Feb. 14, 2002 — A total of 222 U.S. companies and other organizations reported to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program that, during 2000, they had undertaken 1,882 projects to reduce or sequester greenhouse gases.
Reported emission reductions included 187 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in direct emission reductions, 61 MMTCO2e in indirect emission reductions, 9 million metric tons of reductions from carbon sequestration, and 12 million metric tons of reductions reported under the EIA 1605EZ form, which does not specify whether reported reductions are direct reductions or indirect reductions.
For definitional purposes, direct reductions are emission reductions from sources owned or leased by the reporting entity, while indirect reductions are emission reductions from sources not owned or leased by the reporting entity but that occur as a result of the entity’s activities.
Expressed as a percentage of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2000, reported direct emission reductions represented 2.7 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, while reported indirect reductions were 0.9 percent, unspecified reductions corresponded to 0.2 percent, and carbon sequestration represented 0.1 percent. The figure below illustrates the growth in reported reductions since the Program’s inception in 1994.
EIA’s Voluntary Reporting Program affords an opportunity for any organization or individual to establish a public record of its achievements in reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in a national, publicly available database.
The electric power sector, with 103 companies reporting, continues to provide the largest number of participants to the program. Reporters included nearly all of the largest electricity generating utilities.
The companies reported projects such as improved plant efficiencies, cogeneration, use of non-fossil fuels such as nuclear and renewable fuels, and demand-side management programs that reduce power use by their customers.
Other projects cover many different approaches to reducing or offsetting emissions, including activities such as methane recovery projects at landfills, urban forestry, and worldwide tree planting projects. The number of participants from outside the electric power sector (119 reporters) was more than nine times the number reporting in the first year of the program.
These companies now comprise more than half of the reporters to the program and include firms engaged in automobile manufacturing, petroleum production and refining, coal mining, food processing, and the chemical industry.
The 222 entities reporting to the Program represent a 7 percent increase from the 207 entities reporting in 1999. Since 1994, the number of entities reporting to the program has grown by 106 percent.
The 1,882 projects reported to the Program, meanwhile, correspond to a 9 percent increase over the 1,722 projects reported in 1999. Total projects reported have grown by 197 percent since 1994. Electric power sector reporters (including independent power producers) accounted for 1,287 (68 percent) of the projects reported.
Also reporting were industrial concerns (206 projects), agriculture and forestry organizations (174 projects), and alternative energy providers (203 projects). Organizations in other sectors (government, commercial, and residential) submitted reports on 12 projects.
One hundred of the organizations reporting for 2000 voluntarily furnished estimates of emissions and/or emission reductions for their entire organization. Of these 100 organizations reporting at the entity level, 96 provided their 2000 entity-wide greenhouse gas emissions.
These entities reported direct greenhouse gas emissions of 1,036 MMTCO2e, equal to about 15 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2000.
The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, required by Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, is part of U.S. Government efforts to develop innovative, low-cost, and non-regulatory approaches to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, which include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), absorb infrared energy and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases for which emission reductions were reported include carbon dioxide (143 MMTCO2e in direct reductions, 40 MMTCO2e in indirect reductions and 9 MMTCO2e in carbon sequestration), methane (39.2 MMTCO2e in direct reductions and 20.6 MMTCO2e in indirect reductions), HFCs, PFCs and SF6 (4.6 MMTCO2e in direct reductions), and nitrous oxide (0.1 MMTCO2e in direct reductions and 0.1 MMTCO2e in indirect reductions).
These figures do not include the 12 MMTCO2e in reductions reported using the EIA 1605EZ form that does not distinguish between direct and indirect reductions.
An electronic version of the full report “Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases 2000,” in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, can be downloaded from EIA’s web site at: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/vrrpt/pdf/0608(00).pdf.
A summary of the report, in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, can be downloaded from http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/vrrpt/pdf/summary.pdf.
Printed copies of the Summary of the report will be available in late February from the U.S. Government Printing Office, 202/512-1800, or through EIA’s National Energy Information Center, 202/586-8800.