Carbon Footprint of Electricity Generation: POSTnote 383

S.R. Allen, C Pentland

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


All electricity generation technologies emit greenhouse gases at some point in their life cycle and hence have a carbon footprint. Fossil-fuelled generation has a high carbon footprint, with most emissions produced during plant operation. “Carbon capture and storage” could reduce these significantly, though this is unproven at full scale. Nuclear and renewable generation generally have a low carbon footprint. Most emissions are caused indirectly, such as during the construction of the technology itself. Carbon footprints are sensitive to factors including the technologys operating conditions and country of its manufacture. Further studies for the UK would improve the evidence base.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherParliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Publication series

PublisherParliamentary Office of Science and Technology


  • Carbon Footprint
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • International Carbon Footprints for Low-Carbon Ele
  • International Carbon Footprints of Fossil-Fuel Ele
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • bioenergy
  • carbon capture and storage
  • fossil fuelled technologies
  • gas
  • geothermal
  • hydro
  • low-carbon technologies
  • marine
  • nuclear
  • solar
  • wind


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