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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?

In 2021, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the U.S. electric power sector were 1,551 million metric tons (MMmt), or about 32% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 4,903 (MMmt).

CO2 emissions by U.S. electric power sector by source, 2021
SourceMillion metric tons Share of total
Coal90959%
Natural gas61340%
Petroleum181%
Other1111%
1 Includes CO2 emissions from the combustion of waste materials made from fossil fuels and by some types of geothermal power plants.
Source: Monthly Energy Review, December 2022

Learn more:
U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions rose 6% in 2021
How do I convert between short tons and metric tons?
Monthly Energy Review, Tables 11.1 and 11.6 contain the most recent estimates of monthly and annual U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, total and by the electric power sector.
U.S. CO2 emissions from energy consumption by source and sector (diagram)
U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions
State-level carbon dioxide emissions data
Energy Explained: Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Last updated: December 23, 2022, with most recent data available at the time of update.


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