How Clean is Your Power?

Have you ever wondered how green your power really is? Ever ask yourself, how many tonnes of CO2 are being emitted every time I switch on a light, the television, or leave my computer on over night?

David Wheeler at the Center for Global Development just made it a lot easier to compare the CO2 released from your power plants with 50,000 power plants around the world using CARMA – Carbon Monitoring for Action (unfortunately, the website is a little sluggish after the press release yesterday). The % of energy coming form fossil fuels, nuclear, power, hydroelectricity, and ‘other’ renewable resources is also provided. You can compare countries here:

carma world map

I’ve taken a bit of data from the website, and determined the MWh per Ton of CO2 emitted (i.e. how green it is). So, the higher the number the better (i.e. more energy supplied per Ton of CO2 released). As you can plainly see, Canada is doing pretty well and is “three times” greener than its southern neighbour, while South America is doing very well.

How does BC compare with these numbers? Well, we release 3,256,621 Tons of CO2 while producing 66,500,000 MWh – that’s 21.4 MWh/Ton CO2. BC also uses ~92% hydroelectricity…

Of course, Antarctica kicks the world’s ass collectively as it defies mathematics: 2060MWh energy with 0 Tons of carbon emitted. If only we all lived like Antarcticans.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: