THE BIG PICTURE: A Power Sector Carbon Decline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that if states fully implement the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule—which it proposed in August 2018 to replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan—by 2025, U.S. power sector carbon dioxide emissions could be about 34% below 2005 levels. At the end of 2016, they had fallen 24%, and by the end of 2017, 28%, compared to 2005. In comparison, the Clean Power Plan targeted a 32% decrease by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Carbon emissions in the U.S. power sector have steadily declined owing to several factors, including market forces and regulatory and policy changes that prompted a spate of coal power plant retirements. Between 2005 and 2016, net coal generation plunged 38%. Sources: Energy Information Administration, EPA, POWER

—Copy and artwork by Sonal Patel, a POWER associate editor (@sonalcpatel, @POWERmagazine)

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