The generation of electricity from the burning of fossil fuels is a significant source of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in North America. For example, the electricity generation sector in Canada and the United States during 1998 had the greatest total reported toxic releases, on- and off-site, among all industry sectors reporting in the two countries.
The purpose of this report is to estimate the future emissions of four key pollutants from the electricity generation sector in North America based on projections of future electricity generation capacity changes. In doing this, we seek to discern where the greatest activity is occurring in terms of new power plant projects in North America, and what emission changes might occur due to these projects relative to historical power plant emissions during a representative “recent” year. We place these emissions in a local context (province or state) and at the national level as well.