NYSERDA Releases Report Finding that Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Electricity Generators in RGGI States Declined by 1/3 Since 2005
On November 5, 2010, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a report that found that annual carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generators in the 10 states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) were 33 percent lower in 2009 than in 2005.
The report attributed the decline to a lower electricity load, fuel-switching from petroleum and coal to natural gas, and increased use of nuclear, wind, and hydropower. The report did not calculate the direct impact of the RGGI cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions, which did not take effect until 2009.
According to the report, total carbon dioxide emissions from the electric sector declined from 184.4 million tons in 2005, when the RGGI program was designed, to 123.7 million tons in 2009, when RGGI was implemented. The report attributed a decline of 29.2 million tons to a reduced electricity load due to weather, energy efficiency programs, customer-sited generation, and the economy. It attributed a decline of 18.9 million tons to fuel switching due to lower natural gas prices. The report attributed a decline of 12.6 million tons to greater use of nuclear, wind, and hydropower and less use of coal.