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Glossary


This is where you can find explanations of the terms used throughout CARMA.

Company: CARMA attempts to report the ultimate owner (i.e. “parent” company at the top of the company hierarchy) for each power plant. When this is not possible, the operating company (usually a utility company) is reported instead. Companies can be private or public and include non-utility companies that own power generation facilities – everything from automakers and paper manufacturers to hospitals and restaurants.

Future: Data presented for the “Future” reflects new plants or capacity expansions currently under construction or planned for some time in the future; it also reflects planned retirements. Data for the future is not comprehensive. It simply reflects public information currently provided by companies, the extent of which varies considerably around the world. In other words, the “Future” values in CARMA are simply estimates of future emissions given what’s currently reported by our data suppliers. The dates at which new plants or expansions will come online range from next year to 20 years into the future.

Geographic regions: Regions refer to a range of geographic entities in CARMA. Emissions are aggregated at the level of countries and states or provinces as well as (in the U.S.) metro areas, counties, and Congressional districts. We also include totals for about 13,000 cities worldwide, calculated as the aggregate emissions and electricity generation of all geolocated plants within a 100 km (~60 mile) radius of the city center.

Icons: Symbols used throughout CARMA to represent the type, size, and carbon intensity of plants, companies, and regions. For more information, learn All About Icons.

Intensity: Kilograms of CO2 emitted per (net) megawatt-hour of electricity produced.

MWh Energy: Annual (net) megawatt-hours of electricity produced. Net generation is the amount of electricity sent to the grid (i.e. gross generation minus in-plant consumption). In some cases, net generation is estimated from gross generation.

% Fossil: The percentage of total (net) electricity that is generated by the combustion of coal, oil, or natural gas.

% Hydro: The percentage of total (net) electricity that is generated by hydroelectric power facilities.

% Nuclear: The percentage of total (net) electricity that is generated by nuclear power facilities.

% Other Renewable: The percentage of total (net) electricity that is generated by the use of wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, captured heat, hydrogen energy, or other technologies that do not emit CO2.

“Planned” Plants: Some of the plants in CARMA are not yet operational but are expected to be in the future. They are designating by the word “Planned” next to the facility’s name. In these cases, future emissions and electricity production are estimated given information about the expected size, fuel source, and technology of the plant.

Power plant: A power plant is a site for electricity generation. This could be a fenced facility with multiple boilers and generator blocks, a wind farm with turbines spread over a large area, or solar panels on a school.

Tons CO2: Annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in metric tons.

Total Power Plants: The total number of power plants currently in operation.