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Q&A: how much CO2 is emitted to generate one unit of electricity ? - TXU Energy Q&A

Question by Raghu: how much CO2 is emitted to generate one unit of electricity ?
when energy is produced, it require combustion. How much co2 is released into atmosphere when one unit of electricity is generated ? alternatively what is the carbon foot print of 1Kwh of electricity ?

Best answer:

Answer by Blaa
it would depend on the power station is it oil ,coal gas, nuclear powered

All electricity generation systems have a ‘carbon footprint’, that is, at some points during their life cycle, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases are emitted.

Emissions can be both direct – arising during operation of the power plant, and indirect – arising during other non-operational phases of the life cycle. To compare the environmental impacts of these different technologies accurately, the total CO2 amounts emitted throughout a system’s life (both direct and indirect) must be calculated.

The carbon footprint of fossil fuelled power plants (coal, oil, gas), is dominated by direct emissions. These technologies have the largest carbon footprints since they burn fossil fuels during their operation. Coal burning power systems having the largest carbon footprint at ~1,000gCO2eq/kWh, while gas powered plants have a carbon footprint around half that of coal, ~500gCO2eq/kWh.

Non-fossil fuel based technologies such as wind, photovoltaics (solar), hydro, biomass, wave/tidal and nuclear are often referred to as ‘low carbon’ or ‘carbon neutral’ because they do not emit CO2 during their operation. However, they are not ‘carbon free’ forms of generation since CO2 emissions do arise indirectly in other phases of their life cycle such as during extraction, construction, maintenance and decommissioning.

The carbon footprints of ‘low carbon’ technologies are lower than fossil fuelled electricity generation, ranging from <100gCO2eq/kWh for direct combustion of biomass (grass), to <5gCO2eq/kWh for wind, nuclear and hydro generation. This presentation compares the life cycle CO2 emissions of different electricity generation systems currently used in the UK, and examines future options for lowering the carbon footprints of these technologies. ^ To the top ^ Sitemap Terms and Conditions Accessibility Copyright Privacy Policy Disclaimer Browser Requirements Artwork | Image by Fred Swist

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Date Verified 2013-05-22
Years in Business 19 Years
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