Part 2 – Electric Power Sector
Daniel Klein is president of Twenty-First Strategies, with forty years of experience in energy, environmental, and economic analy-sis. After many years as a senior vice president and director of ICF Resources Inc., he founded Twenty-First Strategies in 1995 to offer energy and environmental consulting services to energy companies, government agencies, and others. His work in recent years has focused primarily on climate change, energy security, strategic planning for electric power, sustainability, energy supply and usage, and related policies and strategies. Mr. Klein earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In the March 2016 edition of the Monthly Energy Review, the U.S. Energy Information Administration published its first full-year estimates of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions in 2015. The trends are stunning, unthinkable even ten years ago.
Part 1 of this analysis looked at the economy-wide trends in carbon dioxide emissions. The Energy Information Administration's carbon dioxide estimates for 2015 have fallen to 5,270 million metric tons. This is down 723 million metric tons from 2005, and twelve percent below the all-time peak.
These reductions are not only unprecedented in the U.S. They are far larger than any other country has achieved.
A Kaya Identity analysis examined in Part 1 the four factors underlying carbon dioxide emissions: population, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, energy intensity, and carbon intensity of energy supply. It was seen that for the U.S. overall, sharp improvements since 2005 in both energy intensity and carbon intensity have driven the downward trend in emissions.
Looking at sector-by-sector carbon dioxide changes since 2005, emission reductions are seen in all sectors. But the carbon dioxide emission reductions in the electric power sector have been the largest single factor in reductions in the U.S. since 2005, comprising over half of all reductions.