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The Electric Utility Industry
Pages 72-100

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From page 72...
... The main products of the electric utility industry are electric energy and the services it makes possible. To produce a kilowatt-hour and get it to the consumer, the utility company must navigate a gauntlet of potential environmental and health impacts, all of which require proactive, responsible management.
From page 73...
... This paper addresses the electric power sector and industrial ecology through specific examples of the environmentally beneficial use of electricity-using technologies, or electrotechnologies, in industry, municipal waste and water management, and transportation. It also discusses how the utility industry increasingly is preventing pollution through source reduction, reuse and recycling of its by-products, and use of management tools such as waste accounting and life-cycle analysis.
From page 74...
... In each industry sector, as a nucleus of "green" companies takes shape, the industry trade associations become involved in improving environmental performance, mainly by transferring to member firms methodologies for environmental auditing and reporting. Accountancy also becomes involved.
From page 75...
... To produce a kilowatthour and get it to the consumer, however, the company must navigate a gauntlet of potential environmental and health impacts, all of which require proactive, responsible management. Electric power companies in the United States, although at different stages of the process, have all embarked on the road to corporate environmental stewardship.
From page 76...
... EEI divides them into five groups: · Corporate environmental commitment (includes public statement of commitment and goals; CEO leadership; environmental goals integrated
From page 77...
... · The needs of environmental stakeholders will be addressed and satisfied through critical business processes that incorporate environmental concerns across the full product life cycle. Superior business performance processes will be defined to include environmental performance.
From page 78...
... · The chief corporate environmental officer will rotate from and to line management and will have direct access to the top management levels. · Reliable tracking and measurement will support continuous performance improvement and an aggressive internal and external communication program aimed at key stakeholders.
From page 79...
... Awareness training exposes employees to the link between the company's environmental policy and implementing practices and provides an effective forum for employees to exchange ideas and suggestions regarding environmental management, responsibility, and goals. Technical training targets employees who have specific responsibilities for complying with environmental requirements or specific opportunities for contributing to the continual improvement of the company's environmental performance.
From page 80...
... that can be used to assess environmental improvement and to rate a firm's performance within the industry sector. Two models for corporate environmental performance measurement and reporting have emerged (Elkington and Robins, 1994~.
From page 81...
... Major contributions to this effort can be made by switching to primary energy sources with fewer environmental impacts; improving the efficiency of the generation, delivery, and use of electricity; preventing pollution through better management of by-products; and substituting the direct use of fossil fuels by electricity-using technologies, or electrotechnologies, at the point of end use. Figure 1 summarizes the opportunities available to improve environmental quality in the electric utility industry.
From page 82...
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From page 84...
... Such beneficial electrification is likely to improve environmental quality not only by reducing aggregate pollutant emissions and impacts associated with economic activities, but also by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to climate warming. New, environmentally cleaner electrotechnologies will mean new business opportunities.
From page 85...
... Environmental benefits include reduced energy consumption, less dye waste, and a reduction of auxiliary chemicals and scouring agents. · Process-water recovery.
From page 86...
... is working with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation; the Water Environment Research Foundation; several dozen electric, water, and wastewater utilities; and government and research institutions to identify innovative solutions based on new electrotechnologies. This collaboration is providing more effective treatment processes and is reducing water treatment by-products, environmental impacts, and energy and operating costs.
From page 87...
... Two technological developments offer opportunities for combined facilities: Low-temperature, multieffect distillation can make efficient use of relatively lowtemperature steam from a power plant for desalination; and advanced reverse osmosis systems are bringing down costs to the point where they promise to be commercially competitive. Medical-Waste Treatment Environmental and health concerns have heightened the public's anxiety about medical waste and its disposal.
From page 88...
... The treated material, similar to confetti, is shipped to a municipal landfill. Energy consumption is modest, and other benefits include a 90-percent reduction in volume and lower disposal costs.
From page 89...
... Electrically powered vacuum MAGLEV technology, for example, promises to be able to link cities hundreds of miles apart with transit times measured in minutes. HOW ELECTRIC UTILITIES ARE ADDRESSING POLLUTION PREVENTION The electric utility industry produces a variety of by-products in the process of generating and distributing electricity and servicing its customers.
From page 90...
... However, utilities are turning to new strategies, including pursuing markets for their by-products through brokers, waste exchanges, and recycling or reuse; generating less material; and using more environmentally compatible materials. Several representative case studies of pollution-prevention practices in the electric utility industry are summarized below.
From page 91...
... In many countries, sand is the silica source. EPRI and the electric utility industry are investigating substitution of coal fly ash for the sand (as is done in the United Kingdom)
From page 92...
... The electric utility industry and EPRI are aggressively pursuing existing markets for coal ash and investigating new opportunities through research. Although no national goal for coal ash use has been established by the industry, EPRI, the American Coal Ash Association, and the Edison Electric Institute have been active in promoting coal ash as a useful byproduct and in attempting to remove institutional barriers to its use (Brendel and Kyper, 1992~.
From page 93...
... Therefore, from a pollution-prevention point of view, options that minimize waste production, such as source reduction, substitution, or recycling, are preferred. One innovative electric utility company has initiated a program that eliminates disposal of the cleaning waste and provides a useful product to another industry.
From page 94...
... A survey of electric utilities conducted by EPRI found that 46 percent of respondents employ some type of solvent recycling. In most cases, recycling is less expensive than disposing of spent solvent.
From page 95...
... Paint and paint-related waste. Paint and paint-related waste represent some of the most frequently generated hazardous wastes in the electric utility industry.
From page 96...
... The electric utility that performed this analysis carefully tested each cleaning method and concluded that the extra labor and materials needed for the citrus-cleaning process would exceed by no more than 5 to 20 percent the costs of comparable TCA cleaning, depending on the application. On the basis of these tests and a careful review of
From page 97...
... SOURCE: Electric Power Research Institute, 1994.
From page 98...
... 69) observed that "when implemented correctly, full-cost accounting will improve environmental performance more than any other action, program, or regulation in place today." In the case of the utility industry, pooling resources with regulators to try to arrive at a reasonable consensus about the best ways to internalize environmental costs could be of long-term benefit to the industry.
From page 99...
... REFERENCES American Coal Ash Association (ACAA)
From page 100...
... 1994. The Corporate Environmental Report: Measuring Industry's Progress Towards Sustainable Development.


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