The least polluting energies

Here is the list of the least polluting energies. Air emissions are expressed in grams of CO2 per KWh.

EnergyPollution CO2
Nuclear WPR9,0
Offshore wind10,5
Onshore wind11,0
Hydraulique small12,5
Hydraulic run off river13,0
Water mill13,0
Hydraulic water reservoir13,0
Marine current13,5
Marine tidal17,0
Marine wave17,0
Solar water thermal17,5
Concentrating solar27,0
Solar photovoltaic57,5
Biomass wood92,0
Renewable energies105,9
Plasma burner149,0
Coal capture and storage208,5
Liquefied petroleum gas231,0
Hydrogen fuel cell330,8
Combined cycle gas388,7
Heavy fuel oil414,8
Wood trigeneration428,0
Thermal flame432,3
Domestic fuel oil487,3
Natural gas510,6
Fossil fuel551,6
Waste to energy570,6
Ultra-supercritical coal776,3
Supercritical coal841,5
Marine thermal-
Sources: IEA, and other energy agencies.

This includes pollution emitted during construction, production and destruction of facilities.

The WPR should in theory be soon the greenest energy on Earth if the plants are entering into activity. Quickly followed by offshore wind, then onshore wind. Then come hydraulics, tidal power.

The wind turbine was developed much earlier than solar and therefore benefits from an advance. Solar has an incredible potential especially with the thin film technology. The tidal power is still in the larval state. Microalgae are not yet developed. Emissions from biomass, mainly wood, could decrease with the help of trigeneration.

Lignite is the most polluting source of energy on Earth, with coal. Coal-fired power plants will increasingly be accompanied by a cogeneration system with CO2 capture. The next generation, coal capture and storage of CO2 aims the 200 grams of CO2 per KWh.

Hydrogen in the form of a fuel cell should eventually be the least polluting energy. It is currently coupled with fossil fuels power plants. Fossil fuels remain on average five times more polluting than renewable energies.

Unless nuclear fusion with ITER and other less expensive projects is in place by then.

Here is the ranking that we could have in 15-20 years:

– nuclear fusion: 0.01 g / KWh,
– hydrogen: 0.5 g / KWh,
– solar: 5 g / KWh,
– tidal: 7 g / KWh,
– nuclear WPR: 9 g / KWh,
– wind: 10 g / KWh,
– hydraulic: 13 g / KWh,
– geothermal: 40 g / KWh,
– wood: 80 g / KWh,
– gas: 300 g / KWh,
– oil: 700 g / KWh,
– coal: 750 g / KWh.