Carbon Policy Impact on Industrial Facilities

  • Cecilia E. Arzbaecher
  • Kelly E. Parmenter
Keywords: Carbon Policy, Industrial Facilities

Abstract

Concerns over climate change in the U.S. are prompting actions at the federal, state and corporate levels that will affect how industrial facilities operate now and in the future. Because a comprehensive federal carbon policy is still in its infancy, some states are implementing their own carbon policies and setting their own reduction targets ahead of federal regulations. For example, California’s climate change mitigation plan requires a reduction of 80 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2eq), or a 16% reduction, from the state’s projected 2020 business-as-usual emissions. A significant share of the required reduction will come from a cap-and-trade program, a program that directly affects industrial operation in the state.

This article discusses the impact of federal and state policies on the operation of industrial facilities. It addresses the three primary steps that industrial facilities are currently taking to address or prepare for carbon policies: monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, managing GHG emissions, and preparing for participation in cap-and-trade programs. The article begins with an analysis of the industrial sector’s contribution to total U.S. GHG emissions in the last 20 years. This is then followed by an overview of federal and state climate policies affecting industrial operations. Recent regulations on mandatory GHG emission reporting and permitting at the federal level are discussed. The comprehensive statewide cap-andtrade program in California is also described, as it will greatly affect industrial operation in the state. Finally, the article concludes with examples of GHG strategies and actions taken by industrial subsectors and individual companies to better position themselves for carbon policies at home and abroad.

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Author Biographies

Cecilia E. Arzbaecher

Cecilia E. Arzbaecher—Dr. Arzbaecher is a principal engineer at EnerNOC. She has consulted for the energy industry in the U.S. and Europe for 19 years. She has been with EnerNOC since 2001. Prior to joining EnerNOC, she held positions with EPRI and the Swedish Office of Science and Technology in Los Angeles. Some recent projects include assessments of energy efficiency activities and greenhouse gas reductions for four large oil and gas operations for the purpose of complying with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations. Two years ago she was the lead engineer on a NEEA-funded project providing support to the Northwest Manufacturing Extension Partnerships in identifying and initiating energy efficiency projects in small- to medium-sized manufacturing facilities. She is currently working on an energy use characterization project for the wastewater industry with funding from EPRI. She is also assisting several utilities and third-party implementers with engineering review of industrial energy efficiency calculations and DG/ CHP potential studies. Dr. Arzbaecher holds an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden, and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Arzbaecher can be reached by email: carzbaecher@ enernoc.com.

Kelly E. Parmenter

Kelly E. Parmenter—Dr. Parmenter is a principal project manager at EnerNOC. She has more than 19 years of experience in the energy sector as an energy consultant and project manager and has been with EnerNOC since 2000. During this time, she has worked on numerous projects which involve identifying, assessing, and furthering the development of innovative technologies and solutions to improve energy efficiency and reduce adverse environmental impacts. Much of her work focuses on the industrial sector. She has also been involved in program planning, implementation, and evaluation efforts for energy companies. In addition, she has conducted market studies for developers and investors to evaluate the market potential and competitive landscape of innovative technology solutions. Dr. Parmenter holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has authored more than 50 technical reports and articles for various clients on numerous subjects. She has also published more than 25 peer-reviewed technical papers. Dr. Parmenter can be reached by email: kparmenter@enernoc.com.

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Published
2014-07-01
Section
Articles