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Estimating End-Use Emissions Factors For Policy Analysis: The Case of Space Cooling and Heating

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journal contribution
posted on 17.06.2014, 00:00 authored by Grant D. Jacobsen
This paper provides the first estimates of end-use specific emissions factors, which are estimates of the amount of a pollutant that is emitted when a unit of electricity is generated to meet demand from a specific end-use. In particular, this paper provides estimates of emissions factors for space cooling and heating, which are two of the most significant end-uses. The analysis is based on a novel two-stage regression framework that estimates emissions factors that are specific to cooling or heating by exploiting variation in cooling and heating demand induced by weather variation. Heating is associated with similar or greater CO2 emissions factor than cooling in all regions. The difference is greatest in the Midwest and Northeast, where the estimated CO2 emissions factor for heating is more than 20% larger than the emissions factor for cooling. The minor differences in emissions factors in other regions, combined with the substantial difference in the demand pattern for cooling and heating, suggests that the use of overall regional emissions factors is reasonable for policy evaluations in certain locations. Accurately quantifying the emissions factors associated with different end-uses across regions will aid in designing improved energy and environmental policies.