Forecasting carbon emissions in seven eastern states of the United States; the effects of coal deregulations

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Conference Title

American Solar Energy Society National Solar Conference 2020 Proceedings

Date of Presentation



The 2008 through 2016 were the years of implementation of increasingly restrictive regulatory policies on climate change, and particularly on carbon emissions by coal-burning power plants. Some of these regulations were imposed by states (in the form of Renewable Portfolio Standards, RPS) and majority of them were imposed by Obama Administration. These regulations, among other factors, resulted in a significant drop in the U.S. total emissions; 12% drop from 2007 to 2016. The current Administration has taken several actions in reversing, relaxing, or repealing many of these regulations, and particularly regulations on use of coal in electricity generation. In this paper we present Two ARIMA models to forecast the potential effects of these deregulations on future carbon emissions of states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. These states were chosen in part because they rely heavily on electricity generated from coal and their RPS targets are among the lowest in the nation. The results of our simulations over a large number of scenarios, based on a series of emission data in the years 1980 through 2014 clearly shows the significant role that the regulatory policies of the 2008-2014 era plays in significantly lowering these states' emissions by the year 2025. In particular, our results show that the continued implementation of the regulatory policies of Obama Administration could lower the states' emissions from coal generation from 2007-level of 588 million metric ton (MMT) to 189 MMT in 2025, a 68% drop. And conversely, reversal and or repeal of these regulations by the current Administration could result in the emissions of states to reach 713 MMT in 2025, an increase of 21% over the 2007-level.

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