Emera's greenhouse gas emissions (Chronicle-Herald, 4 May)

When asked about Emera's greenhouse gas emissions, CEO Chris Huskilson was quoted in the Chronicle-Herald as saying that his company's rate of emissions is "pretty flat right now".

Greenhouse gas emissions from electrical generation come primarily from burning fossil fuels, notably coal, oil, and natural gas. When each of these fuels is burned in a power station, they emit a quantity of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated; the amount differs for each fuel, depending upon the "carbon intensity" of the fuel: coal (about 0.85 kg/kWh), oil (about 0.79 kg/kWh), and natural gas (about 0.5 kg/kWh).

According to Emera's 2004 Annual Financial Report, the total volume of electricity produced by NSPI in 2002, 2003, and 2004 was 12,031 GWh (gigawatt-hours or one million kilowatt-hours), 12,329 GWh, and 12,565 GWh, respectively. The volume of electricity by fuel per year (from the 2004 Financial Report) and the corresponding quantity of carbon dioxide emitted per year was:

Between 2002 and 2004, NSPI's carbon dioxide emissions rose by almost one million tonnes or about 10.6 percent. How anyone can call this "pretty flat" is unclear.

Submitted to Chronicle-Herald - unpublished.