Published in Remote Sensing of Environment, 2021
We present CO2 emission estimates for twenty power plants and related facilities in the United States, India, South Africa, Poland, Russia and South Korea, derived from space-based CO2 observations from NASAs Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite. Improvements to OCO-2 data quality and to our methodology yield improved results relative to earlier work. These new results include emission quantification for both larger and smaller power plants, the first power plant emission estimate based on ocean glint data and emissions from a small city with multiple industrial facilities. CO2 emission estimates are compared against reported facility emissions where available, including high temporal resolution data for the eight US sites. The difference with respect to reported values for the US sites ranges from 1.4% to 26.7%, with a mean of 15.1%, although the estimated emission sum for all US sites is within 0.8% of the reported value, suggesting the errors are largely random. This finding reinforces the importance of revisit rate for future space-based emission monitoring systems and furthermore confirms that making multiple overpasses of a power plant can reduce errors to an accuracy useful to support climate policy.
Recommended citation: Ray Nassar, Jon-Paul Mastrogiacomo, William Bateman-Hemphill, Callum McCracken, Cameron G. MacDonald, Tim Hill, Christopher W. O Dell, Matthäus Kiel, & David Crisp (2021). Advances in quantifying power plant CO2 emissions with OCO-2. Remote Sensing of Environment, 264, 112579. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2021.112579