University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Panelists named for International Air Quality IX Conference Oct. 21-23

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) announces the panelists for the Air Quality IX Conference opening panel, titled “The Power Plant of 2025 – What Are We Thinking Now?” Air Quality IX will be held Oct. 21–23, 2013, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Panelists include Greg Adams, Team Leader – Coal and Uranium Analysis, Office of Energy Analysis, Energy Information Administration, Washington, D.C.; Max Ball, Manager – Sustainable Supply Development, SaskPower, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Mark Brownstein, Associate Vice President and Chief Counsel, U.S. Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund, New York, New York; Francisco de la Chesnaye, Program Manager – Energy and Environmental Analysis Group, Electric Power Research Institute, Washington, D.C.; and Michael Jones, Vice President – Research and Development, Lignite Energy Council, Bismarck, North Dakota. The panel moderator is John Harju, Associate Director for Research at the EERC.

The panel will discuss what a power plant of 2025 could look like and the impact of resource availability, regulatory constraints or incentives, economics, and other factors. Panelists will also cover the historical nature of coal and how it has been the lowest-cost form of electricity generation for decades but is now challenged by abundant natural gas resources and the restriction of emissions, including carbon dioxide.

Decades of socioeconomic data indicate that low-cost coal fired-power can aid in the development of countries into world powers. This scenario is now playing out in India, China, Indonesia, and other developing countries, yielding growing economies, better standards of living, less poverty, longer life spans, and the ability to create wealth that can catalyze research and development into new options for future clean power. As a counterpoint, current carbon dioxide levels hover around 400 ppm on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa for the first time in 10,000 years, causing increased scrutiny on coal-fired power.

“With this dichotomy, the panel will debate what the power plant of 2025 could look like and what impact near-term regulations, economic factors, and resource availability will have on the future of power production,” said Mike Holmes, Program Technical Director and Deputy Associate Director for Research at the EERC.

Air Quality IX is the nation’s premier international conference on environmental topics associated with energy production. The technical program includes approximately 130 presenters from 29 states and 14 countries. The conference is sponsored by the EERC, the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the Electric Power Research Institute, along with Collaborating Sponsor Calgon Carbon and Partnering Sponsors, FMC, Great Lakes Solutions (a Chemtura business), and ADA-Carbon Solutions.