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Estimating Air Pollution Emission Rates for Power Generation in the United States


  • EPA’s eGRID needs upgrades to be useful for policymaking
  • Abt supported development of the 2010- 2014 versions of eGRID
  • Governments and others use the data for emissions strategies
The Challenge

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) is the preeminent source of data on the environmental characteristics of electric power generated in the United States. It’s based on available plant-specific data for all U.S. electricity-generating plants that provide power to the electric grid and report data to the U.S. government. eGRID needs repeated upgrades, however, for it to be useful as the basis for policymaking.

The Approach

Abt supported development of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 versions of eGRID. Abt also applied the methodology to help the EPA develop state-level emissions rate baselines for the Clean Power Plan.

The Results

Data reported via eGRID include:

  • Generation
  • Resource mix for renewable and nonrenewable generation
  • Mass emissions of and emission rates for CO2, NOx, SO2, CH4, and N2O
  • Heat input
  • Nameplate capacity

Governments, scholars, and others use the data to estimate indirect emissions from electricity purchases, in greenhouse gas inventories, for carbon footprinting, and for estimating avoided emissions from programs and projects to reduce consumption of grid-supplied electricity.