Friday, June 19, 2015

Maryland's energy mix

We mentioned briefly in class what energy predominates in our region, but here it is, straight from Baltimore Gas & Electric:

Interesting that all of the pollutants are "100%" of the regional average: no more, no less. I wanted a little more information there, so I clicked over to the EPA's database, summarized here. Unfortunately the information there is from 2010, meaning that the mix at that time was probably more coal and less natural gas, but compared to that these numbers are actually pretty good. 

The above table says that in our area, we produce 0.90 lbs of NOx per megawatt-hour generated, and the US average in 2010 was 1.12, so that's good. (The regional average at that time, which I think is labeled SRVC on the chart, was 0.8, though.) SO2 in 2014 was 2.23, and in 2010 the US average was 2.64, so again, better than average. (Again, though, the SRVC average was 2.04, so we're worse by comparison with that.) The US average for CO2 was 1232 compared to this 1108, so again we're better than the 2010 national average.

In the short term, more natural gas is going to make this look better; in the long run, of course, renewables are the way to go. I need to learn more about some of those listed here, particularly Black Liquor. No idea what that is- anyone volunteers to investigate? Could be a worthy way to spend a hot afternoon! :)

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