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Windsor Heights ― Posted today, the DNR’s legislatively mandated “2016 Iowa Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report” shows greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Iowa decreased for the second year in a row, primarily from a decrease in power plant emissions.
Statewide emissions decreased 2 percent from 2015 levels and 9 percent from their peak in 2007. Power plant emissions decreased 14 percent in 2016 and are down 40 percent from their peak in 2010 as the amount of electricity generated in Iowa from renewable energy increased. Generation from coal has decreased from 78 percent in 2005 to 47 percent in 2016. The percentage generated from wind increased from 4 percent to 37 percent in the same period.
In 2016, 128 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalents) were emitted. According to the EPA equivalencies calculator, that is like sending 6 million tons of garbage to the landfill instead of recycling it. Another way to view it: it would take 151 million acres of forest to store that amount of carbon.
This is the 11th greenhouse gas inventory conducted for Iowa. Its purpose is to document emissions trends and develop baselines to track progress in reducing emissions. Find the complete report at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air-Quality/Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions.
The inventory is a policy-neutral calculation of Iowa greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, which includes sectors of agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, natural gas transmission and distribution, transportation, and waste. It also includes carbon sinks and emissions from land use, land use changes and forestry.