On February 24, 2023, EPA released 2022 power plant emissions data. In its news release, EPA said that power plant emissions declined even though power plant demand increased.
Switch to Natural Gas
In the news release, EPA said the decreased emissions were “due primarily to changes in the mix of fuels used in electricity generation.” EPA noted: “Data from 2022 showed a 6% decrease in coal generation and a 7% increase in natural gas generation from 2021.”
General Decline in Emissions
Compared to 2021, 2022 saw “a 4% decrease in nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, a 10% decrease in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, a 1% decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and a 3% decrease in mercury emissions.” Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions decreased by 10%; the decrease was 21% in states covered by the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
Acid Rain Program’s Long-Term Success
Since 1995, annual power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide have gone from 11 million tons to 0.85 million tons, with comparable reductions in nitrogen oxides. During this time, carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 22%.
To see the news release, which includes links to graphical presentation of the data and Clean Air Markets Program Data, https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-2022-power-plant-emissions-data