image credit: Adobe Stock

Ukraine war could extend bump in US coal use, but utilities remain confident in decarbonization path

March 24, 2022

The U.S. power sector’s success since 2005 in reducing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) was slowed in 2021 as market factors now being reproduced by the war in Ukraine forced more use of coal.

As the U.S. economy recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, electricity demand rose 3%, but economy-wide CO2 emissions grew 6.2% when the price of natural gas spiked and it was replaced by lower-cost, higher CO2 emitting coal generation, a January Rhodium Group preliminary assessment found. That may not disrupt long-term U.S. power sector CO2 reductions, but similar market changes caused by the war in Ukraine could, some utilities and analysts worry.

Read More on Utility Dive