Energy Dept. forecasts largest coal-related emissions drop since 2015
WASHINGTON D.C. (Texas Insider Report) A newly released U.S. Department of Energy report forecasts that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from the energy industry are expected to drop this year as the nation shifts away from coal and electricity demand softens.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to fall this year says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) as coal consumption is replaced by natural gas in the nations electricity-generating mix and lower temperatures dampen the demand for electricity.
After a 2.7 increase in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 the U.S. Energy Department expects carbon dioxide emissions to fall 2.2 this year.
Although the electric power sector is using more natural gas EIA does not expect the increase in natural gas emissions in 2019 to offset the decrease in coal emissions because natural gas-fired electricity generation is less carbon-intensive than coal-fired electricity generation federal officials wrote in a short-term market outlook released Monday.
To generate its forecast for the remainder of the year the U.S. Energy Information Administration used emissions data from the first quarter of 2019 which is typically the period of the year with the highest carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.
Based on data in EIAs Monthly Energy Review energy-related CO2 emissions in the first three months of 2019 were largely similar to those in the first three months of 2018. EIA estimates that U.S. energy-related emissions totaled 1367 million metric tons which is nearly equal to those in the first quarter of 2018.
However relatively mild temperatures for the rest of the year in many parts of the country will put downward pressure on energy demand and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
Lower coal consumption is helping to drive the decrease too officials said.
The energy department expects carbon dioxide emissions from coal to fall by 169 million metric tons - its biggest drop since 2015.
Meanwhile carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are expected to increase as the country increases its natural gas consumption. Carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas will rise by 53 million metric tons the EIA said.
Both changes are largely due to forecast changes in the electricity generation mix as natural gas continues to grow as the most prevalent electricity generation fuel the report said.
Emissions from petroleum consumption which have risen in each of the previous six years are expected to stay flat the EIA said. Petroleum consumption accounted for 45 of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year.