DOE Warns of Coal Plant Water Supply Shortages
With utilities already alarmed by looming federal regulations that could force construction of expensive cooling towers that would sharply increase water use, a report by the Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory warns that nearly 350 U.S. coal-fired power plants are vulnerable to potential water demand or supply conflicts over the next 20 years stemming from increased competition for dwindling water resources—particularly in the Southeast.
Efficiency Favored in EPA Greenhouse Guidance To States
A long-awaited Clean Air Act regulatory guidance document released by the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that state air regulators strongly emphasize energy efficiency in determining the most cost-effective and technically feasible greenhouse gas control technologies that must be used by utilities and other major industrial emitters when expanding existing facilities or building new ones.
Flue Gas Analysis as a Furnace Diagnostic Tool
Combustion flue gas analysis has been used to optimize the boiler air/fuel ratio for decades. Measuring the amount of excess oxygen and/or carbon monoxide in combustion flue gases gives an indication of boiler efficiency and, thereby, plant operating economics. New sensors make those measurements simple and accurate.
Four Obstacles Facing Coal Power
Republicans picked up more than enough seats during the mid-term elections to assume control of the House, but don't expect any relief from the administration's war on coal-fired power plants.
Peabody: China, India Leading Coal "Supercycle"
While U.S. coal production has been stagnant in 2010, demand for coal in China and India has sharply risen this year and could represent the early stages of a "long-term supercycle" for the global coal industry, according to Peabody Energy, the world's largest private coal company.
Regulating the Regulators: WVDEP Forced to Issue Permits to Itself
On November 8, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its decision in West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, et al. v. Huffman.
It's an opinion that should be of great interest to government agencies and others who find themselves in a position of seeking to remediate water quality problems left by third parties.
Restructuring Key to Cheaper, Cleaner Electricity
As the United States grapples with how best to address climate change and conservation—whether by taxing carbon, cap and trade, or setting higher renewable portfolio standards—an effective approach exists at the state level to reduce electricity producers' carbon emissions: restructuring.