Iowa greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2013; reflects lower production from coal power plants

Greenhouse gas emissions in Iowa declined in 2013, thanks primarily to a decline in electric power plant production and greater use of wind power, according to a recently released report by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
The IDNR greenhouse gas inventory issued Dec. 29 reported total emissions were 130.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, down a half percent from 2012 levels and 6.78 percent below the statewide greenhouse gas emission peak recorded in 2007.
Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants fell for the third year in a row and were nearly 22 percent below the peak for that sector set in 2010.
The decrease in emissions from power plants resulted from less electricity being produced – electric generation in Iowa declined 2.9 percent from August 2012 to August 2013 – and "the percentage of electricity generated from coal has been decreasing and percentage generated from wind has been increasing," according to the IDNR report.
Offsetting the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by the electric utilities were increased emissions from agriculture, residential/commercial/industrial fuel use, transportation, and waste disposal sources.
With the steady decline in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, agriculture is now the highest source of greenhouse gas emissions (27 percent) of the state's total.
The agriculture emissions are from livestock and crop production, and the 2013 increase was attributed to increases in beef cattle and swine populations, along with higher agriculture crop production.
<a href="" target=blank>CLICK HERE</a> to download the full report on greenhouse gas inventory for 2013 from the Iowa Department of Natural Resouces.
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