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Changing Regulations, Fuel Sources Keep Power Industry in State of Flux

The U.S Power Industry is experiencing intense change. The uncertain outcome of pending environmental legislation, the development of renewable energy sources and required transmission infrastructure, and a market adjusting to plenty of low-cost natural gas are simultaneously impacting the Power Industry, leading power generators, distributors and the industry's equipment and service providers into new, uncharted territory.

Brock Ramey, Industrial Info's Manager of North America Power Research, points out that the conjunction of environmental legislation and the resurgence of natural gas-fired power in the U.S. has basically forced most new-build coal-fired and nuclear power construction off the table, leaving only planned maintenance and refueling outages as the primary activity in these sectors.

A bevy of major environmental regulation is set to be finalized this year, including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the Coal Combustion Residuals rule, and Greenhouse Gas regulations. These regulations, the build-out of natural gas-fired power, increased renewable generation and the increasing Power Transmission & Distribution construction activity to replace aging infrastructure and bring new power generation to market are having major effects on the power sector. Much uncertainty about these new directions remains. 

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