The current resources used to produce electrical power in the United States can be broken down into Coal, Petroleum, Natural Gas, Nuclear and Renewables. In 2016 the United States consumed approximately 97.4 quadrillion British thermal units of energy for electrical power, transportation, industrial, residential and commercial uses. Electrical power production accounted for approximately thirty-nine percent of this total consumption.
Generation of electricity through the combustion of fossil fuels continues to dominate over other sources. Energy transitions are protracted events, since many of our prime movers that convert fuels into work cannot effectively be replaced by renewable sources. For example, a jet plane, diesel locomotive, automobile or tractor trailer cannot be replaced, in a cost effective manner by a renewable-based alternative. Electrochemical (battery) storage is still too costly and does not have a great enough energy density to replace the internal combustion engine in vehicles, which comprise approximately 28% of all energy consumed in the United States.
Unlike transportation, electrical power generation is currently and rapidly transitioning from fossil fuel power generation to renewable power generation. According to the latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly Energy Infrastructure Update, renewable energy dominated new United States electrical power generation put into service during 2016.
WRH Power Systems™ categorizes electrical power generation from the combustion of liquid and gaseous fossil fuels in reciprocating engines or gas turbines as Thermal Generation. Our renewable-based power plants blend thermal power generation with renewable power generation such as Solar Photovoltaics and Wind coupled with Energy Storage and IntelligentRE™ to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and the overall cost of electrical power. In some areas of the United States, renewable based power systems of this type still do not compete with fossil fuel generation from a price perspective without subsidies or incentives. There are a growing number of locations where renewable based power systems or Microgrids do make financial sense without subsidies or incentives. WRH Power Systems™ has designed, constructed and operates renewable-based power systems using IntelligentRE™ to defer transmission distribution costs and to displace fossil fuels, making these power systems financially viable.