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    Program on Technology Innovation: Electric Power Research Institute
    Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 @ 19:17:00 GMT by vlad

    General Program on Technology Innovation: Electric Power Research Institute — Electric Power Industry Technology ScenariosProduct Number: 1013016 Date, Published: 21-DEC-05, Interim Report - Available On-line

    This report describes the development of a set of scenarios for the future of the U.S. power industry. The scenarios were developed to provide a basis for strategic technology planning. The scenario approach was adopted in this initiative because scenarios provide insight on quantitative assessments and functional specifications of technologies. In contrast, standard planning tools—including the Electricity Technology Roadmap currently used at EPRI—are subject to the uncertainties in key driving factors, such as the economy, the environment, technology advances, and regulatory policies.

    This report will benefit utility executives and planners, industrial and commercial electricity consumers, equipment suppliers, regulators, technology developers, national laboratory researchers, and academics. These stakeholders will benefit from a greater understanding of the issues and opportunities facing the electricity industry. The scenarios will facilitate communications among these groups and will provide a basis for collaboration among stakeholders to develop key technology opportunities.


    The project team's goals were to:
    •document the process used to develop the scenarios,
    •provide a detailed description of each scenario,
    •identify the technology portfolio of each scenario, and
    •determine the challenges and capability gaps that prevent the industry from achieving needed technology breakthroughs.

    Users of the report will gain an improved understanding of the economic and environmental factors that are likely to shape the structure of the industry and the changing business models of market entrants. Users also will be able to develop their own scenarios to address their individual needs and conduct sensitivity studies showing how varying key parameters can influence the outcomes of these analyses. This type of analysis is becoming increasingly valuable as the industries expand and as entrants with different perspectives evolve their own strategies. The report identifies a set of ten specific technology opportunities that emerged from workshops that were part of the scenario process. The report describes these opportunities at a high level. Follow-on work is planned to define a detailed strategy for developing the technologies.

    Application, Value and Use
    Anticipated future developments include periodic revisiting of the issues raised in the scenario study and revising/updating the scenarios to reflect changes in the industry and externalities. Thus, the scenario study will be an evergreen document that will maintain its relevance, even as the external world changes dramatically.

    EPRI Perspective
    Scenario planning is a valuable tool for describing and analyzing possible future changes in the power industry. Its value derives from the ability to shape arguments and conclusions and to define alternative environments in which decisions can be modeled and played out. For the special case of defining research initiatives, scenario analysis can allow decision-makers to consider strategic adjustments in advance of changing conditions in uncertain environments. This capability is particularly valuable in the case of the power industry because of the rapid evolution of technology for the generation, transmission, distribution, and end uses of electricity. As change accelerates, uncertainty grows. Here, scenarios come into their own as a means of prioritizing alternate technologies and developing a portfolio of technologies.

    Program 06TTI501.0 Technology Innovation (Long-term R&D)

    Technology strategy
    Energy efficiency
    Electricity generation
    Natural gas
    Nuclear power
    Electricity transmission and distribution
    Energy storage
    Distributed generation
    End-use technologies

    For further information about EPRI, call the EPRI Customer Assistance Center at (800) 313-3774 or email askepri@epri.com
    Please call for a price quote

    Source: Electric Power Industry Technology Scenarios



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    "Program on Technology Innovation: Electric Power Research Institute" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Program on Technology Innovation: Electric Power Research Institute (Score: 1)
    by ElectroDynaCat on Thursday, December 29, 2005 @ 08:12:19 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Although there is consensus in the industry overall about long term planning, the subject of distribution inefficency is still not being approached because of the magnitude and cost of correcting a built in problem with the system.

    Distribution wastes 2 out of every 3 kilowatt hours that is generated today, increasing the emission of greenhouse gases. If the electric distribution system had to be built from scratch today, it wouldn't look at all like it does presently.

    First. practically all the network would be buried and shielded. Intelligent power factor control would be put in place at every transformer stage in the system and at the end user point.

    It is an enormous undetaking, involving an estimated cost about 1 trillion dollars just for the U.S. and Canadian systems. Right now because the utility industry can pass on the cost of their wasteful system to the consumer, there is no incentive to modify it.

    An efficient system could reduce that waste so that 9 of those 10 kilowatts that are generated actually get to the consumer, and could be a major factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from powerplants, which are the major source of extra CO2 in the atmosphere today.

    There are roughly 600 coal fired generating stations on line in the U.S. at any time and each one burns 100 tons of coal per hour, 24/7/365. Thats a huge amount of CO2 just to keep the lights on.

    The digging of that coal causes environmental degradation and also requires the use of diesel fuel to mine, process and transport that coal to the station. It takes about 1 pound of diesel fuel to get 1 ton of coal to the generating station, so as you can see, our electric system makes us dependent on foreign sources of oil.

    Distribution is in fact our most severe problem in energy use and one that if corrected could lead to the most reduction in CO2 emissions per dollar spent on efficiency. Don't look for it to happen soon, it will require some governmental arm twisting at just about every level of society to occur.


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