Carnegie Mellon University launches carbon emissions index

March 20, 2017

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced the creation of a new index that will measure carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. electrical power generation sector. The Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index will track the environmental performance of U.S. power producers and compare current emissions to historical data collected nationwide for more than two decades. A quarterly press release will inform interested parties of power sector carbon emissions performance trends. In addition, CMU will provide an online resource for a wide variety of power sector emissions data and forecasts.

"The Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index will provide a snapshot of critical data regarding energy production and environmental performance," said Costa Samaras, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering CMU. "Launching the index during Carnegie Mellon's Energy Week will expose the data to a wide range of industry leaders and should prompt a useful discussion about the progress being made by the sector," confirmed Inês Azevedo, associate professor of engineering and public policy at CMU.

The U.S. electricity sector is rapidly changing, with construction of renewable and natural gas power projects; retirements of coal and nuclear power plants; the addition of air and water control devices; and improvements to the efficiency and emissions of existing power plants. The index will provide policy makers, regulators, utilities, industry analysts and the public with a source of objective information on overall emissions intensity across the U.S. electric power grid.

"As older, inefficient coal-fired power plants have been replaced with renewables and highly efficient natural gas , our industry has made significant progress in reducing and other emissions during the past decade. As the power sector continues to evolve, the Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index will provide useful insights into progress the power sector is making to safeguard the environment while meeting the nation's energy demand," said Paul Browning, president and CEO of MHPS Americas. "As a leading provider of products and services that power a brighter future, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems is proud to support this important work by Carnegie Mellon."

The new will be unveiled on March 28 during the annual Carnegie Mellon Energy Week in Pittsburgh at the CMU Scott Energy Institute. More than 700 research, policy, industry and academic leaders are expected to attend the event.

Explore further: EU must shut coal plants by 2030 to meet climate pledge: study

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