Energy Industry Environmental Impacts

I'm looking at results of comparing environmental impact for fossil and nuclear power plants. If I add the same dollar value of output as an event to both industries they show the same direct environmental impact in all categories except greenhouse gasses. Is this problem rooted in the underlying EPA data? 

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  • Official comment

    Hello William! 

    You would be correct here - IMPLAN’s environmental data consist of Industry-specific coefficients of physical emissions or resource use per dollar of Industry Output. IMPLAN’s environmental data consist of ratios representing physical emissions or inputs per dollar of Industry Output, with the physical unit depending on the particular pollutant or input under consideration. While the ratios are Industry-specific, the EPA data have somewhat less Industry-specificity than the IMPLAN data, such that some EPA ratios are mapped to more than one IMPLAN Industry; in other words, some IMPLAN Industries have the same environmental ratios. 



    Michael Nealy


  • Michael,

    Thanks for your quick response and for your confirmation. So, if EPA doesn't specifically have environmental impact coefficients for the multiple electricity generation IMPLAN sectors, where did the greenhouse gas emission coefficient come from that is part of the IMPLAN? Are there any plans to further develop the IMPLAN energy sector environmental coefficients so we can get more than just greenhouse gas emissions results? 



  • William,

    I sent this over to the IMPLAN Data Team to gather more information for your question. They responded with the following:

    "The EPA data has just a single Electricity Generation and Distribution sector, which is why all IMPLAN electricity sectors have the same emissions rates across all satellite tables. We used data from this EPA eGRID website in order to add nuance to our IMPLAN sectors for the GHG’s. I would note that the environmental data V2 (which is set to release at some point later this year) will be different because rather than receiving ratios of amounts per dollar of Output (as was the case for our first release), we received amounts of flowables only. IMPLAN Industry Output was then used as a denominator in order to generate ratios, which means that the next set of data will indeed feature unique ratios for each Industry. Unfortunately, that uniqueness will be due to Output, and some industries (electricity producing sectors included) will still have a shared numerator."

    We are certainly open to developing coefficients that are more Industry specific, but would need a source of data in order to do that. We are always open to feedback or suggestions! I hope this helps!"



    Michael Nealy


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