Economics should be open

November 6, 2008

EPER, consistency with indirect emissions, email

So using EPER (European Pollution Emissions Register), I’ve found some anomalies with Aluminum data. The main question is whether some countries might be counting indirect emissions (akin to life cycle analysis). Aluminum,  as I understand it (I can cite a McKenzie report), has very small direct process emissions and mainly uses electricity. Since the CO2 generated is usually attributed to the power plant, that CO2 is “indirectly” emitted by Aluminum producers.

On the same token, my personal direct emissions are the gasoline/petrol and natural gas I burn. The indirect is all the CO2 associated with the electricity I use.

Here is a letter I sent to EPER folks at the European Commission. Hope I get a response!

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To Whom It May Concern:
I am a researcher at the Univ of California, Berkeley working with the EPER data. First of all, I want to thank you for providing this information; I’ve found the information very useful and appreciate full access to the database tables (MS ACCESS).
I have a question about the underlying the questionnaire, a copy of which I could not find online (ASIDE: does every country implement their own version of the questionnaire?). My question regards direct vs indirect emissions of CO2 and double-counting. If a manufacturing firm only uses electricity, is the manufacturer’s CO2 emissions zero and the indirect CO2 is reported at the utility level?
Aluminum, anecdotally, should have very small direct CO2 emissions because the main input is electricity. However, the following is just one example of an aluminum producer record with very large CO2 emissions. This leads me to believe that indirect emissions are counted sometimes.
Thank you in advance for your help in understanding the data.
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EXAMPLE OF HIGH CO2 RECORD FOR ALUMINUM PRODUCER

CountryID:  DE

ReportYear:  2004

Emission.FacilityID:  216219

ParentCompanyName:  TRIMET ALUMINIUM AG

Address:  Aluminiumallee 1

City:  Essen

FacilityName:  TRIMET ALUMINIUM AG

Emissions (metric tons):  301000

Code:  2.1/2.2/2.3/2.4/2.5/2.6

Description:  Metal industry and metal ore roasting or sintering installations, Installations for the production of ferrous and non-ferrous metals

Text:   Aluminium production                                                                                                                                                                                   

MainActivity:  1

ActivityID:  12

— 
Howard Chong
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics and UC Energy Institute
UC Berkeley
chong@are.berkeley.edu
Office: 510-643-4831
Cell: 510-333-0539
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