112DeIntegration of Vertical Stages

The electric industry is becoming increasingly vertically de-integrated by state legislation, commission orders, and state policymaking. Utilities are more often required to sell their generating assets. Given these developments at the state level and the FERC's requirement of open access to transmission lines, electric markets and the electric utility of the future will look dramatically different than they do today. Electric markets will become more like gas markets, with a futures market, a spot market, and a variety of financial arrangements (described in Chapter 10). Many electric utilities will become national and international energy companies, diversifying into a broad arena of products and services.

These new electric utilities will be selling the energy form preferred by their customers. Electricity's share of total U.S. energy use is now approaching 40%, nearly double its share in the late 1950s. That percentage is expected to increase markedly in the future because of the information revolution's reliance on electricity and the introduction of new electricity-using technologies in other sectors. The latter include developments in space conditioning, industrial processes, and transportation.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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