Decarbonizing U.S. electricity production will require both construction of renewable energy sources and retirement of power plants now operated by fossil fuels. A generator-level model described in the Dec. 4 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives.
Imagine giving large concrete structures something similar to an ultrasound and getting images so detailed you can see cracks just a tenth of a millimeter long. That level of detail just isn’t possible now. Yet such capability could revolutionize how engineers assess the health of thick reinforced concrete infrastructure like dams and power plants and bridges.
By combining information about power plant operation with real-time air quality predictions, researchers have created a new capability to minimize the human health effects of air pollution resulting from electric power generating facilities. The Air Pollutant Optimization Model, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a new approach for reducing the health effects of ozone and fine particulate pollution.