By Matt Heitner
In an ongoing effort to provide cleaner energy for customers, PG&E reduced the carbon emissions from its delivered electricity to one of its lowest levels on record, according to the latest figures made available by The Climate Registry, a nonprofit registry of greenhouse gas emissions for North America.
In 2015, the carbon dioxide emissions rate for all of PG&E’s delivered electricity, including power purchased from third parties, was 405 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, nearly two-thirds cleaner than the national average among energy providers.
The 2015 emissions rate represented a seven percent drop from the prior year’s rate of 435 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.
The drop in emissions was largely due to added renewable energy, which increased from 27 to 30 percent of PG&E’s power mix, and the increased production of nuclear generation from PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant. As a result, PG&E’s emissions decreased despite reduced hydro output from continued drought conditions.
PG&E also saw a corresponding reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions from its electricity sales, falling 1.1 million metric tons in 2015.
In all, nearly 60 percent of PG&E’s power in 2015 came from renewable and greenhouse-gas free resources: 23 percent from nuclear, 30 percent from renewables and 6 percent from large hydroelectric resources. The remainder came from natural gas (25 percent) and unspecified power (17 percent).
PG&E’s emissions rate accounts only for the actual renewable energy delivered to its customers. PG&E does not offset its emissions rate with Renewable Energy Credits that are sold separately, or unbundled, from the clean energy they represent, or that are retired by any entity other than PG&E.
The 2015 figures are now available after a thorough, third-party verification of the emissions data in accordance with the standards of The Climate Registry and the World Resources Institute.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.