Washington, Apr 29 : Levying a charge on carbon dioxide emissions from electric generators may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, suggest scientists.
The study led by Jay Apt from Pennsylvania suggests that placing a price on greenhouse gas emissions has gained favour as a way to encourage utility investment in alternative technology, such as capturing carbon dioxide from smokestacks before its release into the atmosphere.
The scientists believe that a price of 35 dollars per metric ton on generators' CO2 emissions would decrease consumer demand for electricity.
As a result, utilities would burn less fuel, release less carbon dioxide and cause emissions to fall by as much as 10 percent.
They also said that that two of the nation's largest electric generation and transmission systems are likely to see large CO2 reductions even with a modest price.
"A price on carbon dioxide emissions that has been shown in earlier work to stimulate investment in new generation technology also provides significant CO2 reductions before new technology is deployed at large scale," said the report.
The report is scheduled for the May 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science and Technology, a semi-monthly journal.