In 2014, AEP’s SO2 and NOx emissions increased based on economic and market factors leading to a six percent increase in overall generation and a seven percent increase in coal-fueled generation. However, the longer-term trend has been a steady reduction in air emissions. Since 1990, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions each have been reduced by about 80 percent while mercury emissions have declined by nearly 54 percent since 2001. Our emissions will likely continue to decline further in the future with the installation of additional emission control systems on coal units, the retirement of other coal units and the increased use of other resources, including natural gas and renewables. Mercury emissions information is reported to the EPA under the Toxics Release Inventory program.
AEP’s CO2 emissions increased from approximately 115 million metric tons in 2013 to approximately 123 million metric tons in 2014. This represents a 6.4 percent increase and was attributed to higher utilization of coal-fuel generation. In spite of the increase, this still represents a 15 percent reduction compared with our 2005 CO2 emissions of approximately 145 million metric tons.