Carbon Markets Take Flight (in Europe)
The European Union has adopted a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system as part of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Beginning January 2012, aircraft flight engines will be added to the emissions sources regulated by the ETS. A Solutions Fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change believes these regulations are an important step in regulating carbon emissions. You be the judge.
Dominion to Convert Three Coal Plants to Biomass
Dominion Virginia Power has asked the Virginia Corporation Commission for approval to convert three aging and relatively small coal-fired plants to biomass, saying the move would provide substantial long-term savings to customers while cutting air emissions and creating hundreds of forest-related and trucking jobs in the state.
House GOP Moves to Block EPA from Regulating Coal Ash as Toxic Waste
Continuing the House Republicans' aggressive attack on Obama administration environmental proposals, a House subcommittee approved legislation in June to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste—one of two options the EPA is considering for tightening coal ash management regulations in response to a disastrous leak from a Tennessee Valley Authority ash impoundment in 2008.
Innovations in Air Heater Design Produce Performance and Reliability Improvements
The regenerative air heater on a typical steam generator usually accounts for over 10% of a coal-fired plant's thermal efficiency. A poorly performing air heater will cause an increase in the gas outlet temperature, often reducing the electrostatic precipitator collection efficiency and baghouse reliability. Recent design innovations enable restoration of this lost performance.
Is AEP Exaggerating Impact of Air Rules?
American Electric Power recently announced plans to retire over 6,000 MW of coal-fired generation in response to two looming Environmental Protection Agency air quality regulations. Is AEP exaggerating the impact of these regulations? Some members of Congress believe that to be the case. AEP disagrees.
Natural Gas Conversions of Existing Coal-Fired Boilers
Why should utilities consider converting existing coal-fired plants to burn gas? We explore the rationale for fuel switching, some of the options available for the conversion of coal-fired units, technical considerations related to conversion, and some of the financial considerations that will impact the final decision.
Pulverizers 101: Part I
Pulverizers prepare raw fuel by grinding it to a desired fineness and mixing it with the just the right amount of air before sending the mixture to boiler burners for combustion. In Part I of three parts, we'll examine the essentials of pulverizer capacity, what should be done after a coal pulverizer fire or other incident, and how to tune up pulverizer performance. In future articles we'll discuss measuring pulverizer performance and performance optimization.
Water Issues, Carbon, and Price of Power Top Utility Concerns
In a clear sign of growing industry unease about the availability of water for power plant operations, utility officials recently surveyed by Black & Veatch on a host of policy and business issues ranked water supply as their second-highest environmental concern and identified water management as the business issue that could have the greatest impact on the utility industry in the near future.
Which Comes First?
Proponents of carbon dioxide emission reductions from power plants are lamenting the decision by American Electric Power to cancel the carbon capture and sequestration plant at its Mountaineer facility in West Virginia. It's not politics, it's just business.