No matter what your business, the power system of the future will enable you to control your own energy destiny with greater reliability, security and efficiency. Key components are already available and new technologies are being introduced on a continual basis. Liebman & Associates (L&A) can help you develop the right partnerships with government and industry to capitalize on the resources and technologies available for your business - right now.
The electric power system is vulnerable and inefficient, with electricity carried over long transmission lines from centralized generating plants. Distributed energy resources (DER) generate power where it is used. Many distributed generation (DG) technologies, such as turbines, microturbines, reciprocating engines and fuel cells, create heat that can be captured as useable energy for water heating, cooling and other purposes with thermal energy technologies. This approach, known as cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP), can produce fuel efficiencies of up to 70% compared to 33% efficient centralized power plants. District energy systems provide thermal energy in various forms, including steam, hot and chilled water to multiple buildings via underground piping networks. Energy storage can augment the electric grid and on-site DG systems with back-up power, when the grid is unavailable or at strategic times to reduce demand and costs. Microgrids combine many different DER technologies with bulk power from the electric grid to create high availability power systems. Through power electronics, direct current (DC) power applications leverage the inherent nature of loads such as microprocessors and lighting, and sources such as photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, for fewer losses and higher reliability.
There is a growing consensus that steps should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, beneficial use/re-use and geologic sequestration are promising options to help address this challenge. A variety of clean coal technologies are being developed for pulverized coal, oxy-fuel, and gasification plants such as pre- and post-combustion carbon capture, improved gasification technologies, solid-oxide fuel cells, and improved turbines for future coal-based combined cycle plants. Other new technologies offer opportunities to use CO2 from industrial and utility power plants as a building block for fuels, chemicals, or building materials. Research is also ongoing to develop technologies that safely, permanently and cost-effectively store CO2 in geologic formations.
Biomass is the only form of non-hydroelectric renewable energy that offers baseload power, is widely available and can be stored and dispatched for use when needed. BioPower - utility-scale generation of electricity from domestic and renewable biomass - is a reliable, renewable type of baseload utility power that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports our nation's agricultural sector. A biopower generating plant has the capability to use logging residues, intermediate thinnings, wood chips, or processed fuels produced from biomass including torrefied briquettes, upgraded pyrolysis oil or synthesis gas. A centralized approach involves a single, large scale power facility fed by a distributed network of biomass conversion facilities producing energy dense, transportable fuel intermediates such as pellets, syngas or pyrolysis oil. A decentralized approach involves smaller scale power facilities on the order of 50 to 100 MW that can also be integrated with a biofuel-producing integrated biorefinery. Either can utilize coal-biomass mixtures (co-firing) to leverage our nation's coal and biomass resources in a safe and environmentally clean manner.
Energy-intensive industries can leverage these technologies to increase energy efficiency and reduce and sequester carbon emissions. Utilities can integrate DER to reduce peak load demand at a distribution feeder, which can eliminate or defer the need for new transmission and distribution capacity and reduce congestion, and use biopower technologies as a bridge from a fossil carbon-based energy economy to one based on renewable energy systems. All companies can benefit from the greater reliability and security afforded by these technologies. Ask L&A to show you how.