Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
In densely populated areas, a large cogeneration system may be re-
quired to comply with emission standards and install pollution control
technology. There may also be noise pollution standards and water, air
discharge and solid waste disposal permits.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, slow growth and recession forced
industry to cut costs and reorganize. There were many mergers with plant
closings or cutbacks, layoffs and delayed purchases for capital equipment.
This reduction of personnel pressured the surviving departments to increase
automation and become more efficient. The financial staff analyzed opera-
tions more closely and offered areas that might be improved. These economic
factors along with technological advances in electronics and control hardware
allowed plant automation changes that were not possible before.
When power deregulation became a reality, in several states such as
California the way energy was bought changed rapidly. Energy deregu-
lation offered great potential for cost savings. Utility deregulation was a
direct result of the Federal Policy Act of 1992. More competitive market-
based pricing began replacing state and federal rate structures. In states
that were still regulated, utilities modified their rate structures to preserve
their customer base in any future deregulated environment. Open, com-
petitive energy markets appeared that were unrestricted by geographical
boundaries and regulated rates. These different purchasing options and
rate structures were similar to what occurred following the deregulation
of the telephone industry.
Modern advances in metering hardware, communications, and soft-
ware considerably reduced the cost of how to monitor and control energy
use, especially in regulated environments with rate structures. These new
tools and technologies even allowed companies to negotiate better rates
with their utility suppliers.
As companies scrambled to find new ways to lower the once fixed
cost of their energy use, these newer options also allowed companies to
protect themselves against unexpected power outages.
The growth of energy control systems spiked during the energy cri-
sis of the 1970s, when the rising prices of imported oil triggered restricted
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