Public Power Systems Improve Emissions Profiles: Substantial Declines in Carbon and Other Emissions and Intensity Rates

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Target Rock Advisors released the results of an analysis of trends in emissions produced by public power systems. Overall, the public power systems made significant progress in reducing their total emissions and emissions intensity rates in three key emissions categories - carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide - as a result of better fuel selection, generating technology and emissions control and in other operational and planning policies and practices. This has helped them reach new levels of sustainable performance.

Target Rock Advisors, LLC today released the results of an analysis of trends in emissions produced by public power systems, including municipal systems and state and federal power agencies.

“Overall, the public power systems made significant progress in reducing their total emissions as well as the rates at which they produce emissions,” said Kyle Rudden, co-founder and partner at Target Rock. The study measured both the change in total tons of emissions and the rates (expressed in tons per MMbtu of electricity generated) that occurred over the last ten years in each of three emissions categories: carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. It also took a look at the same statistics for the last five years.

“The speed with which the public power systems reduced their emission rates in the last five years as compared to the first five years of the ten year analysis was remarkable,” stated Mr. Rudden. “Clearly, public power systems have made great strides since 2001 in fuel selection, generating technology and emissions control and in other operational and planning policies and practices. This has helped them reach new levels of sustainable performance.”

For the 193 public power systems analyzed the greatest reductions in total emissions for the ten year period 12/31/01-12/31/11 were in NOx and SO2, which were down 57.8% and 55.6% respectively over the last ten years. Additionally, NOx and SO2 emissions intensity rates fell 59.3% and 57.1%. Total CO2 emissions also declined but at a more modest rate of 2.4%. It is important to note that the public power sector achieved this 2.4% CO2 reduction despite a 9.4% increase in net generation over the period. Much of that reduction is attributable to a shift away from coal to cleaner fuels, but public power also delivered significant improvements in CO2 emissions intensity rates; down 3.7% over the ten year period. In many of these areas improvements have accelerated more recently, with even greater annual percentage declines in the five-year period 12/31/06-12/31/11.

Target Rock’s focus on sustainability assessment and ranking has, until now, related to the investor owned utility sector. The investor owned rankings – which addressed many more sustainability factors than just emissions - were released in February of this year. This new study represents an initial step in developing similar assessment methodologies and metrics for the public power sector.

“While there are a number of institutional and financial differences between the public and investor owned systems, there are far more similarities, not the least of which is the need to improve sustainability performance across the full range of “triple bottom line” considerations: Economic, Environmental and Social,” continued Mr. Rudden. “A fair amount of attention has been paid to how investor owned utilities perform financially as their sustainability practices improve, but not much has been said about public power systems. Through this study and subsequent ones, we hope to make a significant contribution to sustainability analytics in this sector.”

More information about the study titled “Public Power: Reducing Emissions in Key Areas” can be found at http://www.targetrockadvisors.com/research-reports/ and information about Target Rock and other sustainability rankings and stock market indexes can be found at http://www.targetrockadvisors.com.

About Target Rock

Target Rock is dedicated to the rigorous study and implementation of sustainability policies and practices within the utility and financial industries. The Company’s mission is to provide data, information, analytical systems and deep sector-specific technical expertise that identifies areas for improved performance and helps utility companies achieve their sustainability objectives with favorable social and economic outcomes. Through its partners and associates, Target Rock has over 250 years of combined experience in sustainability and executive leadership, equities and fixed income analysis, financial management, statistics and econometrics, regulatory policy analysis and management consulting.

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