TABLE 2-9 Distribution of Criteria-Air-Pollutant Damages per Kilowatt-Hour Associated with Emissions from 406 Coal-Fired Power Plants in 2005 (2007 Cents)

 

Mean

Standard Deviation

5th Percentile

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

SO2

3.8

4.1

0.24

1.0

2.5

5.2

11.9

NOx

0.34

0.38

0.073

0.16

0.23

0.36

0.91

PM2.5

0.30

0.44

0.019

0.053

0.13

0.38

1.1

PM10

0.017

0.023

0.001

0.004

0.008

0.023

0.060

Total (equally weighted)

4.4

4.4

0.53

1.4

2.9

6.0

13.2

Total (weighted by net generation)

3.2

4.3

0.19

0.71

1.8

4.0

12.0

NOTE: In the first five rows of the table, all plants are weighted equally; that is, the average damage per kWh is 4.4 cents, taking an arithmetic average of the damage per kWh across all 406 plants. In the last row of the table, the damage per kWh is weighted by the electricity generated by each plant to produce a weighted damage per kWh.

ABBREVIATIONS: SO2 = sulfur dioxide; NOx = oxides of nitrogen = PM, particulate matter.

24% of the variation in damages per kWh.29 A ton of pollution emitted by plants located closer to population centers does more damage than the same ton emitted in a sparsely populated area; however, while plant location is important, coal plants are not located in counties with the highest damages per ton of SO2 in the United States.

To summarize, the aggregate damages associated with criteria-pollutant-forming emissions from coal-fired electricity generation in 2005 were approximately $62 billion (USD 2007), or 3.2 cents per kWh (weighting each plant by the fraction of electricity it produces); however, damages per plant

29

A regression of SO2-related damages per kWh on pounds of SO2 emitted per kWh produces an R2 of 0.83. Regressing SO2-related damages per kWh on damages per ton of SO2 emitted produces an R2 of 0.24. Even so, this last result does not elucidate the substantial heterogeneity in marginal damages that arises purely because of location. To more clearly highlight the role of geography, we took the SO2 emission intensity of a national tall-stack coal-fired integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plant (0.043 tons/kWh) (NETL 2007) and applied this value to the marginal damages in the year 2030 estimated by APEEP for 485 counties in which there are currently coal-fired electricity-generating facilities. (The use of the APEEP model to generate marginal damages for 2030 is discussed later in this chapter.) The coefficient of variation of the resulting estimates is 0.38.



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