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15 April 2021updated 05 Nov 2021 9:28am

US is halfway to a carbon-free power sector

The US power sector is decarbonising faster than expected, according to new research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

By Energy Monitor Staff

The US is halfway to a carbon-free power sector, says a study published in April 2021 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

A review of historical trends shows the US power sector is making good progress to reduce emissions, according to the research.

offshore wind turbines

The GE-Alstom Block Island Wind Farm stands three miles off of Block Island, Rhode Island. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

“Fifteen years ago, many business-as-usual projections anticipated annual CO2 emissions from power supply in the US would reach 3,000 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020,” it states. “In fact, direct power-sector CO2 emissions in 2020 were 1,450 MMT—roughly 50% below the earlier projections.”

Using this metric, in 15 years the country’s power sector has gone halfway to zero emissions.

“Economic, technical and policy factors contributed to this success, including sectoral changes, energy efficiency, wind and solar, continued operations of the nuclear fleet, and coal-to-gas fuel switching,” states the report.

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