By expanding clean energy policies and using available infrastructure, the Show-Me State can reduce its emission rate 31% by 2030

WASHINGTON (December 10, 2014)— New analysis of Missouri’s power sector finds that the state can meet, and even exceed, proposed carbon pollution targets from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Missouri has opportunities to make significant reductions in the carbon-intensity of its power generation, which could put it on track to meet EPA’s emission rate target for the state. The analysis, conducted by the World Resources Institute, shows that by increasing utilization of the state’s existing infrastructure and implementing new clean energy strategies, Missouri can reduce its emission rate 21 percent by 2020 and 31 percent by 2030 (below 2012 levels).

Under EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Missouri would need to reduce its CO2 emission rate by 23 percent below 2012 levels between 2020 and 2029 to be in line with the state’s interim target and by 27 percent below 2012 levels to meet its 2030 target. These are important actions that are part of the national Climate Action Plan announced by President Obama in June 2013.

“Missouri has already put policies in place to make the grid cleaner and help citizens use power more efficiently,” said Michael Obeiter, a senior associate at WRI who led the analysis. “Our analysis shows the potential for even more improvements that can save money for consumers and businesses.”

Missouri can meet about 70 percent of EPA’s emission rate target for the state between 2020 and 2030 with the following measures:

  • Improving energy efficiency. Missouri’s Energy Efficiency Investment Act calls for the state’s investor-owned utilities to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities, and establishes a voluntary goal of nearly 10 percent cumulative savings of electricity sales by 2020. Meeting this goal can help the state reduce its emission rate.
  • Increasing use of renewable energy. Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) requires 15 percent of the electricity sold by its investor-owned utilities to come from renewable sources by 2021. Meeting the RES through in-state generation can help the state reduce its emission rate.
  • Using more combined heat and power (CHP). Missouri can build more CHP systems—which use waste heat to generate electricity more efficiently than the average power plant—at sites like universities, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities.
  • Using more gas. Missouri’s most efficient natural gas plants—combined cycle (NGCC) units—generated much less electricity than they were capable of producing in 2012. Running existing and planned NGCC plants at 75 percent can help the state meet its emission rate target.
  • Increasing existing coal plant efficiency by 2.5 percent. Existing coal plants could save energy by upgrading their equipment and making other operational improvements.

Missouri can close the gap that remains, and even exceed its proposed target, by:

  • Increasing its energy efficiency goal to 2 percent of sales from 2015 onward.
  • Ensuring that all utilities, not just investor-owned utilities, meet the state’s renewable standard and continue to increase renewable generation to 20 percent of total generation by 2030.

Missouri has already put measures in place that will reduce the emission intensity of its power sector but the state can achieve greater reductions. A study by Ameren Missouri, the state’s largest utility, found that cost-effective energy efficiency measures could reduce electricity consumption in its service area by 14 percent in 2020 and 17 percent in 2030. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimated that implementing a suite of new efficiency initiatives, including utility programs and building codes, could reduce state electricity consumption by 17 percent and natural gas use by 13 percent in 2025 compared to business-as-usual. Together, these measures would save Missouri’s consumers $6.1 billion in lower energy bills and have the potential to create over 8,500 new jobs.

“Improving energy efficiency programs and renewable energy production in Missouri would be a win-win,” Obeiter said. “Measures that reduce emissions can also create jobs, raise demand for in-state manufacturing, and lower consumers’ annual electric bills in the future.”

WRI’s Missouri fact sheet is available here:

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