Characterizing the U.S. Industrial Base for Coal-powered Electricity

Characterizing the U.S. Industrial Base for Coal-powered Electricity

eBook - 2011
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Coal-fired generating units provide approximately 46 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, yet most of the existing coalfired electricity-generating fleet is 25-45 years old. Deploying new coal-fired electricity-generating units (EGUs) and maintenance of the existing fleet requires an industrial capacity to provide equipment, skilled labor, and project management expertise. However, in the near term, the domestic industrial base to provide the capacity for future coal-based EGUs faces several challenges. These include low demand for new conventional and advanced coal units in the next several years, regulatory uncertainty regarding emission standards for conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases, competition from other electricity-generation fuels, and an aging workforce. To better understand these challenges, NETL asked RAND to describe the current state of the domestic industrial base for coal-based electricity generation. RAND was asked to focus on coal-fired EGU design and construction, technology development, and equipment manufacturing. This monograph addresses the concern about whether the industrial base for the U.S. domestic coal-based electricity-generation industry can maintain the capability to design, construct, operate, and maintain coal-fired EGUs within reasonable cost, schedule, performance, environmental, and quality expectations. By first describing the capability that is inherent in the existing coal-fired fleet, this monograph takes a first step toward addressing the larger policy questions of how to develop, deploy, and maintain an advanced, lowcarbon electricity-generation industry capability into the future.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : RAND, 2011
ISBN: 9780833059215
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxx, 125 pages) : color illustrations (digital, PDF file)
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