Regional CO2 footprint
For the FrankfurtRhineMain area, there is a global CO2 balance. The global evaluation takes into account direct emissions and so-called upstream chains. Direct emissions are the emissions that arise from the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas, waste incineration, fermentation in biogas plants and sewage gas plants, as well as from the combustion of the fuels gasoline, diesel and kerosene.
In addition to direct emissions, the global evaluation also includes so-called upstream chains. Up-Stream chains are emissions that already have been produced during the extraction, mining, transport and processing of the energy sources. A large part of the required electricity in the region is imported. Emissions caused by imported electricity are also taken into account into global evaluation.
CO2 balance: fossil fuels dominate
In 2018, a total of around 24 million tons of greenhouse gases (measured in CO2 equivalents) were released in the area of the Regional Association as a result of energy consumption. The share of each energy source varies. With 36.1 percent, electricity has the highest share of total emissions.
The balance shows that renewable energies also cause emissions. These occur during raw material extraction or production, for example of a wind turbine or a photovoltaic module. However, their overall share of total emissions is negligible.
Energy consumption: Heat contributes least to emissions
When emissions are broken down into electricity, heat and fossil fuels, electricity accounts for the largest share of total emissions with 36.1 percent. Fossil fuels are close behind with 33.5 percent, followed by heat consumption with 30.4 percent. If this is compared with the share of total energy consumption, one notices that electricity has the smallest share (26 percent) and heat the largest share (38 percent) of total consumption. The share of fuels is similar, both for energy consumption and emissions. This shows that although heat represents the highest energy demand in the region, heat is produced with lower emissions compared to fossil fuels and electricity.
CO2 balance by sector: almost 40 percent of emissions from mobility alone
Mobility accounts for almost 40 percent of total emissions in the FrankfurtRhineMain area. Industry follows with 23 percent and households with 22 percent. The trade, commerce and services sector contributes 14 percent to total emissions. Public facilities including infrastructure have the smallest share of greenhouse gas emissions with 1.3 percent.
CO2 balance: per capita
Annual per capita emissions in the FrankfurtRhineMain region average 10.1 tons of CO2 equivalents . The basis for this is the global CO2 balance for 2018, divided by the number of people living in the FrankfurtRhineMain region (according to population data for 2018, around 2.376.250). However, this balance only includes greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption. Other emissions, such as those caused by food consumption, are not included. The total CO2 balance per person is therefore even higher.
In a CO2 balance all emissions generated by energy consumption are considered. This means that, in addition to CO2, other greenhouse gases released during energy generation are also balanced. The combustion of fossil fuels and combustibles produces mainly CO2. By contrast, energy generation from biogas, for example, mainly releases nitrous oxide and methane.
In the CO2 balance, the total greenhouse gas emissions are stated in tons of CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq) per year. The various gases have a different influence on the greenhouse gas effect. CO2 equivalents serve as a unit of measurement to express the greenhouse gas potential of the individual gases in comparison to CO2 and to indicate the total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane, for example, has a global warming potential of about 25. This means that within the first 100 years after release, one kilogram of methane has contributed 25 times as much to global warming as one kilogram of CO2.