EIA figures show that the most recent waves of generating capacity additions in the US include natural gas-fired units in the 2000s and renewable units, primarily wind, coming online in the late 2000s.
A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report asks if we are entering a golden age of gas. The report predicts that global gas demand will rise by more than 50% over the next 25 years (from 2010 to 2035), accounting for more than 25% of world energy production by 2035. Natural gas will outstrip coal and come a close second to equaling oil's position in the overall energy mix.
A Baker Institute study dismisses the notion, recently debated in the U.S. media, that the shale gas revolution is a transitory occurrence. The study projects that U.S. shale production will more than quadruple by 2040 from 2010 levels of more than 10 billion cubic feet per day, reaching more than 50 percent of total U.S. natural gas production by the 2030s. The study incorporates independent scientific and economic literature on shale costs and resources, including assessments by organizations such as the U.S.
India had planned for a massive ramp up in nuclear power capacity. The country negotiated a re-entry into nuclear power by promising to cut back on military nuclear build up. As the US negotiated an agreement to allow India import nuclear plants from suppliers, it was believed that Indian orders would lift up the global nuclear industry, just as the recent surge in airplane orders from India benefited airframers. The plan was to add 25 GW by 2020 and more later. The scenario was all rosy, until the tsunami struck in Japan.
While enthusiasm for engineering and turbomachinery was evident at the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute's Turbo Expo, it was overwhelmed by the hockey fervor that grips the city as the local Canucks fight for victory in the Stanley Cup.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosted an April 7 workshop on the U.S. Department of of Energy (DOE)/Ohio Coal Development Office project on Advanced Materials for Ultrasupercritical Power Plants.
The early 2011 report by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that the addition of shale gas resources in existing plays which can be produced at prices under $7 per thousand cubic feet results in higher shale gas production overall. Technically recoverable unproved shale gas resources are now estimated at 827 trillion cubic feet.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has studied the potential impact of key regulatory requirements on power plants. Below are some of its findings submitted to the US Congress.
The following regulations were considered:
Clean Water Act – Section 316(b), Cooling Water Intake Structures
Assumed the retrofit of open-loop cooling systems to closed-loop cooling (addition of cooling towers was assumed in our modeling analysis) and all nuclear plants made the upgrades.
Clean Air Act – Section 112, Utility Air Toxics
A case for modular nuclear reactors has been made in the U.S. with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu promoting it despite the accident in Japan. But the question of how best to use coal still remains since the fuel has several cost and availability advantages.
A new proposal by Hybrid Power Technologies LLC marries the helium gas reactor with the combustion turbine and coal. The system uses the helium gas cycle powered by a nuclear reactor to run the gas turbine. It allows the integration of solar and energy storage applications, too.
Several strategies are being suggested for integrating fluctuating renewable power to the grid. One is to build energy storage plants that can even out uneven renewable power. Some, such as the myth busters of our magazine, argue that today’s fossil and nuclear plants can ramp up and down quickly enough to absorb 25% of renewable power in the U.S. Bulk energy storage plants, such as Compressed Air Energy Storage and Pumped Hydro, would be too expensive compared to these plants, they say.
Initiated in 2002, Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is being operated in New York City’s East River. In three phases, the RITE Project will test, demonstrate and deliver commercial electricity from Verdant Power’s Free Flow Kinetic Hydropower System (tidal).
How reliable are the Reliability Availability Maintainability (RAM) figures that are touted by gas turbine OEMs — as proofs of how well their machines are performing?
RAM statistics are key performance indicators for operators and equipment manufacturers alike. These calculations follow standard methods, such as GADS and IEEE, which are designed to provide meaningful comparison and benchmarking. No doubt, the involvement of third-party data collection has improved the reliability of these figures.
The Middle East Turbomachinery Symposium (METS) premiered February 13th in Doha, Qatar, to rave reviews from both users and suppliers of turbomachinery. Dara Childs, Director, Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M University and co-chair of the METS advisory committee, was “amazed” at the initial success. “A lot of that credit goes to Abdul Aziz Al Naimi,” he said. “His participation was the difference between failure and success.”