Report: Power Sector Carbon Intensity Down 30% since 2001 – Thanks Largely to Natural Gas

A new study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) reveals that carbon intensity from the U.S. power sector is down 30 percent since 2001. The report also notes that “declining generation from coal, and increased generation from natural gas and wind are the primary drivers for the CO2 intensity decrease.”

Carbon intensity is a key metric for analyzing emissions progress. While carbon emissions indicate the total amount of carbon dioxide produced, carbon intensity is defined as “the amount of carbon by weight emitted per unit of energy consumed.” Put another way, this report shows that energy efficiency has improved greatly in the U.S., due in part to an increased reliance on natural gas.

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