CO2 intensity of Iberdrola’s power generation rises in 2015 on more gas-fired production

Published 11:48 on February 24, 2016  /  Last updated at 11:48 on February 24, 2016  /  EMEA, EU ETS  /  No Comments

Spanish-headquartered utility Iberdrola emitted 6% more CO2 per kWh of power produced in 2015 than the previous year, as it ramped up gas-fired generation while decreasing most other sources.

Spanish-headquartered utility Iberdrola emitted 6% more CO2 per kWh of power produced in 2015 than the previous year, as it ramped up gas-fired generation while decreasing most other sources.

In its full-year 2015 earnings reported on Wednesday, the firm said it emitted 225 gCO2/kWh across all operations, which include generation facilities in mainly in Spain, the UK, the US, Brazil, and Mexico. That was up from 212 grams in 2014.

Iberdrola’s overall generation dipped by 1.5% to 136.8 TWh, with declines of 23% for hydro, 5.3% for nuclear, 4.8% for coal, and 3.1% for renewables leading the way lower.

This was only partially offset by an 11% rise in production from gas combined cycle plants and a 17% gain in cogeneration.

The Spanish and UK markets, which are covered under the EU ETS, accounted for around 54% of Iberdrola’s total generation in 2015.

Iberdrola generated 55.5 TWh of power in Spain last year, down 9.1%. UK output under its subsidiary Scottish Power fell 1.5% to 18.6 TWh.

Its Spanish generation mix, the majority of which was made up of hydro and nuclear power in 2015, emitted 103 gCO2/kWh, up markedly from 65g in 2014.

“In Spain, the period has been characterised by lower hydroelectric production compared to the previous year (-27.6%) given that 2014 was a year of extraordinary rainfall,” the company said in its earnings report.

And the firm’s UK production, which last year comprised of mostly coal- and gas-fired power, emitted 530 gCO2/kWh, down some 11% year-on-year.

“In the UK, electricity demand dropped by -1.2% compared to 2014, whereas customers’ gas demand (does not include generation consumption) increased by 2.2%, due to the low temperatures in the first months of the year,” it added.

CO2-FREE POWER

Iberdrola said it produced 71.8 TWh of emissions-free power in 2015, namely from renewables, hydro and nuclear, including 47.4 TWh from its Spanish business. Those figures were down respectively from 2014 numbers of 78.9 TWh and 55.4 TWh.

CO2-free power made up 52% of the company’s total output last year, down from 57% in 2014, but Iberdrola increased the proportion of its generation fleet that is emissions-free by a percentage point to 63% over the same timeframe.

In terms of new installed capacity, the company added mainly hydroelectric generation in Spain and Brazil last year, increasing existing production capabilities by 12%.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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