DOE/NETL possesses strong systems analysis and policy-support capabilities. Systems analysis in support of the Innovations for Existing Plants Program consists of conducting various energy analyses that provide input to decisions on issues such as national plans and programs, resource use, environmental and energy security policies, technology options for research and development programs, and paths to deployment of energy technology. This work includes technology, benefits, and current situation and trends analyses related to the nexus between water and energy. Systems analyses evaluate "what-if" scenarios related to water needs and usage under a variety of assumed conditions related to energy requirements and environmental regulations, including potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Links to reports generated as a result of these systems analyses are presented in the table below.
Cooling Water Intake Structures
NETL has looked at several recent Clean Water Act issues. One area of particular focus is the potential impact of cooling water regulations on the existing fleet of power plants. Specifically, NETL has evaluated the impact of retrofitting wet- and/or dry-cooling systems on power plant efficiency using powerful computer process simulation models. Results of the analysis will be used to approximate national energy losses and related environmental impacts.
- Total Maximum Daily Loads
The Clean Water Act also requires states to develop total maximum daily load (TMDL) for impaired bodies of water. TMDLs will limit the maximum amount of pollutants a receiving water body can accept. To assess potential compliance options, NETL is evaluating the feasibility of an allowance trading framework for carbon and other pollutants. NETL is working to establish a series of demonstration projects that show how and to what extent reclamation of abandoned mine land improves overall water quality and may offset industrial carbon emissions. The project will provide a holistic look at the reclamation process and include extensive water monitoring.