Main principles

The ETM calculates the total CO2 emissions for both the present and future. By default, it uses the following principles:

  • Emissions are assigned to the sector energy is used in, rather than the location of emissions. This means that emissions related to the production of, for example, electricity are attributed to all sectors using electricity (households, industry etc.) rather than to the power sector. A consequence of this approach is that the ETM by default does take into account emissions of imported energy carriers (imported electricity, heat, hydrogen etc.) and does not take into account emissions of exported energy carriers. More information can be found in the import and export section.

  • The ETM follows international conventions regarding the scope of CO2 emissions. More precisely, this means that by default:

    • Emissions of biomass are assumed to be (net) zero. This assumption can be changed in the biomass section.
    • Emissions of international aviation and shipping are not taken into account. This assumption can be changed in the transportation sector.
  • The ETM does not take into account other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, in its main emissions calculation. The reason for this is that these emissions are typically not (directly) related to the energy system and the ETM does not contain sliders that affect these emissions. For sake of completeness, other greenhouse gas emissions are taken into account in the CO2 footprint factsheet.

  • The ETM does not take into account CO2 emissions related to non-energetic use of energy carriers, such as use of oil and gas as feedstock in industry. The reason for this is that there is insufficient data to determine how much of this CO2 is emitted and how much is (temporarily) stored in products such as plastics. There are two exceptions to this:

    • The ETM does include CO2 emissions resulting from natural gas feedstock in the fertilizer industry. This gas is used in Steam Methane Reformers to produce hydrogen feedstock. As this is closely tied to the energy system and virtually all of this CO2 is emitted, it is included in the ETM.
    • The ETM does include emissions related to final demand of non-energetic hydrogen. Users can make explicit assumptions about how this hydrogen is produced in the hydrogen section. As such, the ETM is able to determine the emissions related to this.
  • Likewise, fugitive emissions, solvent and other product use, and LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry) emissions are out of scope. For more information on these definitions click here.

  • In a departure from common UNFCCC standards, emissions per sector are calculated based on the primary energy that is used to supply the final energy demand of that sector. This means that any conversion and transportation losses are included in the sector's emissions. For example, transmission losses of the power grid are distributed to the demand sectors relative to their electricity demand. The primary energy demand is multiplied with the emission factor per carrier to obtain the CO2 emissions. More information can be found in the emission factors article.