Thermal power policy north america handbook 2010
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Thermal Power Policy - North America Handbook 2010 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The report provides a brief overview of the thermal power sector in the US and Canada and analyses the impact of the existing and proposed regulations on the thermal power sector of the US and Canada.

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Natural Gas Based Power Generation Will Drive the Thermal Power Sector in the US

Natural gas fired power generation has seen phenomenal growth in the US power sector in the past few decades. The higher calorific value of natural gas, with 43% fewer CO2 emissions per MegaWatt Hour (MWh) relative to coal, and the improved efficiency of natural gas combined cycle power plants have been the major drivers of the growth of natural gas fired power generation in the US. Ability to provide power at peak and intermediate loads, greater efficiency of generation relative to coal-based power generation due to technological advancements have also expedited the growth of gas-based power generation.

With increasing concerns about climate change stirred by rising GHG emissions, natural gas based power generation has been fast replacing more polluting, older coal-fired power plants. Increasingly regarded as the transient fuel, natural gas can potentially eliminate nearly one-third of the total carbon emissions of the US by 2030 through substituting coal in power generation. Historically, natural gas based power plants have seen the highest growth amongst fossil fuels. The total gas based installed generation capacity and generation increased annually at 7.2% and 4.6% during the period 2000-2009 respectively. Suppressed coal prices for the last two years and soaring coal prices in 2009 due to demand from Asia and environmental regulations have also helped drive coal-to-gas fuel

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switching in the power generation industry. With abundant shale gas production in the US, gas is expected to continue to fuel power generation in the US. Emission caps stipulated under the Clean Air Act, and Environment Protection Agency’s target of 17% reduction of 2005 emission levels by 2020 and emission reduction targets adopted by states have been expediting the growth of gas based power generation in the US. The development of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology and financial incentives for energy efficiency accelerated the development of gas-based power generation in the US in recent years.

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Research, Development and Commercial Deployment of Clean Coal Technologies Imperative for More Efficient and Emission-free Coal-based Power Generation

Coal has traditionally fuelled power generation in the US, accounting for 45% of total power generation in the US. However, it is the single largest emitter of CO2

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in the US. Recent environmental regulations have forced many older, more polluting power plants to shut; those which failed to make additional investment for incorporating emission reduction technology units. The government of the US has initiated many programs for developing technologies to use coal in a more efficient, environment-friendly and cost-competitive manner. The Clean Coal Power Initiative, FutureGen 2, and the Research and Development (R&D) of coal gasification technologies and turbines will expedite the development of emission-free, affordable power generation in the US.

In Canada, the Canadian Clean Coal Power Coalition has been promoting research and innovation in thermal power generation. The SaskPower Boundary Dam Project and the Swan Hills Project are important steps in the right direction.

Emission Reduction Targets and Programs Would Continue to Reduce Emissions from Fossil Fired Power Plants

The stringent emissions control targets and programs in US and Canada will significantly reduce GHG emissions from thermal power plants in future. The recent Clean Air Act Amendment of 2010 has placed strict Sulfur oxide (SOX) and Nitrogen oxide(NOX) and mercury emission limits on emissions from thermal power plants. The CAA 2010 stipulates SOX emission reduction of

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80% (from 7.6 million tons in 2008 to 1.5 million tons in 2018), NOx emissions by 53% (from three million tons in 2008 to 1.6 million tons in 2015) and mercury emissions by at least 90% by 2015. In the past, the Acid Rain Program (ARP) under the Clean Air Act has proved immensely successful in checking GHG emissions from the Energy Generating Units in the US. The total SOx and NOx emitted in 2009 were well below the emission cap for the year. Other targets and emission control standards such as Green House Gas(GHG) emission targets by states, emission performance standards for utilities will be instrumental in reducing GHG emissions from thermal power sector in the US.

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In Canada, programs such as New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation, the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, and the Large Final Emitters system along with emission reduction targets adopted by utilities will substantially reduce GHG emissions from the power sector.

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Public, Private and Industry Collaboration Promote Efficient and Emission Free Technologies

Increasing collaboration of public, private and industry elements have encouraged the research and development of clean technologies for thermal power generation in both the US and Canada. These collaborations have been working on developing low emission, high efficiency technologies such as clean

coal technologies, coal gasification, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and others for thermal power generation. The collaborations provide much-needed funding for the technological research and help in adoption of these technologies by private generating units on a commercial scale. Thus this collaboration plays a key role in bridging the gap between research and development efforts and commercial usage. The Clean Coal Power Initiative and Solid State Energy Generation Alliance in the US, and the Canadian Clean Coal Power Coalition and Alberta Energy Research Institute are some examples of such collaborations

GlobalData’s new report, “Thermal Power Policy – North America Handbook 2010” is a comprehensive report on thermal power policy in North America. The report provides information on the key regulations and policies addressing the concerns facing the thermal power sector in the US and Canada. The report provides a brief overview of the thermal power sector in the US and Canada

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and analyses the impact of the existing and proposed regulations on the thermal power sector of the US and Canada. Policies and programs relating to emission reduction, energy efficiency, research and technological innovation and competition in electricity at federal and state/provincial level have been covered extensively in the report.

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