CO2 emissions, among the lowest generated by utilities

Iberdrola has been the only European electric utility included in the 21 editions of the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index and is regarded as one of the 16 top sustainable electric utilities in the world. One of the factors leading to this recognition was its 25% reduction in direct emissions in the last five years.

The following charts show direct CO2 emissions over the past three years.

CO 2 (t) emissions
  2020 2019 2018
Generating 9,233,460 8,439,072 9,358,004
Cogeneration 3,250,773 4,516,241 4,088,188
Other generation emissions (auxiliary units) 34,631 5,284 11,250
Total 12,518,865 12,960,596 13,457,441


CO 2 emissions intensity evolution in termal plants
  2020 2019 2018
Specific emissions from thermal power plants (kgCO2/MWh) 353 357 375


Global CO 2 emissions evolution
  2020 2019 2018
Total emissions (MtCO2eq) 12.5 12.9 13.4
Specific emissions from global mix (kgCO2/MWh)(1) 98 110 112



In 2020, CO2 emissions per MWh generated were among the lowest at the national and international level. For the purposes of comparison, the specific emissions of European electricity companies are 249 kgCO2/MWh2. The low intensity of Iberdrola's emissions is justified by its production mix, with 75% emission-free production in 2020.

Also noteworthy is the decline in the emissions intensity of the Group's power plants from 375 kgCO2/MWh in 2018 to 353 kgCO2/MWh in 2020.

The main greenhouse gas generated by the Company's activities is CO2, from combustion during thermal power generation. Iberdrola has made a pledge to the public to remain amongst the main European companies with the fewest CO2 emissions per kWh. The Company's strategy is essentially to gradually cut back on its GHG emissions by continuing to generate power from renewable sources, while gradually incorporating the most efficient and least carbon intensive technologies at its existing facilities.

The installed power of coal energy was reduced to 0.00% of the total installed capacity of the Group in 2020. The production of electricity from coal energy has accounted for 0.14% of total production (not including steam generation) and revenues of coal energy production are equivalent to 0.03% of the Group's total revenues in 2020.

(1) Obtained by dividing emissions by the total net production, including steam production.

(2) Source: European carbon factor Benchmarking of CO2 emissions by Europe's largest electricity utilities (December 2020, PwC).

(*) Iberdrola uses the "own" installed production and capacity criteria, excluding production and installed capacity "for third parties". The latter reflects the particular operating conditions of some of our plants in Mexico, which Iberdrola operates under the instruction of the Comisión Federal de la Electricidad (CFE) under the figure of Independent Energy Producer (IEP).

(**) 100% of Neoenergia has been considered since 2016.

(***) The group has a large hydroelectric production capacity. Annual production using this technology depends on rainfall and the capacity of reservoirs during certain periods, which vary greatly. Consequently, the use of other technologies in global production also varies.