COAL POWER Direct [April 1, 2010]

Climate Change: Developing Countries Control the Thermostat

In December 2009, representatives of nearly 200 governments met in Copenhagen, Denmark, to hammer out the details of a new climate change treaty. Treaty drafts indicated that industrialized countries would…

Congress, APPA Divided on EPA Greenhouse Finding

Highlighting a sharp division within the public power community, two senior House Democrats blasted the American Public Power Association for endorsing Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s effort to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its Clean Air Act authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, with the lawmakers saying they have been informed that “numerous” APPA members oppose the endorsement.

I’ve Got a Secret

Why did the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drop the Cone of Silence around the good news about the continuing trend of improved air quality? The agency’s annual report of air quality trends was released in mid-March with barely a whisper. Even the major media outlets failed to report on the excellent results.

New Coal Ash Rules May Focus on Conversion to Dry Storage

While the Environmental Protection Agency appears to have initially proposed to regulate power plant coal ash as hazardous waste, there are indications the Obama administration is preparing new federal rules that will at a minimum require utilities to convert coal ash impoundments from wet to dry storage to prevent leaks—a change that would cost tens of millions of dollars but also potentially increase regulated utilities’ rate base and earnings, a Wall Street firm says.

New York Proposes Costly Retooling of Power Plant Cooling

In a move that could cost the state’s electricity generators an estimated $8.5 billion, New York regulators [have] issued a draft policy that would require the installment of closed-loop cooling systems at two dozen large power plants in the state, including oil, coal, nuclear and natural gas generators, to reduce fish kills and other harmful effects to wildlife in the water bodies that supply the plants’ cooling water.

Power 101: Flue Gas Heat Recovery in Power Plants, Part I

Every power engineer must have a firm grasp of the rudiments of how fuel is processed to produce electricity in a power generation facility. With this article, we begin a series of Power 101 tutorials that present these fundamentals in a clear and concise way. First up are the essentials of recovering heat from flue gas.

Radioactive Corporate Welfare

A good default proposition regarding the government’s role in the economy would state that the government should not loan money to an enterprise if the enterprise in question cannot find one single market actor anywhere in the universe to loan said enterprise a single red cent. It might suggest—I don’t know—that the investment is rather … dubious.

The Role of Fireside Corrosion on Boiler Tube Failures, Part I

One of the primary challenges of reliably burning coal is managing the corrosion experienced by the furnace heat transfer surfaces. Fireside corrosion remains a leading cause of failure in superheater and reheater tubes. Three case studies examine the different failure modes experienced by tubes located throughout the furnace.

The Unique Challenge of Controlling Biomass-Fired Boilers

Biomass has many advantages as a fuel for boilers: It’s inexpensive, readily available in many regions, CO2 neutral, and its use warrants government subsidies. The fuel also presents unique concerns to the designers, owners, and operators of biomass plants, especially in the design of the control system.