Recent times are seeing stagnating demand for electricity in the United States, despite growth in the GDP. In fact, it is expected that in the coming times, there will be a reversal in electricity usage that will impact the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) utility energy demand and supply. In a Times Free Press report, it was predicted that TVA will sell 13% less power by 2027 than it did in 2007, says an article by VOX. TVA is the federally owned regional planning agency that supplies electricity to Tennessee and parts of the surrounding states.
The rapid switch of US households to renewable sources of energy is a major reason for the declining demand for utility energy. It is happening because of the crazy decline in renewable energy prices. In 2015, a global investment of $286 billion was made for the production of alternative energy. This was more than double the investment made for the generation of fossil fuels in the same year, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
Renewable Energy is the Future
The ginormous investment made in research, development and production of renewable energy has significantly brought down the cost of electricity, as compared to the cost of creation of energy from fossil fuels. This is making renewable energy more and more affordable for home and business use.
Use of renewable energy sources plays a very important role in reducing the harmful effects of global warming. Such clean energy sources ensure much less pollution, since energy generation from renewable energy sources emits no greenhouse gases, unlike fossil fuels. According to data published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 29% of the greenhouse gas emissions resulted from the production of electricity by burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas in the US. This level of emissions was the second highest, after transportation, and only by a thin margin.
When the global community switches from non-renewable energy sources to renewable energy sources, there will be a need to modify the designs of certain equipment, currently being used to produce fossil fuel-derived (carbon-based) electricity, such that they can be adapted for alternative energy production, says an expert at Clark Cooper.
How the Solenoid Valve Industry Will Adapt
An increasing use of alternative energy will definitely affect the valve industry. It should be noted that solenoid valves like EH70, ER Series, are popular and one of the most used products in the power generation industry. They are installed in new gas turbines, turbines that run on diesel or CNG, and in hydrogen purge systems.
The main purpose of solenoid valves is to control the flow of a liquid or gas via an open or close motion, using the energization and de-energization of an electromagnetic solenoid coil. When used in the production of renewable energy, hydropower will be used to control water flow in the system.
Solenoid valves will need to be made to withstand some really harsh environments, including high pressures (water, wind) or even high temperatures (solar) in alternative energy production. This requires the valves for renewable energy to be reliable and of the highest standard, to withstand extreme or hazardous locations.
Solenoid valve manufacturers are coming up with an extensive range of specialized solenoid valves that are precisely designed for certain environments and applications for renewable energy production.
The growth of the renewable energy sector is unlikely to slow down going forward. To keep up with the pace of renewable energy adoption, valve manufacturers are making appropriate adjustments to their products. They’ll have to innovate and fabricate new equipment needed by the rapidly growing alternative energy industry. Only then will the valve industry weather the change.