oil shale and Oil sands
    • W6100_6220                     Non-renewable waste
    • TOTAL                                Total

              

Abbreviations:

    • TI                                         Transformation input
    • MAP                                    Main activity producer
    • AP                                       Autoproducer
    • CHP                                    Combined Heat and Power
    • E                                          Electricity only
    • H                                         Heat only
    • EHG                                    Electricity and Heat Production
    • GEP                                     Gross Electricity Production
    • GHP                                    Gross Heat Production
    • SIEC                                    Standard International Energy Products Classification

Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gap filling has been specified. Probably this info has been added together with indicator calculation.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

 

Data specifications

EEA data references

External data references

Data sources in latest figures

 

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Mihai Florin Tomescu

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
ENER 038
Specification
Version id: 4

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Classification

DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
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