Bobby Magill quoted Ines Azevedo in his piece “Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record”.
“Climate pollution from generating electricity is now more than 24 percent below where it was in 2005, said Ines Azevedo, an associate professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, whose research team’s Power Sector Carbon Index echoes DOE’s data.
“The index, published at the end of March, uses both Environmental Protection Agency and DOE data to show how quickly many different factors have come together to cut the carbon footprint of electric power plants.
“A mild winter in 2016 — the hottest year on record worldwide, thanks to global warming — also helped U.S. carbon emissions fall last year.
“‘Because more energy is used for heating than for cooling, warm years can translate to less energy consumption,’ according to the DOE report.
“Azevedo said that electric power plants shifting from coal to natural gas are responsible for about half the electric power sector’s carbon pollution drop between 2005 and 2016. Increased use of renewables such as wind and solar accounted for 40 percent of the falloff, with power plant efficiency and other factors representing the rest.”