Next-gen technologies race to dominate the big build.
New nuke plants will take at least eight years to complete, while the coal that powers new IGCC plants is no longer cheap. Regulatory and market obstacles confront both technologies, just as they emerge from the starting gate. Which type of plant will win the future?
Where are prices going, and where have they been?
Caroline Gentry and Jamie Webster
The Supreme Court’s recent decision empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide shifted momentum toward a mandatory program to cap greenhouse-gas emissions. Eventually, there will be huge implications for power generation.
(June 2007) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the selection of Darren B. Ash as CIO and deputy executive director for information services. The Westar Energy Inc. board of directors announced that William Moore will succeed CEO James Haines. Energen Corp. shareholders re-elected five members to the diversified energy company’s board of directors. The Electric Power Supply Association announced the addition of Conrad Lass to EPSA’s senior staff as vice president of legislative affairs. And others...
How utilities can navigate critical infrastructure protection requirements.
Scott Vanek and Mark Walton
Operations personnel at many energy companies feel the pressure of achieving compliance with the NERC CIP standards. Some worry that they are not aware of the problems and security incidents that have occurred within their critical infrastructures. Some know that they do not have the procedures in place to maintain CIP compliance.
How will carbon-emissions policies affect the generation fleet?
Any climate policy is almost certain to target the electric-power industry, which is responsible for about 38 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions. Said policy especially would affect coal-fired power plants, which contribute about 82 percent of the electric power CO2 total. How would various policy options change the economic value of current and proposed generation assets?
Intermittent and interruptible resources increasingly are being considered in regional resource adequacy calculations—but the approaches differ.
Lawrence Risman and Joan Ward
While both NERC and the NERC regional councils (known today as the Electric Reliability Organization) have standards and guidelines for resource adequacy and system reliability, much of the specificity as to how interruptible (e.g., demand-side) and intermittent resources (e.g., wind) are included is left up to the individual ISO/RTOs, states, provinces, etc. In fact, the various regions across North America each seem to have their own methodology for incorporating these resources into their resource adequacy and reserve-margin calculations. As the North American energy industry escalates its desire to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through the expanded use of demand-side resources and intermittent renewables, the importance of this topic also will escalate.
Can markets co-exist with renewable mandates?
Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.
How demand response programs contribute to energy efficiency and environmental quality.
David Nemtzow, Dan Delurey and Chris King
Demand response reduces overall energy usage, but the magnitude of the reduction depends on whether the technologies are developed and deployed with efficiency in mind.
A win-win situation for the local government, utilities, and industry.
By Gary C. Young, Ph.D., P.E.
Ethanol plants either are operating, under construction, or planned for several areas in the Midwest. These same areas also have municipal solid waste (MSW) produced daily in an existing landfill. In addition, these areas have a need for establishing or extending a landfill.
As an alternative to the existing concept of a landfill, plasma-arc technology has been applied to the treatment of MSW. Known as plasma-arc gasification for the treatment of MSW, this recent development would eliminate or minimize the need for a landfill.
Has restructuring succeeded on either continent?
Terrence L. Barnich & Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D.
The era of polemics about electric competition is nearly over. It’s time to compare the relative performance of competition and traditional regulation as these two established models operate side-by-side.