Archive: Environmental


China Submits Plans for Reducing Carbon Emissions

China on June 29 submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for reducing carbon emissions to the United Nations in preparation for the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris later this year. The INDCs are formal pledges toward a hoped-for binding agreement. The Chinese pledge builds on its November agreement with the U.S. In its INDC, [...]

1.	The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). During its most productive year, the dual-unit facility located in eastern Lithuania supplied more than 88% of the country’s total electricity demand. Courtesy: SE Ignalina NPP

Ignalina: Decommissioning Chernobyl’s Big Sister

This is a web supplement to “Riding Off into the Sunset: Nuclear Decontamination and Decommissioning Update,” appearing in the July 2015 issue of POWER.   The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) is located in eastern Lithuania near Visaginas—a town of more than 20,000 people founded in the mid-1970s for workers constructing INPP and for the [...]

GE Digital Wind Farm

Wind Is Mainstream, and Other Insights from WINDPOWER 2015

Wind is no longer a niche alternative energy industry, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan told attendees at WINDPOWER 2015.  Despite policy hurdles, the wind sector has seen exponential growth and formidable cost reductions; it has the government’s endorsement for a low-carbon future; and it’s making up an ever-larger share of the nation’s [...]

Wind farm in Colorado, near Pawnee Buttes. Courtesy: Lee Buchsbaum

The Voters Were Right: Colorado and Minnesota’s Paths to Clean Energy

Voters in Colorado and stakeholders in Minnesota forced through unique managed generation transformation plans that paved the way for aggressive state renewable and clean energy standards—inadvertently pushing their utilities out in front of proposed and now actual federal policies. As the power industry struggles with rising costs of adaptation, many beleaguered executives are anxiously focusing [...]

A Brief History of In-Stack PM Measurement

This is an online supplement to the feature story “The  Need for Alternate PM2.5 Emission Factors for Gas-Fired Combustion Units” in the July 2015 issue of POWER. The history of in-stack PM measurement methods began in 1971 with promulgation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Reference Method 5, following on the heels of promulgation [...]


Continuous Water Washing in Wet Electrostatic Precipitators Reduces Capital Cost in the Chinese Market

As the Chinese government lowers the particulate matter (PM2.5) limits to 5 mg/Nm3 or less in coal-fired power plants, wet electrostatic precipitators are one of the key environmental components utilities select to meet this requirement. Optimization of continuous water washing of electrodes allows lower-cost alloys to be used, reducing capital expenditures.  Wet electrostatic precipitators (WESPs) [...]


Using an Optical PM CEMS with Wet FGD for MATS Compliance

Of the three ways to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for particulate matter (PM) measurement, using an optical PM continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) also delivers valuable side benefits, especially for units using wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD).  Editor’s Note: This issue was published before the June 29, 2015, ruling by the [...]


The Need for Alternate PM2.5 Emission Factors for Gas-Fired Combustion Units

The Environmental Protection Agency’s emission factor resource, AP-42, is not your only option for developing particulate matter (PM) emission rates. Results of a prominent PM emissions measurement research program for gas-fired plants have been successfully used to support development and application of alternate PM2.5 emission factors by both regulatory agencies and permit applicants The regulatory [...]


The Clean and Dirty of Landfill Gas Power

Despite its apparent environmental benefits and strong government backing, generating power from landfill gas hasn’t gained traction for a variety of reasons in the U.S. Will the Clean Power Plan bolster this “dirty” renewable power source?  For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the only clean thing about landfills—those engineered dumps that entomb America’s infinite [...]