Understanding – the CO2 emissions from each fuel

This post highlights the relative CO2 emissions from common fuel types, particularly focusing on the actual emissions from electricity

I think most people have a fair idea of which fuels are the dirtiest, and which are the cleanest, but just to get these things clear in our minds, this post highlights the official EPA figures on CO2 emissions.




Electricity (2006)




Peat Briquettes



340. 6

Home Heating Oil






Natural Gas


 As you can see, electricity is by far the dirtiest fuel. People regularly think it is clean as you don’t see anything going up the stack, but the amount of other fuels burned by power station, and the wasted heat from these facilities, means that it works out at the dirtiest. The figure changes from year to year, depending on the fuel mix used by the power stations. As older inefficient power stations are shut down, and the amount of wind on the grid increases, this figure reduces.

Some people feel that if you purchase electricity from cleaner sources, such as some of the private electricity companies or wind companies you should apply a different figure to the emissions from your electricity consumption, which is debateable, but the fact is that we all use the same electricity grid. The electrons are all a blur and a mix. All electricity is really the same (don’t get me wrong, I’m all for using wind companies, the money given to them supports them and encourages more wind power)

 So the moral of the story, electrical heating, is really bad. All other sources of heat are a better option. All other sources.


BTW thanks t SEI for the facts behind my rant. Can I suggest that everyone go to this link and checkout “Energy in Ireland 1990-2006” a cracking document if your into that sort of thing.





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5 Responses to Understanding – the CO2 emissions from each fuel

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