Archive: Infographics

A Brief History of GE Gas Turbines

July marks two important milestones that set gas-fired generation on its course to becoming a dominant form of power generation: commercial operation of the world’s first industrial gas turbine in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1939, and commercial operation of the first gas turbine in the U.S. used to generate electric power—a 3.5-MW General Electric (GE) unit […]

THE BIG PICTURE: Siemens’ Corporate History

Siemens AG, the global technology conglomerate that today has headquarters in both Berlin and Munich, in May 2019 announced it will spin off its energy units to focus on its digital “core.” The news has stunned many in the power sector, where Siemens has clenched a formidable presence since 1866. But restructuring at Siemens is […]

THE BIG PICTURE: 30 Innovations Revolutionizing the Power Industry

Between 2005 and 2016, the global installed capacity of solar PV increased more than seven-fold, and the capacity of onshore wind increased nearly three-fold, and owing to plunging costs, variable renewable energy (VRE) capacity is set to expand dramatically, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). To accommodate soaring shares of VRE generation, innovations […]

Japan Nuclear Comeback

THE BIG PICTURE: Japan’s Nuclear Comeback

After the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, and ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011, Japan issued stringent safety regulations and reviews that affected its entire 50-reactor fleet. It meant that as each Japanese nuclear reactor entered its scheduled maintenance and refueling outage, it could not returned to operation until restart […]

THE BIG PICTURE: World’s Biggest Power Companies

In 2017, the 10 largest power companies, ranked by their installed generation capacity, owned 18% of total global installed capacity, while the next-largest 15 owned around 10%—meaning that the top 25 companies own nearly 30% of global installed power generation capacity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Chinese companies account for more than one-eighth of global installed […]

How Efficiently Have U.S. Nuclear Reactors Operated Over the Past Five Years? [INFOGRAPHICS]

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the nation’s 99 operating nuclear reactors operated at an average capacity factor of 88% in 2017—the same as in 2016—despite market forces that have rendered several units uneconomical. Figures for 2018 are expected in 2019 and may look different. Oyster Creek Nuclear Station, for example, was permanently closed […]

THE BIG PICTURE: Power Around the World

The International Energy Agency forecasts that based on current and proposed policies, global power generation will grow about 15,000 TWh (about 60%) from 2017 to 2040. About 70% of additions will be supplied by natural gas, wind, and solar photovoltaics in nearly equal shares. But despite a drop from its current share from 38% to […]

THE BIG PICTURE: Wind Turbine Trends

Average wind turbine capacity, rotor diameter, and hub height increased in 2017, continuing a long-term trend. One reason that wind producers choose bigger turbines is to optimize wind power project cost and performance, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Source: U.S. DOE, 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report, […]

THE BIG PICTURE: Small Modular Reactors

Interest in small modular reactors (SMRs) has ramped up of late owing to applications in niche electricity or energy markets where large reactors would not be viable—such as for cogeneration in countries with small grids, remote and off-grid areas, and for nuclear/renewable hybrid projects. Modular attributes may also enable SMRs to target the economics of […]