The post by Control magazine Editor in Chief Walt Boyes highlights Emerson’s Patrick Truesdale‘s recent ISA Will-DuPage Section presentation on greenhouse gas reporting programs as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Patrick noted to the presentation attendees that his discussion was not about the merits of global warming, but rather:
…about the regulations that your plants have to meet in measuring the Greenhouse Gas emissions they are responsible for…and that you will eventually have to control.
While process manufacturers see additional costs from the added greenhouse gas monitoring equipment and associated design, engineering, installation, and commissioning costs, he shares an optimistic side because this equipment spawns energy efficiency opportunities:
Energy efficiency projects are triple winners… First, they reduce operating costs, second, they improve safety, and third, they aid regulatory compliance by reducing emissions–and the reduced costs pay for it all! Winner!
After seeing this post, I caught up with Patrick to ask him what “low-hanging fruit” was available to get quick energy efficiency gains once the monitoring equipment was in place. He shared that, of course, it varies by industry, but fired vessels such as boilers and heaters and energy-intensive units such as distillation columns were good candidates. Also, fugitive methane released from pneumatic devices in oil & gas processes could be replaced with low-bleed devices.
In the blog post, Walt concluded with his take on Patrick’s presentation:
Truesdale is absolutely right. Just as when the EPA was founded, and the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act were first introduced, this gave the opportunity for plants to fund needed projects, using the regulations as the economic excuse. This new set of regulations will permit significant sustainability projects that might have had dubious economic justification in the very short term to be undertaken– and the benefits realized over the long haul.
If you’re not already subscribed the Sound Off! Editors’ Blog you might want to be because you’ll be notified when Patrick’s presentation is posted and available.
Update: Walt, thanks for sharing the link to the slides!