Electricity sector's environmental review

Further improvements in the electricity industry's environmental performance during 1999 are recorded in the Electricity Association's fourth annual environmental review.

  • Carbon dioxide emissions continued their downward trend, declining by 4.5% in 1999. Emissions have fallen from 751g/kWh in 1990 to 468g/kWh in 1999 - a 38% reduction.

  • The sector's emissions of acid gases also dropped sharply last year. Sulphur dioxide emissions were 41% below the ceiling set by the EC Directive on large combustion plant and 50% below for nitrogen oxides.

  • Over half of the industry's main waste streams are being sold for reuse. All of the 0.8 million tonnes of furnace bottom ash, almost all of the 0.5 million tonnes of gypsum produced by desulphurisation plant and 47% of the 4.7 million tonnes of pulverised fuel ash was reused in 1999 - a better performance than in 1998.

  • In 1998/99, 14 electricity suppliers spent £35 million on approved "standards of performance" projects to improve household energy efficiency. Reductions in CO2 emissions are estimated at 545,000 tonnes over the projects' lifetime.

  • Ten companies were certified to the environmental management standard ISO14001 by March 1999. The certifications cover 58 sites or business operations. Another five companies are pursuing certification.

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