A $300+ billion industry in the U.S., the electric power industry employs more than 400,000 people. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIE) publication, Annual Energy Outlook 2014, between 2012 and 2040, total electricity demand is expected to grow by 29% (0.9%/year), from 3,826 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2012 to 4,954 billion kWh in 2040. While industrial customers today account for less than one percent of customers overall, they consume more than one-third of electricity sold. Sales to industrial customers are expected to rise by 30 percent by 2040, with initial growth primarily in the metals and bulk chemical industries, and later in the food, constructions, and metal-based durables industries.
Steam turbines produce most of the electricity in the U.S. In steam turbines powered by fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas, the fuel is burned in a furnace to heat water in a boiler to produce steam. The steam is forced against a series of blades mounted on a shaft connected to a generator, which converts the mechanical energy to electrical energy. Natural gas can also be burned to produce hot combustion gases to spin the turbine directly. In 2013, natural gas provided 27 percent of all U.S. electricity. The share of electricity generated from natural gas is expected to grow steadily; after 2020, EIE projects that natural gas plants will account for more than 70 percent of new capacity.
The industry is subject to increasingly stringent environmental health and safety regulations and continues to employ multiple strategies to increase plant efficiency, provide an increasing amount of electricity reliably to customers, and reducing emissions to protect the environment – all while providing an adequate return to shareholders. More than 70 percent of American consumers receive their electric power from the shareholder-owned segment of the industry. (The other 30 percent are served by energy service providers and government- or cooperatively owned electric utilities.)
From gas turbine control via compositional analysis of natural gas and real-time monitoring of boiler waters, to environmental compliance monitoring and reporting – Galvanic systems deliver the utmost in ease-of-operation, precise measurements, consistent, field-proven performance and value.
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