U.S. Power Plant Emissions

2021 EPA FLIGHT data was recently released...

U.S. Power Plant Emissions
Photo by Chris LeBoutillier / Unsplash
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 2021 emissions data recently

The EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) data and other relevant information from large GHG emission sources, fuel and industrial gas suppliers, and CO2 injection sites in the U.S. with approximately 8,000 facilities required to report their emissions annually

Enersection utilized the EPA Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT) to extract facility level emissions data

1,326 power plants reported their emissions to the EPA last year with total CO2-equivalent emissions of 1,589 metric tons during 2021

Power plant emissions increased modestly in 2021 versus 2020 as the U.S. economy bounced back from COVID-19

We provide some some quick data highlights

Fossil Fuel Problem

The EPA FLIGHT data captures approximately 80% of all U.S. emissions.  There are a number of renewable power plants that fall below the mandatory reporting threshold but we can see from the power plants that report that most of the power emissions in the U.S. come from coal and natural gas plants.

Please note that the map is interactive on hover.

The 25-largest emitting power plants are highlighted below.  These 25 plants alone represent nearly 20% of U.S. power plant emissions.  23 of the 25 largest emitters are coal plants.

It's no surprise that like everything else in Texas, emissions are bigger.

The Inflation Reduction Act is a good first step at targeted actions to replace fossil fuel power with renewable or lower carbon options.  The IRA gives 'Energy Communities' (former coal mining, coal power, and communities with energy jobs) additional subsidies for renewable or manufacturing development in those areas, providing incentives to move away from primarily coal-fired power.

Enersection will dive deeper into U.S. state generation mix, emissions, and state-level green jobs with a soon-to-be released report:  "US Renewable Profiles:  The State of 50 States" that will be our first attempt at commercializing our work.  In addition a U.S. power supply and demand model will be available for more advanced users.  Stay tuned!