SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Environmental Advocates Applaud Significant Carbon Reductions at TVA


Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 865-235-1448,


Knoxville, Tenn. (January 30, 2014) The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) recognizes a recent analysis showing steady declines in carbon emissions from the nation’s biggest public power entity, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).


TVA’s new findings, released at the utility’s Regional Energy Resource Council meeting last week and discussed in a SACE blog, confirm a downward trend in the Agency’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since 1995. The data demonstrates that TVA has already exceeded the targeted 17% reduction below 2005 levels President Obama has set in the Administration’s Climate Action Plan as the Agency is currently at 23% below 2005 levels. Moreover, TVA appears on target to achieve reductions of 40% below 2005 levels by 2020.


These are impressive numbers, which represent a critical step toward mitigating climate change impacts while proving that cleaner energy will protect the air and water in the Tennessee Valley,” stated Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of SACE. “The utility’s steady decline in past emissions, coupled with a lower projected future rate of emissions, demonstrate that TVA’s system-wide numbers appear to be well positioned ahead of new emission limits for existing sources of carbon pollution expected from EPA this summer.”


These reductions have resulted from a variety of factors including lower natural gas prices, decreased energy use caused by slower economic activity, changes in weather patterns, and increased energy efficiency enabling the retirement of 5,580 MW of coal throughout the TVA system.


“I am heartened by the retirements announced to date and remain hopeful that market forces and good planning in the newly begun Integrated Resource Planning process may mean the retirement of an additional 2,420 MW, bringing TVA’s total coal retirements to 8,000 MW,” said Smith.


Other regional utilities have made strides in coal retirement, but not as steeply as TVA.


Smith believes that energy efficiency and renewable energy will play a larger role in TVA’s future, and he encourages TVA leadership to expand its investment in these areas.



Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at