Life Cycle Assessment of Coal-Fired Power Production

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Coal has the largest share of utility powr generation in the United States, accounting for approximately 56% of all utility-produced electricity (U.S. DOE, 1998). Therefore, understanding the environmental implications of producing electricity from coal is an important component of any plan to reduce total emissions and resource consumption. A life cycle assessment (LCA) on the production ofelectricity from coal was performed in order to examine the environmental aspects of current future pulverized coal boiler systems. Three systems were examined: 1) a plant that represents the average emissions and efficiency of currently operating coal-fired power plants in the U.S. (this tells us about the status quo), 2) a new coal-fired power plant that meets the New Source PerformanceStandards (NSPS), and 3) a highly advanced coal-fired power plant utilizing a low emission boiler system (LEBS).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages169
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Also available electronically

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-570-25119


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