CO2 Emissions from Coal-Fired and Solar Electric Power Plants

Paul Norton

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report presents estimates of the lifetime carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired, photovoltaic, and solar thermal electric power plants in the United States. These C02 estimates are based on a net energy analysis derived from both operational systems and detailed design studies. It appears that energy conservation measures and shifting from fossil to renewable energy sources havesignificant long-term potential to reduce carbon dioxide production caused by energy generation and thus mitigate global warming. The implications of these results for a national energy policy are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages52
StatePublished - 1990

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-260-3772


  • air pollution abatement
  • air quality
  • fossil-fuel power plants
  • photovoltaic power plants
  • solar power plants
  • solar thermal power plants


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