Key features in electricity and CO2: OECD North America
► Electricity output has grown at an average 1.5% per annum in the last decade, at a slower rate than the GDP.
► Electricity-related CO2 emissions have grown by 0.5% annually between 1998 and 2007, and dropped near 3% to 2.6 GtCO2 in 2008, partly as a result of the recession. North American CO2 emissions from energy still account for 23% of global emissions from this sector, second after China.
► Coal still contributes the largest share of electricity generation in 2008, at 43%. Gas-based power has been growing most rapidly over the last decade, alongside new renewables; they respectively account for 20.6% and 3.2% of the total output in 2008. The CO2 intensity of power generation has been decreasing accordingly over the past decade by 12%, to 0.49 tCO^MWh in 2008
► The decrease of the electricity of GDP intensity across the period indicates effects from enhanced end-use efficiency as well as a decreasing share of manufacturing and industry in GDP, particularly in the United States.
► In the United States, the share of non-fossil-fuel electricity accounted for 34% of the total. Policies in support of renewables as well as loan guarantees for nuclear - pending discussions after the Fukushima accident - ought to increase this share in the near future.
► Investments in new capacity over the last two decades indicate the dominance of gas (73% of the total) at the expense of coal, and a very rapid growth in wind capacity.
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