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 33 % 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
  2019 2018 2017
Generating 8,401,126 9,237,529 11,325,830
Cogeneration 4,526,760 4,090,080 3,693,748
Total 12,927,886 13,327,609 15,019,578


CO 2 emissions intensity evolution in termal plants
  2019 2018 2017
Specific emissions from thermal power plants (kg/MWh) 368 375 388


Global CO 2 emissions evolution
  2019 2018 2017
Total emissions (Mt CO2 eq) 12.9 13.3 15.0
Specific emissions from global mix (kg/MWh)(1) 110 112 136



In 2019, 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 296 kg CO2/MWh2. The low intensity of Iberdrola's emissions is justified by its production mix, with 73% emission-free production in 2019.

Also noteworthy is the decline in the emissions intensity of the Group's power plants from 388 kg CO2/MWh in 2017 to 368 kg CO2/MWh in 2019.

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 corresponded to 1.6% of the total installed capacity of the Group in 2019. The production of electricity from coal energy has accounted for 0.23% of total production (not including steam generation) and revenues of coal energy production amount less than 1% of the Group's total revenues in 2019.

(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 2019, 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.