For the Power-Gen Orlando show in December, Bell Performance will of course be in attendance. And most of the big players usually are – GE, Doosan, Bechtel, Afton, Siemens, Fluent. Power-Gen is usually a good mix of hardware manufacturers (You want to buy a turbine? You’ll have no problem finding some there) along with electrical utilities (Southern Companies, PG&E) and plenty of representatives from countries all around the world, walking the floor looking to make connections.
And these folks have a lot to talk about. The EPA’s new restrictions of coal-fired emissions and regulations on coal ash are a big new requirement of the industry. Back in January, it was announced that December 2014 would be the deadline month for the finalizing of official new regulations changing the rules on the storage and disposal of coal ash. So the industry waits for that. Most of the industry really wants to follow the letter of the law and protect the public’s trust. They don’t want any repeats of the Kingston, TN spill in 2010 which destroyed dozens of homes from a billion gallons of coal ash bursting through a barrier at its containment facility. And tougher new coal ash regulations was one of the first promises made by President Obama. So perhaps this will be the year for that.
Anything regulatory that has to do with coal is going to make people sit up and pay attention. We still get almost 40% of all our power generation from coal fuel sources. But that number has been dropping (it was over 44% in 2012) as natural gas power generation increases. And not just because of competition from natural gas – many coal facilities are getting too old to fix up without major expenses. The technology for renewable energy is improving and getting cheaper by the year. And, last but not least, coal doesn’t have a good reputation with the public. It’s hard to get any group of people to rally behind “let’s burn more coal”.
If you’re going to be in Orlando in December for the Power-Gen 2014 show, stop by and see us!
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This post was published on December 1, 2014 and was updated on December 6, 2016.