Public Power Systems Improve Emissions Profiles

Target Rock Advisors, LLC - 05.29.2012

Target Rock Advisors, LLC today released the results of an analysis of trends in emissions produced by public power systems, including municipal systems and state and federal power agencies.

“Overall, the public power systems made significant progress in reducing their total emissions as well as the rates at which they produce emissions,” said Kyle Rudden, co-founder and partner at Target Rock. The study measured both the change in total tons of emissions and the rates (expressed in tons per MMbtu of electricity generated) that occurred over the last ten years in each of three emissions categories: carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. It also took a look at the same statistics for the last five years.

“The speed with which the public power systems reduced their emission rates in the last five years as compared to the first five years of the ten year analysis was remarkable,” stated Mr. Rudden. “Clearly, public power systems have made great strides since 2001 in fuel selection, generating technology and emissions control and in other operational and planning policies and practices. This has helped them reach new levels of sustainable performance.”

For the 193 public power systems analyzed the greatest reductions in total emissions for the ten year period 12/31/01-12/31/11 were in NOx and SO2, which were down 57.8% and 55.6% respectively over the last ten years. Additionally, NOx and SO2 emissions intensity rates fell 59.3% and 57.1%. Total CO2 emissions also declined but at a more modest rate of 2.4%. It is important to note that the public power sector achieved this 2.4% CO2 reduction despite a 9.4% increase in net generation over the period. Much of that reduction is attributable to a shift away from coal to cleaner fuels, but public power also delivered significant improvements in CO2 emissions intensity rates; down 3.7% over the ten year period. In many of these areas improvements have accelerated more recently, with even greater annual percentage declines in the five-year period 12/31/06-12/31/11.

Target Rock’s focus on sustainability assessment and ranking has, until now, related to the investor owned utility sector. The investor owned rankings – which addressed many more sustainability factors than just emissions - were released in February of this year. This new study represents an initial step in developing similar assessment methodologies and metrics for the public power sector.

“While there are a number of institutional and financial differences between the public and investor owned systems, there are far more similarities, not the least of which is the need to improve sustainability performance across the full range of “triple bottom line” considerations: Economic, Environmental and Social,” continued Mr. Rudden. “A fair amount of attention has been paid to how investor owned utilities perform financially as their sustainability practices improve, but not much has been said about public power systems. Through this study and subsequent ones, we hope to make a significant contribution to sustainability analytics in this sector.”

More information about the study titled “Public Power: Reducing Emissions in Key Areas” can be found at and information about Target Rock and other sustainability rankings and stock market indexes can be found at


Target Rock is dedicated to the rigorous study and implementation of sustainability policies and practices within the utility and financial industries. The Company’s mission is to provide data, information, analytical systems and deep sector-specific technical expertise that identifies areas for improved performance and helps utility companies achieve their sustainability objectives with favorable social and economic outcomes. Through its partners and associates, Target Rock has over 250 years of combined experience in sustainability and executive leadership, equities and fixed income analysis, financial management, statistics and econometrics, regulatory policy analysis and management consulting.

Richard J. Rudden, Target Rock’s CEO and co-founder has served in analytical, consulting, management and executive positions within the utility, financial and energy industries for over 35 years. As a senior vice president for a multi-billion dollar global consulting and engineering firm, he lead the company’s energy sector management and strategy consulting practice, chaired its climate change working group, and was a member of both the Advisory Board and Sustainability Steering Committee. Richard has published and spoken widely and has testified before state, federal, and provincial regulatory bodies, as well as in bankruptcy and civil court proceedings, on natural gas and electric economic, financial and policy issues. Previously he was the founding CEO of R.J. Rudden Associates, Inc., a strategy and economics consulting firm, and R.J. Rudden Financial, LLC, a FINRA-licensed broker-dealer providing services to the energy industry; R.J. Rudden was acquired by Black & Veatch in 2005. Richard’s career includes management and executive positions at Con Edison, Stone & Webster (now Shaw) and Black & Veatch. He has also served on the Boards of Directors of the North American Energy Standards Board, a non-regulated retail energy marketer and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, where he is a member of the executive committee. He has also been involved in Cornell’s Marine and related environmental programs.

Kyle P. Rudden, Partner and co-founder, has 15 years of experience in equity and fixed income analysis, with an emphasis on finance and capital markets. Most recently, he was president of R. J. Rudden Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and energy industry advisory boutique. Before co-founding Rudden Financial, Kyle spent nearly a decade at J.P. Morgan Securities as vice president and head of the firm’s U.S. Energy and Utilities Equity Research team covering electric and natural gas utilities, pipelines, independent power and new energy technology. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Kyle was a fixed income analyst at Fitch Ratings, also covering the U.S. electric and natural gas utility industries. At J.P. Morgan, he was named in both Institutional Investor and the Wall Street Journal annual lists of top analysts and participated in a number of large domestic and international equity and equity derivative underwritings, including initial public offerings, public secondary offerings and private placements.


Richard Rudden,
Target Rock Advisors, LLC

Kyle Rudden,
Target Rock Advisors, LLC


« All Environmental, Emissions & Carbon Mgmt News

Receive Energy Central eNews & Updates


12th Annual Electricity Flexibility, Ancillary Services and Balancing Forum

Wednesday Feb 19, 2020 - Friday Feb 21, 2020 - Vienna Austria

This marcus evans conference plays a crucial part in a strategy that involves keeping ahead and gaining the decision-making edge for system operators, power distribution companies and ancillary services in the energy industry. more...