Environmental Protection Agency
An analysis of holding company liability under federal Superfund and parallel state laws.
Environmental cleanup to meet federal and state requirements carries substantial costs that tend to rest disproportionately on public utilities. Looking back at their corporate history, a few utilities have discovered some unique tools to reduce this economic burden.
It's not just for enviros any more.
Green building. It's a trend that means newly constructed buildings consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than traditionally constructed buildings, yet cost only a small percentage more than standard construction. And it's a trend that is rapidly gaining a foothold with large residential and commercial builders. No wonder utilities of all sizes across the country are paying attention.
Like diets that make us fat, efficiency is bad for the environment.
The last 30 years in America have seen great improvements in the energy efficiency of electric motors, appliances, and other end-use equipment. Think of compact fluorescents, ground-source heat pumps, and thermal window glazing. Add variable speed drives, chilled water AC, and high-pressure sodium street lighting. You name it, we've got it.
Power plants choose that most renewable of fuels.
Power from pig poop. Sounds like a skit from Saturday Night, but it's not. In July, a bona fide dung-fired power plant came online in that most proper of nations, Great Britain. And according to the firm behind the project, Farmatic UK, the plant could be the first of many in Britain.
Dung-fired power plants are also popular in Germany and Denmark, which each has about 20 large-scale plants operating.
By Lori A. Burkhart
Gas-fired power is king today, but fuel diversity needs and new technologies may open the door for nuclear and coal.
The nation's demand for electricity is expected to grow by over 40 percent in the next 20 years, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meeting that need will require a great number of new generating plants. The burning question is, what will fuel these new plants?