This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 18, 2010

EIA: U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Increase 3.4% in 2010

Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are projected to increase by 3.4% in 2010 over the previous year, according to a new report by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook" (STEO), released on August 10, projects carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal to increase by 6% due to increased use of coal at electric power plants. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning natural gas are projected to increase by 3.9%, due to greater use of natural gas in the industrial and electric power sectors, while emissions from using petroleum are expected to increase by only about 1%. The STEO projects relatively low growth in all three fuels in 2011, leading to a projected growth in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions of 0.8%. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are the biggest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and are generally a good indicator of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions trends.

Projecting the growth in energy-related carbon dioxide emission is a relatively recent addition to the STEO, which is release monthly. So far this year, the projections have varied widely. For 2010, the January STEO projected a 1.5% increase. That increased to 2.1% in April, dropped to 0.6% in May, bounced back to 2.9% in June, and has trended upward since. Meanwhile, the projected emissions growth for 2011 ranged from a high of 1.7% in the January STEO to a low of 0.8% in this month's report. See the STEO, the accompanying chart of projected energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, and the STEO archive.

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