November 28, 2012

Regional power grid emissions down 60 percent

The power grid servicing all New England states reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent over the past 10 years, largely due to the increased use of natural gas in electricity generation, according to a report by regional grid administrator ISO New England.

The total emissions for sulfur dioxide reduced 60 percent from 2001 to 2010 while nitrogen oxides decreased 52 percent over the same time period. Carbon dioxide emissions decreased 1 percent.

The emissions reduction came over a time period where New England increased its total power generation by 11 percent.

ISO New England attributed the reduction because of the increase in new, efficient natural-gas power plants and more pollution controls at other fossil-fuel plants. Natural gas makes up approximately half of the generation mix in New England, and it emits less greenhouses gas than other fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal.

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