Great news from Kauai's local electric co-op, KIUC, with the the release of its latest carbon emissions data: we're still trending down!
This chart shows that KIUC's emissions are falling from over 1.5 pounds of CO2 equivalents per kilowatt-hour in 2003 to just over 1.4 pounds last year.
These figures are based on emissions data provided by Brad Rockwell, manager of KIUC's generating facilities, with whom I spent a fascinating morning last week.
Remarkably, total electricity sold last year was (416 GWh) about the same as in 2003 (414 GWh), and down significantly from the 2007 peak (448 GWh), so we get the benefit of slack demand plus cleaner generation.
Rockwell notes that much of the improvement is attributable to the increasing reliance on the new naptha-burning Kapaia generator. According to Rockwell data, naptha (at 1.25lbs CO2e/kWh) emits only 84% of the emissions from KIUC's older diesel generators (at 1.49lbs CO2e/kWh) in Port Allen. Kewl!
Rockwell's work is a great contribution to our island's ongoing carbon emissions measurement efforts.
Hopefully, KIUC will expand its footprinting efforts to provide a clearer picture of total operating emissions and to enable smarter choices on future energy alternatives.