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Re: E-M:/ U.S. Supreme Court Again Support Clean Air

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" ------------------------------------------------------------------------- At 03:50 AM 03/06/2001 -0500, you wrote:
Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Mon, 5 Mar 2001, David Wright wrote:

> If all power plants operated at their theoretical maximum efficiency and if
> all power plants burned the same fuel then in theory a limit on CO2 would
> be a limit on fuel consumption.
> All power plants do not operate at their maximum theoretical efficiency and
> depending on the age, technology, maintenance, controls, and other design
> and operating constraints produce more or less CO2 per heat input or
> electricity produced.
> While I cannot speak for Administrator Whitman, developing performance
> standards for power plants is one way to achieve reductions in CO2 emissions.

My point was that a power plant cannot produce more CO2 emissions than the
carbon in the fuel burned, nor can it produce less CO2 emissions than that
corresponding to the maximum possible efficiency. Steam power plants
already operate rather close to the latter. Where is there room for
*really significant* reductions in CO2 emissions? Even performance
standards are limited by the conservation laws of matter and energy. What
is required to combat global warming is many fold reductions in CO2
emissions, not small improvements in efficiency.

And that overall conversion efficiency might be only about 30%
for a traditional power plant that throws away most of the
heat generated in waste water heat and secondarily to stack
gas.   i.e. The majority of the heat input generated in the
Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant goes into heating up Lake
Erie and the Raison River.

Now think of the heat/energy/fuel savings if all power plants
were more like the one operated at Michigan State University
which produces both electricity and steam/hotwater for district

I think Rane Curl is right.  The kind of increase in energy
efficiency we need to solve tough global warming carbon dioxide
problems is not going to be found by nibbling around the edges.  It
must come from different views of how we make power, how we use
land and the inter-relationship between these and our uses of
advanced, more efficient power generation technologies.

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