Indicators for greenhouse gases

DCE annually reports 28 indicators related to CO2 emissions to the EU. The indicators are defined in the reporting requirements to the EU Commission under the Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism.

Each indicator is reported for the years 1990 onwards. Time series for five of the indicators are shown and discussed below. The indicators are discussed in the reports Lyck et al. (2009) and Fauser et al. (2013).  The indicator data reported in 2017 are available at the EIONET homepage.

Energy related CO2 intensity of GDP

The energy related CO2 intensity of GDP is shown in the time-series below. The decrease is a result of a fluctuating but decreasing CO2 emission and a GDP that was steadily increasing until 2007. The overall decrease of the indicator is mainly a result of:

  • more efficient electricity and heat production.
  • a gradual shift to less CO2 emitting fuels, e.g. from coal to gas, and an increased use of biomass fuels and wind power.

The fluctuations are a result of electricity trade that results in fluctuating fuel consumption – and CO2 emission - in power producing plants.

The indicator has decreased 56 % since 1990.

It should be noticed that CO2 emissions from international sea and air transport is not included in spite of the fact that these activities are included in GDP data. This is, however, in agreement with the Monitoring Mechanism definition of the indicator.

Energy related CO2 intensity of GDP


CO2 intensity of power generation 

Two of the indicators show carbon intensity of power generation:

-        Specific CO2 emissions of public and autoproducer power plants

-        Carbon intensity of total power generation

The two indicators are closely related, but the indicator for total power generation includes the increasing electricity from wind turbines (and hydropower/solar power).

Time series for both indicators are shown below. Both indicators decrease as a result of a decreasing consumption of coal and oil for power production and an increased power production based on natural gas (with lower CO2 emission factor than coal and oil), biomass and wind turbines.  Furthermore, the efficiency of power producing plants has increased. The increasing gap between the two indicators is a result of the large increase of electricity production based on biomass and wind turbines. The fluctuations follows the electricity import/export as increased production of power in export years is mainly based on coal fuelled power plants.     

Carbon intensity of power production

 The indicator for public and autoproducer plants has decreased 58 % since 1990 and the indicator for total power generation has decreased 68 % since 1990.

Specific CO2 emissions of households

The specific CO2 emission of households is shown in the time-series below.  The main part of the CO2 emission from households is related to space heating and thus fluctuations are a result of year to year temperature variations. The decrease of CO2 emission per dwelling is a result of an increased number of dwellings connected to district heating as well as an increase in biomass and natural gas consumption whereas consumption of heating oil has decreased. The consumption of electricity in households has increased 5 % since 1990. The number of dwellings has increased slightly.

Specific CO2 emissions of households

The indicator has decreased 66 % since 1990.

Energy related CO2 intensity of industry

The energy related CO2 intensity of industry has decreased since 1990. Gross value added of industry was higher in 2015 than in 1990 whereas the CO2 emission has decreased since 1990. The decrease of CO2 intensity is a result of both change of fuels towards less CO2 emitting fuels and the changes in industry structure towards less energy demanding industry.

The indicator has decreased 47 % since 1990.

Energy related CO2 intensity of industry